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Alumni | General Education

The Vanishing Shakespeare

April 1, 2007 Download PDF Press Release

ACTA probes the extent to which today’s English majors are required to take courses on Shakespeare’s work. While at one point such requirements were common, this report reveals that today they are not. Of the 70 colleges researched by ACTA–private and public, large and small, from the Washington, D.C. area and on to the rest of the country—only 15 require their English majors to take a course on the Bard. ACTA also points out that as Shakespeare becomes merely an option for the English teachers of tomorrow, offerings in such areas as critical theory, “body studies,” and popular culture are proliferating. The report concludes with a description of what concerned administrators, trustees, alumni, parents, and students can do to provoke change. The release of the report coincided with a a six-month celebration of Shakespeare in the nation’s capital. It updates and complements ACTA’s 1996 report The Shakespeare File.

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