The gappiness of Shakespeare: Performative possibilities

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Rawson, Martyn
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Department of German, University College Cork
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In this paper I outline a performative approach to working with Shakespeare in a Waldorf school, relating this to Smith’s (2019) notion of Shakespeare’s ‘gappiness’. The paper is based on over 30 years of experience, the most recent being in 2021. It locates this teaching and learning in the context of block teaching, an innovative method used in some Waldorf schools. The paper offers a theoretical account of the performative approach based on the notion of learning in a community of practice and the immersion in unfamiliar landscapes of practice – in this case working with Shakespeare’s Macbeth- in relation to the developmental tasks of 17-18-year-old school students. The workshop process in classroom learning is then described. The concept of ‘gappiness’ is related to reader-response theory and in particular to Iser’s (1972) notion of empty spaces.
Waldorf , Shakespeare , Performative approach to L2 , Gappiness
Rawson, M. (2022) 'The gappiness of Shakespeare: Performative possibilities', Scenario: A Journal for Performative Teaching, Learning, Research, 16(1), pp. 40-55. doi: 10.33178/scenario.16.1.3