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Author Biography

Cheryl Wanko teaches classes in eighteenth-century literature and culture at West Chester University, part of the Pennsylvania state system. Her book on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century actor biographies, Roles of Authority, was published in 2003 by Texas Tech University Press, and she continues research in that field.

Abstract

Beginning by asking how teachers manage the presence of the author in their literature classrooms, this article describes the classroom experiment of interviewing Karen Eterovich, an actor who portrays Aphra Behn, using Skype. It describes the planning and scripting processes, explains the particular interests of this group of students, and assesses the final activity. Questions arose about topics for the interview, appropriate ways for Behn to respond, and the need for a script. The pedagogical opportunities for preparing students as interviewers and of expanding their understanding of performance, historical reenactment, and the construct of the author are discussed. Possible extensions of this technique for other types of classes are suggested.

Keywords

Aphra Behn, Skype, Karen Eterovich, distance learning, interactive, media, historical reenactment, interview, impersonation, author