Department of English

Professors Eric Mallin and Paul Sullivan Publish New Shakespeare Textbook

Thu, February 23, 2017
Professors Eric Mallin and Paul Sullivan Publish New Shakespeare Textbook
Stages of Power

Role immersion games used in classrooms have shown to increase engagement among students, which is what Associate Professor Eric Mallin and Lecturer Paul Sullivan engage with in their new textbook, Stages of Power. Stages of Power isn't a traditional "textbook," but a "reacting" game: an interactive roleplaying game where the student is responsible for their own learning.

In the Reacting to the Past (RTTP) model, students are assigned roles informed by classic texts in the history of ideas. Class sessions are run by students, and instructors advise and guide students and grade their oral and written work. It seeks to draw students into the past, promote engagement with big ideas, and improve intellectual and academic skills. RTTP was pioneered in the late 1990s by Mark C. Carnes, Professor of History at Barnard College.

Reacting games are used in more than 300 colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. Reacting Consortium Press is a publishing program of the Reacting Consortium, the association of schools that use reacting games. For more information visit Reading Consortium Press

The basic model for Stages of Power is as follows: 

It is October, 1592, in London. Christopher Marlowe, the most accomplished playwright in the city, has written a new play, The Massacre at Paris, which his company, the Lord Admiral's Men, is understandably eager to read and rehearse. That's because the usually lucrative theater season has been postponed since June. The bubonic plague has been spied in outlying parishes, and the Privy Council has recently enforced the statute stipulating that the theaters must close when plague deaths in the city reach 30 per week. Theaters have been shut from the end of June to the beginning of Michaelmas term (Sept. 29); the actors and theater employees are anxious about their finances, and they had better come up with a good play to perform. The acting companies are nervous about the upcoming season; repertory rehearsals have not gone well, as several actors fled the diseased city to tour the provinces, but spent most of their time drinking; they are out of practice, have forgotten their parts, and are only now returning to London...

Learn more about the curriculum here, and congrats to Paul and Eric!

Bookmark and Share