ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

Publications: Reports


The Unkindest Cut

Shakespeare in Exile 2015


April 2015 by ACTA

Read and admired throughout the world, Shakespeare’s plays and poetry have been the guiding light of statesmen, of authors, and of artists. His writings are the indispensable foundation for understanding English literature, language, and rhetoric. Yet less than 8% of the nation’s top universities require English majors to take even a single course that focuses on Shakespeare. The Unkindest Cut: Shakespeare in Exile 2015 examines 52 of the national universities and liberal arts colleges ranked highest by U.S. News & World Report. The report demonstrates how the study of Shakespeare has been marginalized at these schools and lists examples of the courses that stand in its place. The report also gives advice to trustees, administrators, alumni, and donors on how to reverse this trend.


SELECTED FINDINGS

Shakespeare’s poetry and plays have inspired readers and audiences for centuries, from one end of the world to the other. He is often simply called “The Bard,” honored by statesmen and philosophers, as well as poets and critics. Great authors over the centuries have paid him homage. John Milton described how Shakespeare built for himself an immortal monument “in our wonder and astonishment” that would be the envy of kings.  John Dryden observed, “when he describes anything, you more than see it, you feel it too.” For T.S. Eliot, “Dante and Shakespeare divide the modern world between them, there is no third.”  Continue Reading >>