Gail Paster to Deliver Inaugural Dean’s Lecture on Shakespeare

The English Department is pleased to announce one of the very first events of the new academic year.  On Friday, September 7, at 3:30 PM, former GW English professor and Director Emerita of the Folger Shakespeare Library, Gail Kern Paster, will deliver a lecture co-sponsored by the Dean’s Scholars in Shakespeare Program, directed by Alexa Alice Joubin, and the GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute, directed by Professor Jeffrey Cohen.  This lecture will take place in the Academic Building (Post Hall) of GW’s Mount Vernon Campus.

Professor Paster continues her work with the Folger as an editor of Shakespeare Quarterly. A professor of English at GW from 1974 until 2002, she has held fellowships from the Guggenheim and Mellon Foundations. She is the author of three books, most recently Humoring the Body: Emotions and the Shakespearean Stage, as well as numerous other scholarly publications on early modern drama, with a focus on the cultural history of the body and its emotions. She is currently completing an electronic edition of Twelfth Night for the Norton Shakespeare.

Her talk is entitled “Shylock, Othello, and the Theatrical Coding of Difference: Picturing Shakespeare at the Folger.” Images of Shylock and Othello from the Folger image database show how these figures of the Jew and the Moor as Other have been represented since the eighteenth century.  These images also show how they have been presented for consumption and display. Setting images side by side has great heuristic potential for understanding the theatrical coding of difference in an historical trajectory.  The talk is designed for a broad audience.  It is free and open to the public, and it will be followed by a reception. 

Part of the purpose of this event is to welcome the Dean’s Scholars in Shakespeare to GW.  Students in this new two-year, 16-credit program will be residing in Cole Hall and taking courses on Mount Vernon.

The Dean’s Lecture on Shakespeare series will feature distinguished Shakespearean scholars and directors each year to bring cutting-edge works to the campus.

*NOTE: this is an updated post.  This announcement contains a new title and description for Professor Paster’s planned presentation.*

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