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SOF Symposium2021 Highlight: Michael Dudley


Michael Dudley, MLIS MCP

Michael Dudley, MLIS MCP -- Community Outreach Librarian at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada -- presented "The Stratfordian Belief System, Epistemic Injustice, and Academic Freedom" at the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship's virtual spring symposium "The Shakespeare Attribution on April 10, 2021. Dudley's discuss is availabe on the SOF YouTube channel under the title, "SOF Spring International Online Symposium 2021". Dudley's presentation is introduced at hour 01:03:44.

In his presentation, Dudley argued that ". . . by calling [authorship] skeptics "conspiracy theorists" and comparing them to Holocaust deniers rather than addressing the substance of their claims, orthodox Shakespeare academics risk committing acts of epistemic vice, injustice and oppression, as well as foreclosing productive lines of inquiry in their discipline."

By categorizing the errors of the academy, Dudley's work gives Shakespeare authorship inquiry the tools to dismember the bulwark of Stratfordianism that James Warren called "institutional resistance".

Dudley's symposium presentation is based on a chapter he authored in Teaching and Learning Practices for Academic Freedom (Emerald Publishing, 2021) created in partnership with the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association. Dudley's chapter is titled "With Swinish Phrase Soiling Their Addition: Epistemic Injustice, Academic Freedom, and the Shakespeare Authorship Question". A pre-publication version of the book is available online.

In addition, Dudley will present this material in an hour-long program titled "Academic Freedom and the Shakespeare Authorship Question", a public, virtual event sponsored by the Heterodox Academy on May 7, 2021. Registration is free, online at the Heterodox Academy website.

"This is an hour-long presentation that will incorporate the SOF symposium presentation on virtue ethics, but will also serve as a general introduction to the Shakespeare authorship question for the uninitiated," Dudley said.

Dudley will further communicate this work in his article titled "Stratfordian Epistemology and the Ethics of Belief" to be published later this year in The Oxfordian 23 (2021)

"[The Oxfordian 23 article] is very much a companion to the book chapter," Dudley said. "But instead of looking at the ethical behavior of Stratfordians towards non-Stratfordians, it looks at the ethics of the traditional belief in the Stratfordian Shakespeare on its own terms, through the lens of Ethics of Belief theory, which argues that beliefs are only ethical and praiseworthy to the extent they are supported by evidence."

Michael Dudley: "The Stratfordian Belief System, Epistemic Injustice,
and Academic Freedom" 

UPDATE: May 7, 2021
Michael Dudley will present "Epistemic Injustice, Academic Freedom and the Shakespeare Authorship Question" at the Canadian Society for the Study of Rhetoric conference, RhetCanada 2021, at 1 p.m. MDT June 4, 2021. 


Event synopsis: SOF Spring International Online Symposium 2021,

Event video: SOF YouTube channel "SOF Spring International Online Symposium 2021", 

Michael Dudley video presentation: "The Stratfordian Belief System, Epistemic Injustice, and Academic Freedom, "

Teaching and Learning Practices for Academic Freedom, Vol. 34

"Academic Freedom and the Shakespeare Authorship Question" by Michael Dudley for the Heterodox Acadamy,

"Stratfordian Epistemology and the Ethics of Belief" by Michael Dudley. The Oxfordian 23 (Fall, 2021)

Ethics of Belief,

Canadian Society for the Study of Rhetoric,

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