What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
USQ researchers have asked that very question – how does Shakespeare’s name influence the behaviours and decision-making processes of potential festival-goers? Significantly it seems. Some people feel that a Shakespeare production would be beyond their understanding and were afraid of the unknown.
So, USQ academics put ink to parchment and adapted Shakespeare’s works to be less intimidating to audience members, through the delivery of education programs to secondary schools and through its annual Shakespeare in the Park production.
What does this have to do with the community? The relevance of Shakespeare’s works has been repeatedly debated amongst scholars, policy makers and curriculum makers over the years. The studies undertaken by USQ Researchers are proving the significance of the Bard’s work through its findings in community engagement and school engagement activities.
Social impact still relevant 400 years later
One such activity was to deliver public community forums led by child psychologists to discuss youth suicide. Why? Thirteen suicides were depicted in Shakespeare’s plays – a social impact still relevant 400 years later. Teachers have had to adapt their methods to engage with the current generation of secondary school students. These are individuals whose parents were early adopters of the digital age and have grown in a visually immersive world of instant gratification, responsiveness and information absorption.
Identified need to support teachers
USQ researchers identified the need to provide a solution for teachers, to be able to deliver Shakespeare curriculum to students in a more visual and multi-modal way and developed an online learning environment, using best practice approaches to e-learning. While quill and ink has been replaced by mobile devices and the cloud, the legacy of literature’s greatest contributor to the English language continues on with USQ researchers.