2009

Job Posting

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0212  Wednesday, 6 May 2009

From:       Gert Buelens <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Tuesday, 5 May 2009 17:20:02 +0200
Subject:    Job Posting

The Faculty of Arts of Ghent University announces a possible 
tenure-track professorship in the field of English literature of the 
sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with a starting date of 
1 February 2010. Candidates for such a position should have earned the 
PhD degree no earlier than 1 February 2003. They should have a strong 
research record, with an emphasis on peer-reviewed articles in 
international journals and in books with international publishers that 
likewise use peer review.

These professorships involve an appointment for an initial period of 
five years, in the rank of lecturer. Upon successful review of the 
dossier at the end of this period, tenure is offered, in the rank of 
senior lecturer. Promotion to full professor is possible after a further 
eight years, on a competitive basis. The positions carry a limited 
teaching load.

Candidates who meet the criteria and who would consider moving to Ghent 
are asked to contact the coordinator of the English literature section, 
Professor Gert Buelens, by e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) as soon as 
possible. We would be grateful if you could alert anyone who might be 
interested.

The Faculty of Arts of Ghent University announces a possible 
tenure-track professorship in the field of English literature of the 
sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, with a starting date 
of 1 February 2010. Candidates for such a position should have earned 
the PhD degree no earlier than 1 February 2003. They should have a 
strong research record, with an emphasis on peer-reviewed articles in 
international journals and in books with international publishers that 
likewise use peer review.

These professorships involve an appointment for an initial period of 
five years, in the rank of lecturer. Upon successful review of the 
dossier at the end of this period, tenure is offered, in the rank of 
senior lecturer. Promotion to full professor is possible after a further 
eight years, on a competitive basis. The positions carry a limited 
teaching load.

Candidates who meet the criteria and who would consider moving to Ghent 
are asked to contact the coordinator of the English literature section, 
Professor Gert Buelens, by e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) as soon as 
possible. We would be grateful if you could alert anyone who might be 
interested.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

BSA 2009 Seminar: "Shakespeare in Wartime: The 20th

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0211  Wednesday, 6 May 2009

From:       A. J. Hoenselaars <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Wednesday, 6 May 2009 14:00:41 +0200
Subject:    BSA 2009 Seminar: "Shakespeare in Wartime: The 20th Century"

Dear colleagues,

At the forthcoming BSA conference, devoted to LOCAL/GLOBAL SHAKESPEARES 
(London, 11-13 September 2009) we shall be convening a seminar devoted 
to "Shakespeare in Wartime: The 20th Century." If you are interested in 
joining the discussion, write to either of us at the email addresses below.

We look forward to a fruitful discussion with many of you.

Sincerely,
Ton Hoenselaars and Clara Calvo

"Shakespeare in Wartime: The 20th Century": This seminar seeks to 
generate a discussion of wartime appropriations of Shakespeare and his 
works in the course of the twentieth century. Papers may focus on the 
ways in which Shakespeare has been used for propaganda or anti-war 
purposes, how his work has functioned in the debate over alliances, has 
helped to account for neutrality, or has contributed to seek peace. 
Papers may also study the ways in which Shakespeare and his work have 
served to come to terms with wartime experiences in more personal terms 
(letters, diaries, poetry), or how the production, criticism, 
translation and adaptation of Shakespeare's plays and poems has been 
affected by wartime conditions (fund raising, amateur Shakespeare). It 
is hoped that papers discussing these issues will also bear in mind the 
issue of multi-locality that comes naturally with the idea of war and 
address relations between European nations, but also between Europe and 
the US, or Europe and other continents, in order to reflect on the 
status of "Shakespeare" as an English, a European, and a world author.

Please send your proposal (200 word max) to: Ton Hoenselaars 
(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. <mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>) and Clara 
Calvo (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. <mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>). Proposals should be 
submitted by 31 May 2009.

For further information, please consult the conference website at:

http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/humanities/news/conferences/localglobal/ 
<https://solismail.uu.nl/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/humanities/news/conferences/localglobal/>

With apologies for possible cross-posting


______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Playing Capulet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0209  Saturday, 2 May 2009

From:       Charles Weinstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 30 Apr 2009 23:28:07 -0400
Subject:    Playing Iago (and Capulet)

After 33 years, John Woodvine is still the best Capulet I've seen. His 
tears of rage and baffled love did not detract in the least from his 
obduracy, or from Juliet's sense of entrapment.

