Skip to main content

Oberon colleague Susan Nenadic will teach Shakespeare authorship controversy in Ann Arbor

Oberon colleague Susan Nenadic of Ann Arbor will teach a Lifelong Learning non-credit class on the Shakespeare Authorship Controversy at Washtenaw Community College this fall. Four weekly sessions from 6-8 p.m. will begin September 20 and run through October 11, 2011 on the Ypsilanti campus of WCC. Registration information will be available when the fall classes are posted July 13, 2011 on the college website at:

Nenadic taught history and English in Saline Area Schools. Since her retirement in 2004, she has taught women’s history for non-credit programs at WCC, the University of Michigan, and Eastern Michigan University. She has completed a book about nineteenth-century working women titled A Purse of Her Own, and is currently consulting with a publisher.

Recently, while discussing ideas for non-credit classes at WCC, a new administrator asked: “What else can you say about Shakespeare?” Nenadic replied, “I can tell you he didn’t write the plays.”

Class structure
Nenadic plans to structure the class as an inquiry into the authorship, and believes her approach will be very popular, saying, “People are fascinated by this.”

“I want this to be a discussion; I don’t want anyone to be threatened by it, but I think the facts speak for themselves. It's great to talk about [Edward] de Vere as the author, but if you get too fringe you just alienate people.”

On Charles Beauclerk’s book Shakespeare’s Lost Kingdom, that promulgates the controversial “Prince Tudor” theory of Shakespeare authorship, Nenadic said, “I might be able to buy that Elizabeth had a baby when she was 15 or 16, but the idea that she had [a child] when she was on the throne of England – that just isn’t going to cut it in my book.”

Regarding class content, Nenadic said:
The first thing I want to discuss is why it matters who wrote the works. I’m not going to proselytize. I’m going to talk about the plays they’ve studied, and ask ‘What would you have to know to write those plays?’ We’ll talk about the man from Stratford and ask, ‘Does he have those qualities? Of course the answer is, ‘No.’ We’ll spend some time learning what we do know about this man from Stratford. I’m going to say, ‘If he didn’t write it, who did? If he didn’t write it, how could you fool everyone so completely?’ We’ll talk about the production of the plays, and the generation-and-a-half gap in theater in England that is, to me, part of how [the correct attribution] got lost. English history -- we need to know what’s happening in seventeenth-century England. Then we’ll spend about three hours on Edward de Vere. We’ll be lucky to get it all in. . . . I’m going to approach it as a puzzle. Every week we’ll put the puzzle together a little bit more. But there will never be that last piece. Until we have that last piece -- a physical artifact – there will always be a question.
Although class members will not be assigned required reading, Nenadik will provide a bibliography for her students to include Mark Anderson’s Shakespeare by Another Name; Charlton Ogburn Jr.’s Mysterious William Shakespeare; F.E. Halliday’s inquiry into the performance history of the plays,The Cult of Shakespeare; and Sarah Smith’s novel Chasing Shakespeares.

Nenadik will also offer her Shakespeare Authorship Controversy class later in the fall at Eastern Michigan University’s Elderwise program and next spring at the University of Michigan’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Popular posts from this blog

Ros Barber's new Shakespeare authorship book out November 24, 2013

by Linda Theil Ros Barber's Shakespeare: The Evidence --The Authorship Question Clarified will be published Nov. 24, 2013. Info at . Video promo for the book (above) is available on YouTube at Shakespeare: The Evidence. Promo material on the publisher's page says: Whether you are a firm believer that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare, or suspect that he didn't, this book aims to enable readers to gain a more comprehensive knowledge of the problems at hand, clarify their thinking, and identify weaknesses in, and logical rebuttals to, the arguments of their opponents, as well as potentially strengthening their own. Ros Barber, PhD is the author of The Marlowe Papers (St. Martin's Press, 2013) that won the Hoffman Prize in manuscript in 2011. UPDATE 11/17/13 : A note published today by Ros Barber at  says the first installment of the  Shakespeare: The Evidence  ebook will be published o

New Anonymous film trailer posted on YouTube

A second film trailer for Roland Emmerich's film, Anonymous , was posted on YouTube August 5, 2011. Emmerich's historical thriller about the Shakespeare authorship controversy is scheduled for wide-release in the U.S. October 28, 2011. A preview will be screened on Sept. 7, 2011 in downtown Portland, Oregon as part of the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre 's annual  conference September 6-9, 2011 .  Anonymous will also be featured at the Toronto International Film Festival to be held September 8-18, 2011. Emmerich's film has Stratfordians aflutter, fearing examination of the traditional attribution of Shakespeare's plays may damage the brand. Instead of welcoming interest in Shakespeare's life and times, they are boarding up the windows against a flood of inquiry. The previously taboo topic of Shakespeare authorship is now allowed in the hallowed halls of Stratford-on-Avon so that a rear guard action against apostasy can be mounted. Paul Edmo

Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project from the University of Guelph

  Quote from masthead of Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project This treasure trove of a site offers much to Shakespeare omnivores, not least of which is the Spotlight feature on Aboriginal adaptations of Shakespeare  . Here's a snippet from the main page introduction of the site: T h e  Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project   is the online resource for anyone interested in how Shakespeare's plays have been transformed and adapted in Canada. But it also contains a wealth of material that relates to all things Shakespearean. With the launch of CASP Version 2, we are pleased to expand the already ample offerings on the site. These include a significant increase in multimedia files; multiple new pages on new areas of research with an emerging focus on French Canada; a huge amount of special resources, including documents, books, scholarly articles, reviews, images, and the like; a literacy video game and perhaps the most comprehensive and intensely multi-mediated stud