Professor John Coldewey’s “English 518, Shakespeare: Text and Image” met in Mary Gates Hall, not Stratford-upon-Avon, in the spring of 2001. Even so, students caught a production of Hamlet, one of the Bard’s four major tragedies, in the flesh at Seattle Center, in a production by Peter Hall, a world-famous director. This performance, co-sponsored here by the Seattle Rep and Empty Space theaters, traveled from Paris to London to New York and to Seattle.
Other play performances were viewed on film in several screen versions, and some were managed online, via electronic performance software. Students also traveled virtually to major sites devoted to Shakespeare scholarship, including the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Furness Collection at the University of Pennsylvania Library.
In their research, students devised individual Web sites that featured
one particular play under study, and presented their findings first
in term-end PowerPoint presentations and then in term-end essays. One
graduate student and English Department TA, Tanya Lenz, described the
experience this way: “I found the computer-integrated aspect
of John Coldewey's graduate course . . . useful, certainly, in a number
of ways, most particularly in the development of a personal Web page,
learning to navigate PowerPoint, using images as a fundamental aspect
of a paper, and presenting a paper using a computer. These are all
valuable skills that were offered by the course. In addition, being
able to investigate Shakespeare's texts through an image-oriented lens
was certainly intriguing, and was facilitated by the computer component.”