· 11 February 2018 ·
[A step forward in Authorship education]
December 2019 Update: This post was written when the course was first announced. It’s still available at the link given. The schedule is flexible and self-paced.
On Monday 19 February, just over a week from now, a new, first-of-its-kind, available to anyone with internet access, free, four-week online course introducing the Shakespeare Authorship Question will commence on the Coursera learning website. Here’s the information from the enrolment page, which is found at the link.Introduction to Who Wrote Shakespeare
Created by: University of London and Goldsmiths, University of London
Instructor: Dr Ros Barber, English and Comparative Literature, Goldsmiths
About this course: This MOOC [Massive Open Online Course] explores critical thinking, and the interpretation of texts, through the Shakespeare Authorship Question. Using doubt about Shakespeare’s authorship as our playground, we will explore the key concept of authorship attribution, while developing skills in literary analysis, interpretation, and argument. Through forensic exploration of key texts, by both Shakespeare and other writers of the period, you will learn why Shakespeare’s authorship is questioned, and what evidence is cited on both sides of the debate.
For those of you interested in exploring the works of Shakespeare from a new angle, or just wanting to hone your analytical thinking skills, this MOOC offers an introduction to a fascinating area of interest. Those of you already interested in the Shakespeare Authorship Question will be encouraged to question your own assumptions in fruitful ways. Whether undertaken as a standalone course, or as preparation for the University of London BA in English, this MOOC will be food for thought.
Who is this class for: Shakespeare aficionados and novices alike will find something of interest in this course; likewise anyone interested in logical reasoning, literary history, and the use of evidence. It is pitched at a level suitable for foundation year undergraduates.
Commitment: 4 weeks of study, 3-4 hours/week
How To Pass: Pass all graded assignments to complete the courseAnd did I mention that it’s free?
If you’re interested, go to the linked page (here it is again). Set up a Coursera login if you don’t have one, then sign up for the course. As long as you don’t need the official certificate of completion, you can participate fully in the course at no cost. (The certificate adds a fee.) Coursera even has Android and iOS apps, for learning on the go.I’m thrilled by this news. Dr Barber’s course, as harbinger of an important part of the future of SAQ awareness and education, can do something that no merchandising machine of Stratfordian tourism, nor defensive revisionism of Stratfordian academia, nor hostile antagonism of Stratfordian trolls can prevent: it can open people’s minds.
Kudos to Dr Barber for her hard work already done and yet to come, and to Goldsmiths and Coursera for their support of this project.
Go sign up. Then do your homework.