24 January 2012

Sylvia Plath Interdisciplinary Master Class at Oxford

This summer, Dr. Sally Bayley and Linda Gates will teach a Sylvia Plath Interdisciplinary Master Class entitled "Finding a Voice: Sylvia Plath's Poetic Landscapes" at Oxford University in England from 2-6 July 2012.

From the course description (accessed 23 January 2012):

"This class will take a selection of Sylvia Plath's poetic manuscripts as a starting point for exploring the process of Plath's poetic composing. The particular focus will be on Plath's mature landscape poems, Winter Trees, Crossing the Water, Little Fugue, The Moon and the Yew Tree and Elm in which the speaker devises and revises a poetic identity through several drafted stages. The quotient points of her identity shift between inner and outer worlds as the poems come into focus and her personae begin to speak.

"At the heart of the class will be the subject of voice and the ways in which Plath’s poetic voices are developed and tuned through the process of drafting.

"Led by Plath scholar Dr. Sally Bayley of the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, and Linda Gates, Professor of Voice at Northwestern University, the class will be aimed at students studying Plath as a subject of research and students of literature, drama, voice and music at the undergraduate and graduate level. The class has been designed to be strongly interdisciplinary and will include a session on Plath’s poetry as translated into songs for voice by composer and scholar, Dr. Will May of Southampton University.

"Teaching will be focussed on close readings of poems in draft and published forms and students will be encouraged to read across drafts, drawing connections between aspects of Plath’s poetic imagery. At the heart of the class will be an investigation of Plath’s mythopoeic body. Students will be supported to make observations and notes on Plath’s journey into a poem with the aim of preparing a final performance piece to be led by Professor Linda Gates.

"Further information is available on the website including: Programme Foci, Programme Outline, Masterclass Tutors, and Suggested Reading."

It should be noted that class space is quite limited to about 20 people and currently enrollment is open to all. While I do not know Ms. Gates, Sally Bayley is a dynamic Plath scholar. This course structure will extend the boundaries of Plath interpretation, including the relationship between the spoken voice and music in Plath's landscape poems.

7 comments :

Melanie Smith said...

Would love to go :C A pox on everything being so far away

The Plath Diaries said...

I would love to go but £1200 is wayyy out of my price range!

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Peter K Steinberg said...

A little more on the course:

The course will offer a close-reading approach to Plath's poetry manuscripts that will go beyond any particular published or so-called expert approach. This is a broad-ranging course designed to work closely with Plath manuscripts in order to trace her own processes of poetic devising. The course has been carefully constructed as a way thinking about how Plath creates landscape-compositions in her poetry as a way of building a private mythos. Plath's mature performance poems, 'Lady Lazarus' and 'Ariel' will also be considered, as well as a few of her earlier poems. The course will include a focus on Plath's lyrics as they have been and could be interpreted muscially, but also how they might be staged as a performance piece. Plath's theatrical imagination, therefore, is also central to this course. Several of the sessions will therefore be led by Professor of voice, Linda Gates of Northwestern University who has considerable experience working with Plath's poetry in performance.

DuncanLover said...

This will be extraordinary! Dr. Bayley is one of the best tutors in Oxford and best readers of Plath. How lucky everyone in this master class will be.

Aimee said...

Looks like an amazing course! And I'm particularly excited about the prospect of a final performance piece...such a unique approach. Dr. Bayley's teaching is not to be missed. Very much looking forward to it.

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Publications & Acknowledgements

  • BBC Four.A Poet's Guide to Britain: Sylvia Plath. London: BBC Four, 2009. (Acknowledged in)
  • Biography: Sylvia Plath. New York: A & E Television Networks, 2005. (Photographs used)
  • Connell, Elaine. Sylvia Plath: Killing the angel in the house. 2d ed. Hebden Bridge: Pennine Pens, 1998. (Acknowledged in)
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives." Plath Profiles 2. Summer 2009: 183-208.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives, Redux." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 232-246.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 3." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 119-138.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 4: Looking for New England." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012: 11-56.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 5: Reanimating the Past." Plath Profiles 6. Summer 2013: 27-62.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath. Oxford: Fonthill, 2017. Forthcoming.
  • Death Be Not Proud: The Graves of Poets. New York: Poets.org. (Photographs used)
  • Doel, Irralie, Lena Friesen and Peter K. Steinberg. "An Unacknowledged Publication by Sylvia Plath." Notes & Queries 56:3. September 2009: 428-430.
  • Gill, Jo. "Sylvia Plath in the South West." University of Exeter Centre for South West Writing, 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Elements of Literature, Third Course. Austin, Tex. : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2009. (Photograph used)
  • Helle, Anita Plath. The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007. (Photographs used, acknowledged in)
  • Helle, Anita. "Lessons from the Archive: Sylvia Plath and the Politics of Memory". Feminist Studies 31:3. Fall 2005: 631-652.. (Acknowledged in)
  • Holden, Constance. "Sad Poets' Society." Science Magazine. 27 July 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women, Motion Picture. Directed by Rachel Talbot. Brookline (Mass.): Jewish Women's Archive, 2007. (Photograph used)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Karen V. Kukil. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962. New York: Anchor Books, 2000. (Acknowledged in)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (eds.). The Letters of Sylvia Plath. London: Faber, 2017. Forthcoming.
  • Plath, Sylvia. Glassklokken. Oslo: De norske Bokklubbene, 2004. (Photograph used on cover)
  • Reiff, Raychel Haugrud. Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar and Poems (Writers and Their Works). Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, 2008.. (Images provided)
  • Steinberg, Peter K. Sylvia Plath (Great Writers). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'I Should Be Loving This': Sylvia Plath's 'The Perfect Place' and The Bell Jar." Plath Profiles 1. Summer 2008: 253-262.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Sylvia Plath." The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath. London: British Library, 2010.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 106-132.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "This is a Celebration: A Festschrift for The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3 Supplement. Fall 2010: 3-14.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "A Perfectly Beautiful Time: Sylvia Plath at Camp Helen Storrow." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 149-166.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Proof of Plath." Fine Books & Collections 9:2. Spring 2011: 11-12.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Textual Variations in The Bell Jar Publications." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Writing Life" [Introduction]. Sylvia Plath in Devon: A Year's Turning. Stroud, Eng.: Fonthill Media, 2014.

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