On June 17–20, 2019, Humanities Texas partnered with Rice University to hold a professional development institute for Texas teachers on teaching the works of William Shakespeare at the secondary level.
The institute curriculum aligned with TEKS standards for the state's high school ELA curriculum. Faculty presentations covered Shakespeare’s world, works, and the sources he drew upon in his writing; approaches to teaching the major tragedies, comedies, and sonnets; and intersections between Shakespeare and Latinx drama.
The institute also included presentations on developing engaging writing assignments that emerge from the study of Shakespeare’s works. Peggy O’Brien, director of education at the Folger Shakespeare Library, trained participants in performance-based teaching strategies. In a special event designed exclusively for institute participants, Dr. O'Brien worked with actors from the Houston Shakespeare Festival to demonstrate the interpretive possibilities of Shakespeare through performance.
J. Dennis Huston, Gladys Louise Fox Professor Emeritus of English at Rice University, delivered the institute’s keynote lecture. The program faculty also included Ariane Balizet (Southern Methodist University), Ann Christensen (University of Houston), Ruben Espinosa (The University of Texas at El Paso), Patricia M. Gárcia (The University of Texas at Austin), Katherine A. Gillen (Texas A&M University-San Antonio), Catherine Loomis (Rochester Institute of Technology), Peggy O’Brien (Folger Shakespeare Library), Joseph Ortiz (The University of Texas at El Paso), Kathryn Vomero Santos (Trinity University), and Laura Turchi (University of Houston).
The institute took place on the Rice University campus in Houston from June 17–20, 2019. For more information, view the program schedule here.
The institute was made possible with major funding from the State of Texas, with ongoing support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.