  -- Charles Weinstein

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Playing Iago

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0210  Saturday, 2 May 2009

[1] From:   Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Thursday, 30 Apr 2009 12:21:30 -0400
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0204 Playing Iago

[2] From:   Lynn Brenner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Thursday, 30 Apr 2009 12:46:22 EDT
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0204 Playing Iago

[3] From:   Lynn Brenner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Thursday, 30 Apr 2009 14:08:49 EDT
     Subj:   Re: Playing Iago, etc

[4] From:   Alan Pierpoint <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Thursday, 30 Apr 2009 14:56:50 -0400
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0204 Playing Iago

[5] From:   Mike Shapiro <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Thursday, 30 Apr 2009 18:29:13 -0700
     Subj:   RE: SHK 20.0204 Playing Iago

[6] From:   Robert Projansky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Saturday, 2 May 2009 03:16:17 -0700
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0204 Playing Iago


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 30 Apr 2009 12:21:30 -0400
Subject: 20.0204 Playing Iago
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0204 Playing Iago

This from Louis Swilley:

 >A mad (insane) character has no moral responsibility for his
 >actions and therefore very little potential as a dramatic figure;
 >he has become merely pathetic. He is no more than a deadly
 >storm or plague

I suppose we can understand Leontes in this fashion, but neither he nor 
(I believe) most members of the audience are willing to exonerate him as 
a victim rather than an active agent.

And from Joe Egert:

 >Iago's class resentment seems deep and abiding in both his conduct
 >and ironic echoing of others' patronizing use of 'good' and 'honest'.
 >Like Hamlet and Macbeth, he lacks advancement.

I don't see Iago as a typical proto-democrat reacting against the unjust 
privileges of the upper classes. Ironically, Venice's incomplete 
adoption of meritocratic policies  --  the kind of thing that allows 
someone like Othello to become commander-in-chief  --  causes Iago to 
resent more acutely the slight of being passed over in favour of a git 
like Cassio. Iago sees himself (correctly, to my mind) as the only truly 
intelligent person he knows. His actions are all designed to prove that, 
to himself at least.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Lynn Brenner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 30 Apr 2009 12:46:22 EDT
Subject: 20.0204 Playing Iago
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0204 Playing Iago

 >In the recent Alley production of "Othello",
 >Desdemona knelt before  Iago, weeping and begging him to
 >help her convince Othello of her  devotion; Iago moved his
 >hand over her bowed head and was about to  caress it in
 >sympathy - but then quickly brought his hand behind his
 >back with his fist clenched.

I think Iago has to be powerfully affected by Desdemona's appeal for 
help. But that doesn't mean he must be moved to sympathy for her.

Take Liev Schrieber's Iago at the Public Theatre a few years ago:

When Desdemona appealed to him, weeping, she leaned momentarily against 
his shoulder, and his hand hovered over her head, almost caressing her 
hair. But the fleeting look on his face was an unforgettable combination 
of erotic and homicidal excitement.

Schrieber's Iago had boundless contempt for his victims, correctly 
anticipating all their reactions, and affecting total control over his 
own emotions  --  but he clearly hadn't expected Desdemona to come so 
close to crying in his arms, and in that brief moment, we saw naked 
uncontrolled emotion on his face. It still gives me chills to remember it.

Lynn Brenner

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Lynn Brenner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 30 Apr 2009 14:08:49 EDT
Subject:    Re: Playing Iago, etc

 >In a long-ago production of "Romeo and Juliet", John Wood as Capulet
 >raged against his daughter for refusing to marry Paris   --   but broke
 >into tears in the midst of his rage.

<Thus making complete hash of the plot, which demands that Juliet find 
herself trapped with no exit.>

Nonsense! Surely Capulet's tears were for himself. After all the trouble 
and expense he has gone to  --  raising Juliet, decking her out in 
costly finery, paying for all those music lessons, arranging a good 
marriage  --  the ungrateful girl is going to make him a laughingstock 
in front of Paris's family and the rest of the nobility. It's more than 
enough to make the poor man weep in rage and self-pity!!

The tears make him human, but they don't make him sympathetic.

Nine times out of ten at least, playing a villain for sympathy is 
self-indulgence: It's the actor, not the character, who wants to be liked.

Besides, if Shakespeare wants the audience to like a villain, you can be 
sure they will. Richard III is irresistibly charming despite being 
ruthlessly evil; but I'm hard put to think of a less likeable character 
than Iago. I don't feel any twinges of sympathy for Capulet, either. 
That doesn't mean they're not human; in drama as in life, there are 
human beings one can't stand.

