After considering an undergraduate major in history, psychology, or religion, Garry Walton chose to focus on literature so he could continue to read and write about life-changing texts. He began graduate study intending a focus on Faulkner and the presence or absence of faith in modern novels, but he was drawn to Renaissance drama and especially Shakespeare – which has been his academic focus since.
Dr. Walton has taught at Meredith College for over 30 years. He has taught courses in writing, British literature, literary criticism and research; he has also directed undergraduate research projects on the King James Bible, Milton, and Shakespearean stage productions – as well as investigating modern works and worlds from Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha to Baum’s Oz. He has twice taught on the Meredith in London program. This brief video explains his approach to teaching Shakespeare utilizing performance and modern technology.
He has participated in workshops and seminars sponsored by the Shakespeare Institute of the University of Birmingham in the UK, the Folger Institute in Washington DC., and the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton VA.
In celebration of the 400 anniversary of Shakespeare’s death he was invited to deliver the Faculty Distinguished Lecture of 2016-2017.
At Meredith he has served as Director of the Honors program, head of the Department of English, and Dean of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.
Following years in academic administration, Garry Walton recently returned to his first love – teaching. He relishes traveling to the theatre with his students at every opportunity, to increase their shared understanding of and appreciation for dramatic literature. And he enjoys snacking on goldfish crackers and homemade ginger-Bards.
B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. Phi Beta Kappa
“Framing the Performance.” Teaching Shakespeare at the Performance. Shakespeare Association of America, Mar 2018
“Remembering the first time – with Timon.” Colloquy: Experiential Shakespeare Pedagogy, Ninth Blackfriars Conference, American Shakespeare Center, Staunton VA, Oct 2017
“Shakespeare’s Strong Women.” Faculty Distinguished Lecture. Meredith College, Mar 2017
“The Shakespearean Sacrament of the Disobedient Daughter.” Pre- and Early-Modern Women’s Rituals panel, South Atlantic Modern Language Association, 88th annual conference, Jacksonville FL, Nov 2016
“Shakespeare, the Lady Russell (the Dowager Countess), and the Scotts.” Docents of the North Carolina Museum of Art, Oct 2016
“Out of Control,” in Digital Shakespeare, Tenth World Shakespeare Congress, Stratford and London, Aug 2016
“’How many children had Lady Macbeth?’ – finding an answer on stage.” With Rebecca Daw Blum. Blackfriars x SouthWest: Space, Text, History Conference, Austin TX, Apr 2016
“History a la Carte: Cervantes and Shakespeare.” North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh NC. Apr 2016
“Roundtable: Pedagogy and Staging,” Seventh Blackfriars Conference, American Shakespeare Center, Staunton VA, Oct 2013
“Roundtable: Pedagogy and Shakespeare,” Fifth Blackfriars Conference, American Shakespeare Center Oct 2009
“How to Write Like Shakespeare,” Yunnan Nationalities University, PRC, June 2005
“Shakespeare’s Moving Images,” Friends of the Library, Meredith College, Apr 2001
"Using Video in the Shakespeare Class," Folger Workshop on Shakespeare and the Languages of Performance, Washington D.C., Feb 1994
"Forget Teaching, Remember Learning," Modern Language Association session on “Teaching Reconsidered,” Dec 1993
"Forget Teaching, Remember Learning," Association of Departments of English session on “Innovative Approaches to Teaching,” South Atlantic Modern Language Association, Oct 1992
"Response to Steven Berkowitz’s ‘Shakespeare’s uses of the past’,” in “Shakespeare’s Uses of History," Fifth World Shakespeare Congress, Tokyo, Aug 1991
“Acting and Improv in the Shakespeare Classroom,” Shakespeare Association of America, Apr 1990
"Some Versions of Tragicomedy: Intrigue, Conversion, Interception," Shakespeare Association of America, Apr 1988
"Mikhail Bakhtin and Contemporary Literary Theory: A Dialogue," Modern Language Association Special Session, Dec 1985
Faculty Distinguished Lecturer, 2017
Laura Weatherspoon Harrill Advising Award, 1994
Outstanding College English Teacher, South Atlantic Modern Language Association, 1992
Pauline Davis Perry Teaching Award, 1986
"Bringing Performances Into Classrooms Through Multiple Media." Teaching Shakespeare through Performance, ed. Milla C. Riggio. New York: MLA, 1999: 321-40.
“Shakespeare on Video.” In Teaching Shakespeare through Performance: 459-64.
"Forget Teaching, Remember Learning." Issues and Inquiry in College Learning and Teaching (Spring-Summer 1993): 9-16.
"Particle Physics: An-Atomization of a Performance" [group review of Shakespeare Theatre's Hamlet]. Co-authored with Ann Jennalie Cook. Cahiers Elisabethains 44 (Oct 1993): 53-66.
"Finding a Place to Play: Teaching in Non-traditional Spaces." Co-authored with Kurt Daw.
In Shakespeare and the Languages of Performance [electronic workbook distributed via Shaksper] May 1993: 16-20.
"`The Actors Are Come Hither, My Lord': Inviting a Performance Group to Campus." In Shakespeare and the Languages of Performance May 1993: 36-44.