Race in Performance-Based Shakespeare Pedagogy: A Methodology for Researching and Teaching YouTube Videos
Ayanna Thompson, Arizona State University
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 While internet sources are somewhat ephemeral and often treated as too unstable and of-the-ever-fleeting moment for serious consideration, Shakespeareans have a new opportunity to encourage dialogues within the academy and the classroom about the ethics of performance-based pedagogy and the methodologies for analyzing online performance projects. YouTube offers a unique space to analyze the ways performances of Shakespeare, performances of race, incorporations of popular culture, presentations of visual culture, formations of pedagogy, and appropriations of interactivity are negotiated by “Generation M”: that is, Generation Media, eight to eighteen year olds who have grown up with, and on, the internet. In particular, Shakespeareans can learn a great deal about the intersections of race and performance in our classrooms from analyses of YouTube videos because YouTube enables us to record, compare, and interact with the ways our students are navigating constructions of Shakespeare, race, and performance in dynamic ways. This essay will move from a close reading of three YouTube videos, demonstrating the unique interpretative opportunities these videos reveal, to a discussion of the methodological and pedagogical implications exposed by these unique interpretive opportunities.
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Recently, a scholarly website linked to this essay, including alongside it the hyperlinks to the student YouTube videos here discussed. Although we are pleased with the attention the article has received, we must note that the author deliberately concealed the URLs for the three student videos on ethical grounds.
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 While literary scholars are accustomed to tracking down, citing, and now hyperlinking all sources, this essay raises ethical questions about this traditional methodology. Because the author analyzes videos that include sensitive material with regards to race, gender, and sexuality; because the participants included in the videos are minors; and because the author has not conducted participatory research in which the students (and their parents/guardians) provide consent, she has concealed the URLs to protect the identities of the students in the YouTube videos. This ethical decision borrows guidelines from social science research which advises protecting the identities of minors in research. For this reason, this essay does not provide direct hyperlinks to the videos because hyperlinking is a mode of distribution and disclosure, and not simply citation.
¶ 6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 The editors request that anyone linking to this article respect this ethically-based methodological decision and likewise refrain from linking to the videos here discussed.