Lynn Brenner

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Alan Pierpoint <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 30 Apr 2009 14:56:50 -0400
Subject: 20.0204 Playing Iago
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0204 Playing Iago

Joseph Egert writes:

Budding? Both Othello and Iago have been trained serial killers for much 
of their lives in the endless wars that make ambition virtue.

Okay, veteran serial killer. But are you suggesting that all soldiers, 
or all soldiers who kill people, are serial killers, or on the same 
moral plane as Iago? Are you putting Othello on that plane?

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Mike Shapiro <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 30 Apr 2009 18:29:13 -0700
Subject: 20.0204 Playing Iago
Comment:    RE: SHK 20.0204 Playing Iago

John W Kennedy

 >Then why except their grammar and vocabulary?

Because human motivation and instincts related to the seven deadly sins 
do not change very much over the centuries, the human perspective 
regarding such does. For instance, the way we approach an extra marital 
affair today is different than how looked in 1603. Today we know we are 
in for a roller coaster ride. So we might experience surrender to the 
instincts that would be recognizable to today's audience (Same Time Next 
Year). In 1603 the psychology regarding such was different and actors 
had the base attitudes and behavior of their community from which to 
draw. I want to experience the infectious truth of the now, not the 
staged presentation of a document.

Mike Shapiro

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Robert Projansky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Saturday, 2 May 2009 03:16:17 -0700
Subject: 20.0204 Playing Iago
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0204 Playing Iago

 >It is the duty of every director and every actor of roles of
 >villains to make him/her as sympathetic to the audience as
 >possible.

Absolutely not so.

 >In the recent Alley production of "Othello",
 >Desdemona knelt before  Iago, weeping and begging him to
 >help her convince Othello of her  devotion; Iago moved his
 >hand over her bowed head and was about to  caress it in
 >sympathy - but then quickly brought his hand behind his
 >back with his fist clenched.

How could a caress there be anything but a phony one, the diametrical 
opposite of sympathy for her? And why would such a gesture make him 
sympathetic to the audience as he blows off her request without the 
slightest offer of help? Maybe aborting the gesture means that 
particular Iago played it as suddenly thinking a false show of  sympathy 
too risky for the little he might gain from it, i.e., the  physical 
self-indulgence of his sense of power over her, the  gratification of 
literally holding her head in his hand, just as he  holds her life in 
his hand.

 >In a long-ago production of "Romeo and Juliet", John Woodvine as
 >Capulet raged against his daughter for refusing to marry Paris     -- 
    but
 >broke into tears in the midst of his rage.
 >These humanizing corrections are necessary; otherwise we are merely
 >given the one-dimensional, "you-must-pay-the-rent" villain of cheap
 >drama.

Capulet, played as he's written is as human as anybody  --  more, 
really, and not in the least villainous. What does he have to cry  about 
in that scene? Nothing. And we know that when crossed he doesn't get 
weepy, he gets tough. Gawd, what did that actor do when they found 
Juliet dead? Just because an actor can think of something to do doesn't 
mean he should do it.

Villains need not be made sympathetic to be interesting (think Idi  Amin 
or Richard B. Cheney), and interesting is what really counts in  the 
theater. We aren't given a one-dimensional villain anywhere in 
Shakespeare, and certainly none who needs to be humanized against the 
text to attain sufficient dimensionality. Shakespeare doesn't give 
Shylock a word of affection to say to or about Jessica, but years ago 
Dustin Hoffman,  in NY, chose to make up for Shakespeare's  shortcomings 
by slathering a big blob of wordless affection on his  Jessica. His 
attempt to humanize Shylock and make him sympathetic was  awful and his 
dumbshow stopped the play dead in its tracks.

I have never seen Iago played badly but I suppose playing him against 
the text and thinking up clever actions to help do it would be a  great 
way to start.

Best to all,
Bob Projansky

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Othello and the Law

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0208  Saturday, 2 May 2009

From:       Harry Berger Jr <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 30 Apr 2009 08:50:52 -0700
Subject: 20.0203 Othello and the Law
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0203 Othello and the Law

I second Larry Weiss's good response and just want to add that the 
question of law comes up more centrally and problematically in 
Shakespeare's other Venetian play, in which Portia seems to have  pulled 
a law out of her hat.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

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