Shakespeare Blogs 2018

Hello All, I have had a wonderful day trawling through the ePortfolio/ Blogs produced by the Shakespeare Class of 2018. Such talent and inspiration is hard to find anywhere else. The top 6 ePortfolio/Blogs (all scoring High Distinctions) were as follows. I would encourage you all to scroll through these as powerful examples of what…

Shakespeare’s The Tempest Week 2- Summary and Blog Topics

Today we focussed attention on the Globe Theatre’s recent production of The Tempest. What a wonderfully powerful production this is! In Tutorials we concentrated on a couple of poems by George Herbert which provided a nice balance to the intensity of dramatic confrontation in the early scenes of The Tempest.  Here is a useful link to…

Clemente Campbelltown – Prose 2: Tim Winton, George Orwell, Henry Lawson…

Please find here a reading of Tim Winton’s “Sand” together with a class discussion on this amazingly virtuosic prose writer who seems to be able to bend language to the shape of whatever takes his fancy! Enjoy this wonderful class interaction with the students at Campbelltown! Click on each of these images to enlarge them:…

A Midsummer Night’s Dream- performance rehearsal & Shakespeare Sonnets 18, 65 & 73

Hi All, Scroll to the bottom of this blog for audio files for today’s tutorials and lecture (which was mainly a workshop). But before you go there, please listen to this amazing discussion about the nature of BEAUTY- a topic so close to Shakespeare’s heart- here spoken about by the late Irish poet John O’Donoghue.…

New York: Literature & Drama 2019 – Information Session.

Hi All, prospective New York (Literature and Drama) Students 2019. Please find below both the slides that were used during the information session (with James Marland and Michael Griffith) AND a recording of what we presented – and some of your questions- please be in touch with either James (James.marland@acu.edu.au) or myself (Michael.griffith@acu.edu.au)  if there…

Challenges to Utilitarian Education: Matthew Arnold & Cardinal Newman…

This week we explored the ways in which writers and artists in the Victorian Age tried to undermine the prevailing utilitarian views on education. We have seen this presented very strongly in Charles Dickens’ Hard Times with his emphasis on the importance of Wonder and Imagination as counters to a world run on facts. Matthew Arnold…

Shakespeare Week 3: Marlow, Ralegh, Shakespeare ( A Midsummer Night’s Dream/ As You Like It)

Originally posted on Literature & Life Autumn 2018:
We covered some really interesting ground in class today through exploring the Pastoral tradition as presented by Marlow (in “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” and as knocked down by Ralegh (in “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd”). So these poems are presenting critically the whole idea of…

Shakespeare Week 7: Marlow, Ralegh, Shakespeare ( A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

We covered some really interesting ground in class today through exploring the Pastoral tradition as presented by Marlow (in “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” and as knocked down by Ralegh (in “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd”). So these poems are presenting critically the whole idea of the Pastoral world: is it a great…

Shakespeare Week 6- from Classical Tragedy to Romantic Comedy: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Today we broached one of Shakespeare’s most loved plays, his celebratory fantasy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We explored the ways in which Shakespeare in his opening scenes ricochets his audience from the high-sounding, poetical iambic pentameter of the Greek court through to the passionate language of the Romantic lurvers and then down into the depths of…

Unacknowledged Legislators!

Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the World. Shelley was clearly moved to declare that poets had a fundamentally important role in the world, reminding humans about things that really mattered, beyond the entrapments of material possessions. So what was it that Shelley was so deeply drawn towards? If we look at the opening sentences…

Shakespeare 2018 Week 3: Becoming Antony, Cleopatra and their host of followers!

Wow, what a gas! Today we plunged right in to the world of Antony and Cleopatra, workshopping some of the key scenes from the early part of the play and identified some of the complex emotional interactions that this play embodies in “living lines”! (as Ben Jonson so rightly observed.) This was a wonderful opportunity…

Romanticism Week 3

So how have I been responding to all these radical ideas developed during the Romantic period? What has caught my attention as being especially relevant to my own experience and my own period of history? Now is my chance to express something of my reaction to all I have been reading, either in the form…

Shakespeare Plus 2018!!!

This semester’s Shakespeare unit has at its focus the wonderful Antony and Cleopatra which is being presented by Bell Shakespeare later this month.And we are all off to see their production on Friday March 23rd- Yoo Hoo! Accompanying us will also be a group of around 15 students from the Clemente Program(for those experiencing multiple disadvantage)…

Proud Grandad!

It was wonderful today to be able to “shout” my granddaughter Leeara to lunch in our sunny quadrangle. Leeara has enrolled in a Bachelor of Science Psychology at ACU Strathfield, one of the very few universities in Australia who have made this particular degree available. It was great to be able to introduce Leeara to…

Best New York Blogs 2018!!

Here is our fabulous group of 2018 in the heart of Harlem, New York, indeed at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. This was one of our most exciting and informative days in which the beating heart of American culture was opened to us through the oratorical powers of Cedric our African American…

The MOMA: Contemporary American Art as a context for Contemporary American Literature.

Wiliam Carlos Williams, Charles Demuth, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Frank O’Hara, Jackson Pollock…. these are some of the interlocking names that bring literature and the visual arts together. Today we had a wonderfully rich tour, conducted by MOMA lecturer Sylvia into some of these interconnections. Here is the full audio lecture/ floor talk and attached…

Day 5: Brooklyn with Walt Whitman and Hart Crane and The Book of Mormon

Today was a momentous day for honouring Walt Whitman’s wonderfully Quaker imagination and Hart Crane’s spiritualisation of one of the icons that preceded modernism. Whitman was of course passionate about the Brooklyn Ferry which he travelled on regularly from his home in Brooklyn to Manhatten.  But it was not just the ferry, but it was…

New York Literature and Drama Day 3: Washington Square, Greenwich Village:

Washington Square was the start of our literary tours around New York. This brought Henry James into focus and his wonderful early novel Washington Square which powerfully challenged the ethos of his day and found ways of celebrating those who don’t necessarily shine in the public arena. Catherine Sloper, who lived out her life in…

New York- Wednesday 17th January 2018

  Today provided an amazing introduction to the life, culture and history of New York. Our students had 2 guest speakers for their early morning tutorial: Eric Chase (from New York Literary Pub Crawls) (CLICK) and Nick Birns from New York University (CLICK). Eric gave a wonderful thumbnail sketch of what literary tours he is going to…

Best American Literature Blogs 2017

American Literature was a new unit for me to teach this semester at Australian Catholic University, but it dovetails beautifully into the short intensive unit I teach in January The Literature and Drama of New York which is being taught in January in the snow and ice of that amazing city. So this semester-long unit American Literature…

Best Australian Literature Blogs 2017

Russell Drysdale “The Mountain Has Its Own Meaning” Judith Wright An occasion for celebration:  Australian Literature – a first year unit at Australian Catholic University- has again produced an extraordinary group of bloggers. Their work reveals how blogging has enabled them to connect with Aust. Lit. in a way that expands beyond the rigours of…