Updated: May 10
O was set up on 31 March 2021, to build bridges. It wasn’t a matter of identifying gaps for we know they are there and that the gaps are widening and so it is a matter of addressing these gaps and committing to work towards building bridges. The discussion of decolonising the curriculums isn’t new. In the precolonial India art and science subjects weren’t disconnected. In the post colonial India they are taught to students as two disconnected disciplines. That separation is an outcome of colonisation. Decolonising academia would in that case be the marrying of art and science subjects and not in the scant inclusion of English writers including William Shakespeare in English Language Teaching. West’s limited understanding of the East and the tendency to often assume a moral high-ground in the academic realm to the point of academic imperialism is a definite cause of concern. It is in O’s interest to overcome these barriers in learning and to evolve a level-playing field for all. And at O we emphasise on verse and we begin with young learners.
On the day, Prof. Sir Stanley Wells, honorary president of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, General Editor of penguin and Oxford Shakespeares and Dr Paul Edmondson, Head of Research at Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, also a priest in the Church of England led a session on Shakespeare’s Sonnets based on their book published by the Cambridge Press titled All the Sonnets of Shakespeare on the occasion of O's first anniversary.