Teaching whiteness in Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 18’

Stacey, R. (2023) Teaching whiteness in Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 18’. English, 72(276-27), pp. 22-26. (doi: 10.1093/english/efad016)

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This article will outline several strategies which can be used to teach Shakespeare’s poem ‘Sonnet 18’ in the pre-University classroom. Although one of the most famous texts in the canon, and regularly read in non-educational contexts, ‘Sonnet 18’ is rarely discussed in relation to its racial politics and its normalizing treatment of metaphorical whiteness. Being able to detect the operative invisibility of white imagery is a crucial critical skill, as it empowers students to assess the significance of the racialized effects of the poetic evidence placed before them. I touch on the five Assessment Objectives at Key Stage 5 at various stages to meld current critical methodologies with A-Level pedagogical structures. The focus on ‘Sonnet 18’ will also help to sharpen awareness of the coercive properties of canonical texts which are often presented to the reader as ideologically neutral, particularly those on bucolic or ‘English’ themes.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Stacey, Dr Richard
Authors: Stacey, R.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:English
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1756-1124
Published Online:31 August 2023

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