01:090:292:01 Index# 11208
Professor Emily Bartels, SAS - English
M 01:10 - 04:10P
Honors College Rm E128
College Ave Campus
Will count towards the SAS - English major and minor.
To almost quote Hamlet: “What is Shakespeare to you? Or you to Shakespeare?”. The phenomenon of Shakespeare seems to carry an inexhaustible currency across cultures and centuries, proving to be as timely as they are timeless. But what kind of work can Shakespeare do? This experimental course will take Shakespearean drama seriously as a vehicle for multiple kinds of interrogation, interpretation, and expression in our own era. In the first weeks, we will ground our study on close, historically and theatrically alert readings of select plays, among them Othello, The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, and Much Ado About Nothing. We will then work together to think about how to use these plays creatively and effectively to speak to current issues: racial and ethnic diversity and discrimination; gendered and transgendered identities; suicide and homicide; peer, family, and social pressures; materialism and spirituality; the bounds and uncertainties of law; economics, equity, and risk; marital rights and freedoms; political gaming, publicity, and truth. Students will develop and present critical or creative projects (non-fiction essays; digital or graphic stories; advertisements or public service announcements; blogs; performances; production sets) that incorporate Shakespeare intelligently, building on researched interrogations of both Shakespeare and the issue at stake. As we investigate and demonstrate the ways cultural discourses are shaped, students will gain skill in using different forms of written, oral, and visual expression to articulate an argument or address a cause.
The course will open space for students not only to become deeply conversant with Shakespeare but also to pursue interests in history, law, economics, political science, gender studies, communications, sociology, archeology, and science. Bring your own expertise—and imagination.
EMILY BARTELS is author of Speaking of the Moor: From Alcazar to Othello (2008) and Spectacles of Strangeness: Imperialism, Alienation, and Marlowe (1993), which won the Roma Gill Prize for Best Work on Christopher Marlowe, 1993-94. Professor Bartels has received the Board of Trustees Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence (1993) and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Award for Distinguished Contributors to Undergraduate Education (1993) from Rutgers University. She is the Director of the Bread Loaf School of English (Middlebury College), where she has taught since 1995.