Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students

Shakespeare and Performance in a Global Context

COMPLIT 10N

This seminar will be devoted to exploring the question of performance in every sense through the plays of Shakespeare, including the explosion of exciting performances, adaptations, and post-colonial rewritings of Shakespeare from around the world. Next year on Zoom, our class will include lively discussions of issues in each play (and ways in which they intersect with contemporary issues, including of race, sexuality, and gender). And students will be invited to perform particular speeches and scenes (with no memorization needed). In addition to raising issues in Shakespeare’s day that intersect with contemporary debates in the U.S. and around the world, the seminar will enable its participants to discuss in detail 8 better-and-lesser-known plays, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry V, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and The Tempest.

Meet the Instructor(s)

Patricia Parker

Patricia Parker received her M.A. from the University of Toronto and taught for 3 years in Tanzania (whose President Julius Nyerere developed the concept of Ujamaa and translated Shakespeare into Swahili).  After lecturing at the University of East Africa and a PhD in Comparative Literature from Yale, she taught at the University of Toronto before becoming a Stanford Professor of English and Comparative Literature in 1988. Author of four books, including Inescapable Romance (from Renaissance to modern), Shakespeare from the Margins, and Shakespearean Intersections (on Shakespeare and issues of race, sexuality, gender, and geopolitics) and co-editor of five collections of criticism, including Shakespeare and the Question of Theory and Women, Race and Writing in the Early Modern Period, she has also taught at the School of Criticism and Theory, delivered the Gauss Seminars at Princeton, Shakespeare's Birthday lecture at Folger Shakespeare Library, Paul Gottschalk lecture at Cornell, and other lectures around the world and received Guggenheim, NEH, Mellon, and other fellowships.  In 2003-4, she organized an international conference at Stanford on “Shakespeare in Asia.” In addition to teaching courses on Shakespeare, Epic and Empire, and other topics and completing new books on gender, rhetoric, and race, she is the General Editor of the Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopedia, which will be released in 2021 as an ongoing online resource, free to anyone in the world with access to the internet.