Week Three: Tempestuous Women: Asia, Warren & The Tempest

This week Shakespeare students have been immersing themselves in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, NIneteenth Century students have been wrestling with Bernard Shaw and Clemente (Mission Australia) Students getting on-board with WordPress! You will begin to hear their voices soon, but you may want to have a look at David’s Blog (first cab off the rank) and give him some support in his writing. All these students are really keen to complete their Certificate in Liberal Arts and make their way into University. It is a completely new start for many who have never had this opportunity before.

In Shakespeare we explored Shakespeare’s last play in which Prospero, after having used his magical powers to create a better world, steps off the stage having achieved his mission. Many see this as Shakespeare’s own farewell to the theatre, perhaps the high point of Shakespeare’s career as a dramatist.. Here is a magnificent rendering by Sir John Gielgud one of England’s greatest Shakespearean actors.

What I want to share with you is the way that in this digital world classic texts like The Tempest are being reconstructed with a host of new interactive features. If you haven’t done so yet, you should check out The Tempest as created here:


It is fabulous to think that we are at the cutting edge of a new technology (this digital space for example where you are writing now) where reading, interacting with texts, is exploding in such a diversity of forms: print, video, image, sound, hypertext, facebook and other social media resources….

I hope that in our blogging each week we can begin to experiment with what lies beyond the written word. Can we embed other communicative features into our blogs? Can we explore the cutting edge of how interacting with texts and ideas is going to be with the next generation of students that we ourselves might be teaching?

In Nineteenth Century we have been wrestling with the relationship between the representation of women in “Prometheus Unbound” (Asia in particular) and in Mrs Warren’s Profession. How is the image of woman in both of these plays evoking a sense of the need for women to find a true voice of their own? Both plays are all about freedom from stereotypes. How are women today wrestling with this very question?

Transmedia is a powerful new catchword which is showing the ways in which Digital Media can push us into new ways of understanding and of reading texts.

So what about some questions or activities for this week’s blogging experience?

How about: Take a short piece of text from any literary text we have studied this week (this could be a topic for either Nineteenth or Shakespeare) and turn it into a vibrant piece of illustrated hypertext.

Or How about: take a short piece of text from either Shelley, Shaw or Shakespeare and transform it into a piece of Digital Artwork.

For those who want a more conventional challenge, try the following:

Imagine yourself into a dramatic situation where you are arguing with someone who is your superior and you are wanting to find out some information.

(eg Vivie and her mother OR Miranda and Prospero OR Caliban and Prospero).

Write a short interactive dialogue that captures the spirit of confrontation. Be sure to find some good visual illustrations (your own photos?) to support your text.

Remember the Blogging component is a place where you can write what you want, experimenting with your own creativity and or finding your own ways of responding to the texts we have studied during the week. Whatever catches your imagination is worth writing about.

In the meantime we are gearing up for a momentous one day conference as a tribute to David Malouf’s 10 year long input into literature units at ACU. We have speakers from around Australia and even from overseas contributing to this day which will be held out the MacKillop Campus in North Sydney on May 31 (Friday of the Stand-down week at the end of this semester). More details will follow.

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