Shakespeare and discourses of relevance: Education, Policy, Text, and Performance
Relevance is an undertheorized concept in the arts, despite its increasing centrality to discourses of culture and value. In 2019, Arts Council England changed their funding guidelines to value relevance over excellence. Their 2020 strategy is led by engagement with ‘Inclusivity and Relevance’ as one of the four Investment principles, reflecting a growing cultural preoccupation. Relevance is a particularly prolific term in discourses of Shakespeare, from productions striving to speak to the contemporary moment, to teachers drawing parallels between the plays and students’ lives as a means of engagement. This thesis offers analysis and discussion of such texts across politics and funding bodies, educational resources in and out of the classroom, online debates and opinion pieces, and adaptations and performances and their paratexts.
- '"Peace! I will stop your mouth!": A feminist exploration of language and gender in adaptations and appropriations of Much Ado About Nothing', The English Showcase, 10 April 2019, The University of Nottingham.
- 'A sociolinguistic analysis of homosocial relations in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew', The Twenty-First Annual British Graduate Shakespeare Conference , 7 June 2019, The Shakespeare Institute.
- '#DisruptTexts and 'cancelling' Shakespeare: considering the role of 'cancel culture' in debates about Shakespeare's contemporary value.', The Journal of Languages, Texts and Society Conference 2021, 30 April 2021, Online Platform.
- Chaired the panel 'Responses in Literature and Film' at the above conference.
- 'Shakespeare is Relevant', poster for the Midlands 4 Cities 2021 Digital Research Festival, 7 June 2021.
- 'Making Shakespeare relevant in the classroom: an analysis of teacher advice blogs', The Twenty-Third Annual British Graduate Shakespeare Conference, 27 August 2021, The Shakespeare Institute.
Public Engagement & Impact
- 'My research journey: how sociolinguistic methodologies have helped me develop my work on Shakespeare', Linguistic Association of Great Britain Student Committee Blog, 21 March 2021, https://lagbstudents.wordpress.com/2021/03/21/my-research-journey-how-sociolinguistic-methodologies-have-helped-me-develop-my-work-on-shakespeare/
- Work for The Brilliant Club, running history and literature university style tutorials for Year 3/4 and Year 10/11 students in local schools.
Other Research Interests
- Manuscript culture and the history of the book
- Adaptation and popular culture
- Language, gender and sexuality