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Idiom Vol 53 No1

Ways into William: Still quoting Shakespeare

Chair: Margaret Saltau
Panel members: Christine Lambrianidis and Fiona Spitzkowsky

The epitome of ‘a dead white male’ or ‘the inventor of the human’?

Shakespeare is a staple of our English and Literature classrooms. But what does Shakespeare’s legacy mean for our students and our teaching? Is Shakespeare still edgy, or on the edge of relevance for today’s students? How, after all this time and countless readings, can we read Shakespeare with fresh eyes and encourage students to develop new interpretations?

This panel explored ‘Ways into William’ about the place and purpose, and most importantly, the teaching of Shakespeare in the 21st century.

Christine Lambrianidis is the Head of English at Point Cook Senior Secondary College. She is also an emerging playwright, authoring The Woman in His Mind and The Debt (formerly entitled The Greeks). She is currently completing a practice-based PhD in Theatre and Performance at Monash University, investigating new forms of tragedy. She has published on The Conversation website and in Neos Kosmos on the relevance of Greek tragedy today.

Fiona Spitzkowsky is a Melbourne based writer, producer and director. She has worked with Attic Erratic, the Emerging Writers’ Festival, and the Festival of Live Arts at Arts House and is a member of the Voiceworks Editorial Committee. She has a Masters of Writing, Publishing and Editing from the University of Melbourne, and is completing a thesis on the ethics and practicalities of presenting madness on stage. She is currently undertaking a Hot Desk Fellowship at The Wheeler Centre exploring the form of silence in playwriting. As a director, Fiona has focused on reinterpreting classics such as Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew and (Lady) Macbeth through a feminist lens. Her plays include Without Sex, Traffick and Scratch which she read at the This is Not Art Festival in Newcastle as well as appearing on a panel addressing mental illness in the arts.

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