Lisa Hopkins and Matthew Steggle

These eight essays are all by academics, but the emphasis throughout is on the perspective and indeed the voice of students, since almost all the essays either include examples of student work and comments or address ways of maximising student participation in the Renaissance classroom. In the first piece, ‘Teaching Shakespeare to Judith: Gender Politics in Distance / Online Teaching’ , Michael Best addresses ‘[t]he challenge, especially for an instructor who is white, male, and not young’ of making Shakespeare ‘accessible to students who are, for the most part, female, young, and increasingly of mixed ethnic origins’. Both W. Scott Howard, in ‘Reconfiguring Wit: Shakespeare, Film and the Critique of Genius’ , and Rowland Wymer, in ‘The Audience Is Only Interested in Sex and Violence: Teaching the Renaissance on Film’, reflect on the experience of teaching either film adaptations of Renaissance plays or films about the Renaissance (in Howard’s case to American students and in Wymer’s to Hungarian), with both focusing firmly on the student experience.

In a different way of allowing students’ voices to be heard, ‘Learning to Read Shakespeare: Using Read-Throughs as a Teaching and Learning Strategy’, Matthew C. Hansen advocates reading aloud in the classroom as a way of encouraging students to engage with the Shakespearean text, while Carrie Hintz wrestles with the question of unexpected and perhaps unwelcome student voices in ‘Satan is Not a Literary Character: Teaching Early Modern Literature to Religiously Committed Students’. Finally, the third group of essays are all centred on the question of a different sort of marginalised voices, those of the lesser-studied writers of the period: Ty Buckman considers the question of ‘1590s London: Charting a Course Through Late Tudor Culture’, Robert C. Evans looks at ‘Internet Resources for Teaching Early Modern Women Writers’, and Roze Hentschell examines ‘Teaching in Context / Reading on the Margins: Renaissance Non-canonical Literature on the Undergraduate Syllabus’. The Renaissance may include some of the most canonical and revered of authors, but these essays show that it also affords plenty of scope for allowing other voices to be heard, and indeed that study of the period remains an arena where the student’s own voice can grow stronger and more articulate.