Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students

Shakespeare and Performance in a Global Context



This course has been cancelled for this academic year.

This seminar will be devoted to exploring the question of performance in every sense through the plays of Shakespeare, including the performance of gender; theatrical and film performances in the United States, Britain, and other English-speaking countries; and the explosion of exciting international performances of Shakespeare from Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere. The seminar will involve regular in-class performances of scenes from particular plays by seminar participants, who will have the opportunity both to act and to direct others. In addition to raising issues involving the history of transvestite theater, gender performance, and debates over race and ethnicity in relation to the performance of Shakespeare, the seminar will focus on major Shakespeare plays including A Midsummer Night's Dream, Titus Andronicus, Othello, Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice, and others. It will also include important film versions that have been produced over the past two decades. 


Meet the Instructor(s)

Patricia Parker

Patricia Parker taught at the University of East Africa in Tanzania, at the University of Toronto, and at UC Berkeley before coming to Stanford in 1988. Her works include Shakespeare from the Margins; Shakespeare and the Question of Theory; Women, "Race," and Writing in the Early Modern Period; Literary Fat Ladies: Rhetoric, Gender, Property; and Inescapable Romance (on romance from Ariosto to Wallace Stevens). Currently, she is working on several new books on gender and race, and editing new editions of Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. She has delivered the Gauss Seminars at Princeton, Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture at the Folger Shakespeare Library, and other prestigious lectures around the world; and has received Guggenheim, NEH, Mellon, and other major fellowships. She is also the general editor of a major new Shakespeare encyclopedia—The Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopedia, which will be published online by Stanford University Press.