CSW congratulates English faculty Eli Keehn and Dance Department Chair Nailah Randall-Bellinger on being named the 2020-21 recipients of the Alorie Parkhill Learning and Travel Fund for Teachers.
Established in 2017 by Rebecca Parkhill ’85, P'17 and Robert Willett P'17 (parents of Oliver Willett ’17), the Alorie Parkhill Learning and Travel Fund for Teachers was created to honor former faculty member and assistant head of school Alorie Parkhill. Grants from the fund may be used for travel, study, and any form of learning and exposure that follows the recipients’ scholarly interests, with a goal of allowing recipients to grow in their knowledge and background in disciplines and subject areas that excite and engage them, before bringing their learning back to students and colleagues at CSW.
In the summer of 2020, English teacher Eli Keehn will travel to London to immerse himself in the world of Shakespearean theatre. In his proposal, Eli expresses interest in participating in “Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance,” a three-week course offered by the Education Department at Shakespeare’s Globe. He also hopes to spend time with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, learning more about Shakespeare’s life and work.
“My work with Shakespeare is the foundation for my deep and abiding love of both literature and performance,” Eli shares. “As I looked for ways to bring my theatrical background into my life as a teacher, I was delighted to discover that Globe Education runs a course designed for American teachers of English and Drama called “Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance;” it’s similar in structure to the undergraduate program I did there, but with the explicit goal of providing a set of tools for teaching Shakespeare that integrate textual analysis, historical context, and acting. The Globe’s commitment to this kind of integrated pedagogical approach mirrors my own and is, I believe, a core value of CSW as an institution.”
Dance Department Chair Nailah Randall-Bellinger plans to utilize grant funds to study the cultural, theatrical, and folkloric dance forms of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia.
“To frame curriculum through an Asian lens, educators must change the dominant story and illuminate new perspectives,” Nailah writes in her proposal. “Within the independent school context, Asians are the “perpetual Chinese foreigner” or the “model South Korean minority.” In reality, Asia is a complex continent that captures a broad range of social locations and ethnicities. Exploring the invisible contemporary realities of Southeast Asia helps uncover larger truths and creates more equitable school communities.”
In her travels, Nailah hopes to collaborate with “culturally responsive, native-led, established dance programs,” fostering a mutually beneficial exchange between herself and the fellow dancers she partners with.
CSW congratulates Eli and Nailah on this amazing opportunity and wishes them well with the learning and travel ahead!
The 2019-20 Parkhill Travel Grant recipients, Tony Loreti (visual arts) and Po-Wei Weng (language), will present on their travels on May 2 at Reunion Weekend 2020. Please save the date to hear more about Tony’s exploration of fashion design in London, Paris, and Milan, and Po-Wei’s investigation into Global Education around the world.