We are producing a MOOC!

A MOOC is one of those free online courses, and this one is a four-week MOOC, which will run for the first time in July 2020. Alas, due to Covid-19, we have had to delay the MOOC by one year (i.e. it will run in July 2021). We hope to release a video or two relating to the MOOC contents in early May.

You will learn about Shakespeare’s linguistic backdrop, the kinds of words and structures that were available to him, and see how he exploited them. We will focus on what Shakespeare’s words meant to the Elizabethan audiences, how they constructed particular characters, or particular types of character – male or female. Along the way, we will debunk a few myths – such as, did he really coin thousands of words?

We have been addressing such issues as part of the Encyclopedia of Shakespeare Language project, here at Lancaster University, and we have been doing this with computers. That is a key aspect of this course – you will learn how to use a computer to interrogate our resources and do such research yourselves. And don’t worry: if you can buy a plane or train ticket online, you have sufficient computing skills to do the course!

The course is led by Jonathan Culpeper, and colleagues Sean Murphy, Andrew Hardie and Mathew Gillings.