Dean’s Seminar, Spring 2013
ENG1000: Global Shakespeare || Prof. Alexa Alice Joubin(Taught on Foggy Bottom)
The 2012 London Olympics and the multilingual World Shakespeare Festival brought global Shakespeares home to Britain. Beyond the English-speaking world, his plays and motifs are present in the performance cultures of Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Asia/Pacific, Africa, Latin America, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, and far-flung corners of the globe. In fact, the history of global performance dates back to Shakespeare’s lifetime. A world-class and truly global author, Shakespeare continues to be the most frequently performed playwright. In the past century, stage, film, and television adaptations of Shakespeare have emerged on a wide range of platforms. What is the secret of Shakespeare’s wide appeal? Has Shakespeare always been a cultural hero? This course examines the aesthetics and techniques of interpreting Shakespeare, with an emphasis on the conversations between Shakespeare’s modern collaborators. Specifically, the course considers the tensions between claims for originality and poetic license, text and representation, and between interculturalism and nationalism. Special consideration is given to the cultural history of the Shakespearean corpus. The final list of plays will be sent to students prior to the start of the session.
Alexa Alice Joubin is Director of the Dean’s Scholars in Shakespeare Program and Associate Professor of English at GW. She is also general editor of the journal Shakespearean International Yearbook; and co-founder of Global Shakespeares, an open-access digital video archive (http://globalshakespeares.org
). She is the recipient of the Modern Language Association’s (MLA) Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize and holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature and a joint Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities from Stanford.
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Dean’s Seminar, Spring 2013 ||
ENG1000: Hamlet and Modern Culture || Prof. P. Cook (Taught on Mt Vernon)
Hamlet and Modern Culture will consist of two related parts. In the first half we will intensively study Hamlet as an Elizabethan performance text, examining Shakespeare’s use of sources and his dramatic techniques as well as the play’s multiple texts, cultural contexts, and contemporary reception. The second half will examine the play’s remarkable afterlife, studying the changes and continuities of its reception across four centuries as Hamlet established itself as arguably the most studied, performed, adapted, sampled, appropriated, translated, parodied, spun-off, and quoted literary text both within and outside the English-speaking world.
Patrick Cook is Associate Professor of English. He obtained his PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught courses in British literature, epic poetry, film adaptation, Shakespeare, and Milton, and interdisciplinary courses for the Humanities Program in the ancient near east and Classical Greece and Rome. His most recent book is Cinematic Hamlet.