Engage Event: Building Collections (Part 1)

We’ve now come to the part of the workshop where attendees explore the website and open educational resources to create their own collections, add to existing collections, or let us know what should be added to Great Writers Inspire.

Many people commented on our lack of material on the Brontë sisters, and we want to reassure our readers/listeners/internet surfers that it’s currently a work in progress, but the Brontës are going to be on the Great Writers Inspire website soon.

The Great Writers Inspire podcasts are useful not just in the information they provide, but in the way in which they illustrate how academics approach criticism and analysis of a work. It’s great for students to see a way to start approaching a text, particularly a dense one.

The podcasts and other lectures or essays might also prove useful as preparation work before a unit commences: students could watch, listen, or read over the holiday so that they’re in a better place to begin critical discussion of great texts upon their return.  One teacher suggested discussion questions for students to answer after listening to the podcasts. They can also be asked to listen to podcasts and consider the use of a given theme across an author’s body of works, or even compare and contrast multiple Great Writers.

It was also suggested that we embed works from the poetry archives, since these provide such gems as Yeats reading his own work. We’ll definitely look into that, and in the meanwhile, check out the webpage here.

One attendee struggled to find what he was seeking within individual texts, and believes that ebooks and electronic resources are a great way to give students and researchers the way to look through a text with ease, find specific motifs quickly. He may even set his students similar exercises, since even if they do not find the information they seek,  it’s useful research practice.

If anyone is looking to create their own concordance or searchable work with notes, we suggest AntConc.

Quite consistently, attendees were hoping for more contextual, thematic, and critical materials on the website, and even debates between academics. These ideas are exciting, and we’ll definitely see what we can do.

As part of the Creative Commons license, if you create something from our material (or just have something of your own you’d love to share), we’d love you to share-alike so we can incorporate it into our available resources! Even if it’s rough, do send it our way, so we can share it with other teachers and learners.

In the meanwhile, we look forward to adapting the website in accordance with the feedback from our workshop attendees and whatever feedback you, The Internet, send our way. Check out the Great Writers Inspire website here.

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About Kate O'Connor

Kate O'Connor works as Publicity & Outreach Director for Post5 Theatre, Literary Assistant and Office Manager for the Original Practice Shakespeare Festival, and Dramaturgy Intern for the Profile Theatre. She earned her M.St. in English Literature 1550-1700 at Lincoln College, University of Oxford and a BA in English from Stanford University. As an undergraduate she worked as the research assistant to Prof. David Riggs and as Literary Intern for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
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