Personal Teaching Statement
My courses encourage students to think of adapting or performing literary works as additional forms of engagement, interpretation, response, and understanding. Individually or in teams, students rework passages and scenes from literature. As a class, we read aloud, enact, and even sing short works or excerpts.
One of the very best parts of teaching is shared learning. Success in a single classroom session or throughout a semester is evident when everyone, including the instructor, comes away from the experience knowing more – and more deeply – about the material and about how it connects with our lives, our communities, our times.
Dialogue provides both the inspiration and the environment for effective teaching and meaningful scholarship – working with students and with colleagues on campus, throughout English Studies and beyond. Growth in the humanities especially depends not only upon individual insight and effort but also upon collaboration and conversation.
Selected Publications and Projects
Shakespeare in the Cinema: Ocular Proof (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002).
“Jazz” in the forthcoming Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopedia, ed. Patricia Parker (online, Stanford University Press).
“Emotional Economies in Song Settings for Late 20th-Century Productions of Twelfth Night,” shared with seminar on Twelfth Night Revisited, World Shakespeare Congress, organized by the National University of Singapore and the International Shakespeare Association; conducted online, July 2021.
Teaching Artist for “Little But Fierce,” a series of free educational programs for K-8 students. With Ashley Kobza, Education Director of Flatwater Shakespeare Company, July 2021. Funded by Humanities Nebraska and Lincoln Arts Council.
“Estrangement, Exile, and the Stranger in the 2017 Stratford Festival Timon of Athens,” paper session on Rethinking Shakespeare in the 21st Century, Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association annual meeting; conducted online, June 2021.
Seize the Crown, a conflation of Shakespeare's Richard II and Henry IV, Part One; virtual staged reading by Fair Assembly theater company, based in Dallas, TX, December 2, 2020.
Guest Scholar for “Little But Fierce,” a series of free educational programs for K-8 students; conducted remotely. With Summer Lukasiewicz, Executive Director of Flatwater Shakespeare Company, July 2020. Funded by Humanities Nebraska.
“The Politics of Necromancy,” opening remarks for seminar on The Supernatural and Transcendent in Shakespeare on Screen, Shakespeare Association of America annual meeting; conducted remotely, April 2020.
“Falstaff and the Constructions of Musical Nostalgia,” in The Routledge Guide to Shakespeare and Global Appropriation, edited by Christy Desmet, Sujata Iyengar, and Miriam Jacobson (New York: Routledge, 2019), pp. 348-58.
“The Dramaturg's Progress: A Question of Audiences,” Blackfriars Conference, American Shakespeare Center; Staunton, VA, October 2019.
“Listening Again to Soviet Shakespeares: Sound, Song, and Sensibility in Yan Frid's Twelfth Night,” shared with the Shakespeare in Film History seminar, Shakespeare Association of America; Washington DC, April 2019.
Humanities Adviser and Teaching Artist for “Songs and Sonnets,” a free educational program for area students in Grades 7-12. Also Humanities Adviser for “Little But Fierce,” Grades K-6. With Summer Lukasiewicz, Executive Director of Flatwater Shakespeare Company, July 2018. Funded by Humanities Nebraska.
“How to Get from Syracuse to the West Side: Kurt Weill's One Touch of Venus and the Shakespearean Broadway Musical,” Shakespearean Theatre Conference; University of Waterloo at Stratford, Ontario, June 2017. Also chair and organizer for session on “Shakespeare and Jazz,” which included this paper.
“Palpable Hits: Popular Music Forms and Teaching Early Modern Poetry,” The CEA Critic 78.2 (July 2016): 229-41.
Curator, Sweet Will and the Saucy Jacks YouTube channel, 2020-present.
Composer and Performer for Songs and Sonnets by Sweet Will and the Saucy Jacks. Digital EP of pop music settings of Shakespeare. Available for free / pay what you wish download: sweetwill.bandcamp.com. Released 2012.
Resident Scholar and Co-founder, Flatwater Shakespeare Company. Education Director, 2004-2021. Dramaturg and Text Adviser most recently for Twelfth Night (Swan Theatre, 2021), Romeo and Juliet (Turbine Flats/Online, 2020), and Macbeth, also appearing as the Thane of Ross (Swan Theatre, 2019). Past work as Dramaturg and Text Adviser includes Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches and Part Two: Perestroika, with Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (Haymarket Theatre, 2011-13); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, The Comedy of Errors, As You Like It, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and The Tempest (Swan Theatre and area tours, 2011-2018); Othello, also appearing as Ludovico (Lincoln Community Playhouse, 2011); Hamlet and The Merchant of Venice (Swan Theatre, 2015-16). Sound design for Twelfth Night (2012). Contributing Musical Adapter / Composer for Much Ado About Nothing (2013), The Comedy of Errors (2014), and The Merry Wives of Windsor (2017).
Awards and Honors
University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award, 1991.
University of Nebraska state-wide system's Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award (OTICA), 1999.
Member of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Academy of Distinguished Teachers, admitted in 1999.
Aaron Douglas Professorship for Teaching Excellence, 2010-present (renewed 2015 and 2020).
Lincoln Arts Council and City of Lincoln Mayor's Arts Awards, Artistic Achievement in Literary Arts, 2015.
Courses Regularly Taught
English Authors Before 1800: Fierce Wars and Faithful Loves
English Capstone: Shakespeare and His Global Interpreters
Milton (Poetry, Politics, & Prophecy)
Shakespeare on Screen