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William Shuler Jr


  • TW20 0EX

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Personal profile

Personal profile


During the 2017/2018 academic year, I am teaching on DT2202 Theatre and Text 2: Greek Tragedy, which explores Greek tragedy in its social context in both theory and practice; DT2104 Theatre and Performance Making 2: Acting for the Camera, which trains actors to translate their stage acting skills for camera acting and collaborates with Directing students in the Media Arts Department to make short films; DT3112 Shakespeare on Camera, a workshop-based advanced course which explores film adaptations and appropriations of Shakespeare’s work onto film and practically explores making filmed Shakespeare in collaboration with Directing Fiction students in the Media Arts Department; and DT3202 Group Performance (which I also convene), the finalist capstone course where students form small theatre companies and create a piece of work throughout the Spring Term, culminating in the Finalist Festival. I am Head of the First Year; facilitate the First Year Training Programme; programme the Summer Term of workshops, placements, and staff-directed shows; am the Admissions Tutor; am the Student Satisfaction Experience Champion; and serve on the Teaching and Learning, Staff-Student, and Finance Committees. I am also working on the validation of a new joint degree with the Media Arts Department: Drama with Film.

I am passionate about performative means of teaching in higher education. While teaching at Brooklyn College CUNY, where I received my MA in theatre history and criticism, I taught undergraduates using the role-immersion pedagogy, Reacting to the Past, developed my Mark C. Carnes at Barnard College. The pedagogy gets students into texts and arguments by getting them into character, inviting them to be both playfully strategic and independently inquisitive. In “game mode” peer pressure is alleviated by debating ideas through the lens of a character and external research is encouraged through the competitiveness of the game.

In the Summer 2015 term I received teaching commendation for the implementation of the game “Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wanli Emperor”, Reacting to the Past into DT1300 Theatre and Culture One. I have since gone on to teach using the “Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 BCE” game in my Greek Tragedy class and the “Marlowe and Shakespeare, 1592” game in my Idea of Shakespeare course as well. I am currently writing a book chapter on Jacques Rancière’s educational theory which uses higher education role-immersion games as case studies.



My research interests include theatre history, especially ancient Greek and early Western theatre; aesthetic and political philosophy, especially that of Jacques Rancière; and learning in the theatre, especially as it relates to culture and identity. 

My current project is revising my PhD dissertation into a book. The proposed monograph examines learning as a spectator with the case study of theatre in ancient Athens. In it, I employ Rancière’s theories of teaching, politics, and spectatorship to demonstrate how ancient tragedy was looked to as a source for learning via “universal teaching” and how and what citizens learned. 

I have recently published a chapter for an upcoming Palgrave publication, War and Theatrical Innovation titled “The Greek tragic chorus and its training for war: movement, music, and harmony in theatrical and military performance”. The chapter examines the embodied knowledge common to institutional education, tragic choruses, the phalanx, and rowing on triremes in ancient Athens.

This summer I presented on the competition reality show I created and produced with the Drama and Media Arts Department at RHUL, Project Directing at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Conference in Las Vegas. The aim of the project is to further research gamification in higher education.

I previously served as the co-editor for four issues of the postgraduate theatre journal based at Royal Holloway, Platform: Journal of Theatre and Performing Arts.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions