Thursday, February 27, 2014

More MOOCS

So I've signed up for another MOOC since I enjoyed the one on Hamlet so much. (More on that later.)

So this one is titled Shakespeare and His World and is led by Professor Jonathan Bate, in conjunction with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. From the course description:

Each week, Professor Bate will examine a particular play and a cultural theme alongside a selection of treasures from the Trust’s archives in Stratford-upon-Avon. Weekly learning material will be broken down into six video segments, each examining a variety of artefacts and play extracts. The course will open with an introduction to Shakespeare and his living and working environment, moving onto broader cultural themes and issues examined in his plays and ending with an exploration of his legacy.

The pre-read was Venus and Adonis, which (of course) meant I had to re-visit Ovid before re-reading the poem. I think I'll work in The Rape of Lucrece this week, too, just for the fun of it. And it's been too long since I've read either of the poems.

Anyway, expect more stray Shakespeare posts for a while.

11 comments:

RT said...

I am intrigued. I have looked at the course website, and I am tempted to participate. However, I wonder how it all works. For example, I am wary of the "free lunch" concept -- cynical me says that there is really nothing that is free in this world. Perhaps I should just dive in and give it a whirl.

Dwight said...

RT, I understand where you're coming from on this. I can give my experience with the Hamlet course through FutureLearn and the University of Birmingham that just finished. Almost everything was provided (and mot of what wasn't was available online for free if you so wished). There were mentions of events and programs but it was very low-pressure…more of an "if you're interested" mention. There were two emails a week--the first let you know that week's items were available, the second was to link to a recap.

No guarantee this will be the same but I've received one email and it looks very much in the same manner.

The only "drawback" was that it made me interested in other books I want to explore, which I don't always have time to do. Which, come to think of it, is very much like other literary-focused blogs!

RT said...

I've signed up. Now, I hope it all works out well. Keep in touch.

RT said...

Postscript: The "selling point" for me was Bates' involvement. And, of course, the price is right!

Dwight said...

Great! I hope you'll enjoy it (and I look forward to your comments on it, too).

RT said...

How is it that you chose to begin by reading the long poems? Is that part of the course reading list? Or are you simply anticipating?

Dwight said...

You should be getting an introductory/welcome message soon similar to what I got. From that email:

We won't be focusing on a particular play in the first week, so feel free to have a look at the plays more generally and get to grips with Shakespeare's style. Alternatively, you can start to read up on the plays that we'll focus on in subsequent weeks.

We will be having a quick look at Shakespeare's poetry in Week 1; if you'd like to explore this in more detail, you can start by reading his Venus and Adonis, which is available here.

Dwight said...

I'm a little slow…the "catch" on MOOCs is that if you want it certified/acknowledged, it will cost you money (I've seem most prices in the $35 - $50 range for each course). If you're simply doing it for fun then there is no problem. If someone is doing it to count toward something, then there is a cost.

RT said...

As it turns out, I will not be doing the course. I am too busy job hunting in the wake of my termination at HER.

RT said...

Correction....U.W.F.

Dwight said...

Understandable--best wishes on the search!