1616

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.129  Monday, 18 April 2016

 

From:        Scott Newstok <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 17, 2016 at 9:22:26 PM EDT

Subject:    1616

 

On April 21-22, the Pearce Shakespeare Endowment hosts a free public symposium exploring the year 1616 across the globe:

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/595149500643558/

 

Keynote speaker Thomas Christensen urges us to “think globally,” beyond Shakespeare:

 

http://www.rightreading.com/1616/beyond-shakespeare.htm

 

 

Lectures by Roland Greene, Michael Legaspi, Owen Gingerich, Gideon Manning, William Newman, Catherine Swatek, Mark Algee-Hewitt, Henry Turner, Heather Miyano-Kopelson, and Wendy Wall will be streamed live from Rhodes College:

 

https://youtu.be/QhG1YQmC70U

 

The 1616 symposium concludes with the American premiere of Gareth Somers’ play “1616: The Secrets and Passions of Williams Shakespeare”:

 

http://www.garethsomers.com/

 

Please feel free to contact me for further information: <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

 

Best,

Scott Newstok

Rhodes College

Department of English

www.rhodes.edu/newstok

 

 

Speaking of Shakespeare with Producer Ralph Alan Cohen

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.128  Monday, 18 April 2016

 

From:        John Andrews <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 15, 2016 at 1:22:36 PM EDT

Subject:    Speaking of Shakespeare with Producer Ralph Alan Cohen

 

Speaking of Shakespeare 

With Ralph Alan Cohen of the

American Shakespeare Center

 

Monday, April 18, at 8 p.m.

The National Arts Club

15 Gramercy Park South, Manhattan

Admission Free, but Reservations Requested

 

As Founder and Director of Mission at the American Shakespeare Center, and as Professor of Shakespeare and Performance at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia, Ralph Alan Cohen is widely admired as one of the most imaginative and influential leaders in a profession that is now focused on Shakespeare 400, a global commemoration of the playwright's life and legacy. 

 

Dr. Cohen is the author of Shakesfear and How to Cure It: A Handbook for Teaching Shakespeare, and the host of an annual Blackfriars Conference that attracts scholars and theater professionals to his institution’s extraordinary reproduction of the indoor playhouse in which Shakespeare and his colleagues presented such classics as The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest. For his contributions as a cultural pioneer, Dr. Cohen has earned prestigious awards not only from the Commonwealth of Virginia but from Shakespeare’s Globe in London and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington. 

 

During what promises to be a lively conversation, he’ll talk about the ways in which he and his actors provide today’s audiences with experiences analogous to those of 16th- and 17th-century playgoers. We hope you’ll join us, and that you’ll encourage friends and associates to do likewise. Because space is limited, we request that you reserve space with an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

See www.shakesguild.org/events.html and click on the blue links for details, not only about this engagement, but about upcoming programs with Kiernan Ryan (May 23) of the University of London and Peter Holland (June 20) of the University of Notre Dame.

 

John F Andrews, President

The Shakespeare Guild

1-505-988-9560 (Office)

1-505-670-9815 (Mobile)

www.shakesguild.org  

 

 

Identity of the Clown in Othello

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.127  Friday, 15 April 2016

 

[1] From:        Carol Barton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         April 14, 2016 at 7:09:44 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Othello's Clown 

 

[2] From:        Arnie Perlstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         April 14, 2016 at 11:29:28 PM EDT

     Subject:    Iago as a woman 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Carol Barton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 14, 2016 at 7:09:44 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Othello's Clown

 

Jinny: Iago’s “motiveless malignity” is hardly motiveless—as the mass murders of our era attest. He has been passed over for promotion. He suspects Cassio of cuckolding him. For some people (not, I hope, any of the contributors here), that’s enough. Otherwise, please explain the “motives” of the shooters in San Bernadino; Newtown; Columbine; Charleston, SC; Ft. Hood; the Navy Yard; Son of Sam; and so on. 

 

Our veneer of sophistication and cultural advancement shrivels and falls away like a snakeskin when sociopathy is combined with the perception (warranted or not) of affront. 

 

Iago has more motivation than any of the above did, and Shakespeare was a keenly sensitive observer of human nature.

 

Best to all,

Carol Barton

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Arnie Perlstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 14, 2016 at 11:29:28 PM EDT

Subject:    Iago as a woman

 

Jinny Webber responded to my claims about Iago as the Clown, and as a woman in disguise, as follows:

 

Jinny: “In following this debate I’ve had no strong reaction to your thoughts about the Clown. Intriguing possibility which seems slightly far-fetched.”

 

Whereas, the more I’ve followed up on my initial claims, the clearer it is to me that Iago is the Clown. It fits in a dozen different ways, which all converge on that one interpretation.

  

Jinny: “And the thought that Iago has homoerotic feelings for Othello seems perfectly plausible. How better to explain his ‘motiveless malignity’?”

 

And until last week weekend, that was my best guess as to what was going on with Iago, and I still think it works very well, but the reading of Iago as a woman works even better.

 

Jinny: “However, the notion that Iago is a woman in disguise does not work. Iago is a hardened soldier; his masculinity is not assumed for safety and perhaps temporarily as it is with Viola or Rosalind…. For a woman to convincingly present herself as a man, let alone serve in the army for years, would be extraordinarily difficult. There’s the problem of menses—yes, herbals of the day tell how to end “female courses”, however effectively—as well as urination, dressing in relatively public situations, backstage or in the barracks. Way more is involved than putting on male apparel and padding the crotch.”

 

I have two brief initial rebuttals: 

 

(1) As to your concerns about the insufficient historical realism of a woman soldier pretending to be a man, I believe they would be covered by “creative license”—I’d be willing to bet there are a few dozen major events or characters, even in Shakespeare’s realistic plays, which would not bear up under similar scrutiny as realistic. This would just be one more.

 

(2) How do you account for the women who (apparently) successfully disguised as male soldiers in military history, as described in the following Wikipedia summary on this very point? I’m sure you’ve looked at them as part of your research. Are none of the ones listed historically valid? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wartime_cross-dressers  

 

Jinny: “I’ve spent years on the woman-disguised-as-a-male concept, producing three novels about the historical actor Alexander Cooke from the perspective that ‘he’ was ‘she.’ …. And hey, he had such a person right there in his playing company, if indeed Alexander Cooke was born female (which of course he guessed).”

 

I don’t doubt the depth of your historical knowledge on this point. I had not heard of Cooke before, and thank you for bringing him to my attention. If indeed he was female, that would, it seems to me, give Shakespeare an even greater incentive to conceive of Iago as a woman.

 

Jinny:  “I can’t help but think that if this were the case with Iago, Shakespeare would have given a clue.”

 

Well, that depends on what constitutes a clue—I think that the well recognized parallel between Twelfth Night and Othello, which has as its heart the parallel between Viola and Iago (which, the more I’ve looked at it, has so much more to it than their being the only Shakespearean characters who say “I am not what I am”) constitutes one heck of a big clue. 

 

Shakespeare, like Iago, would not shout out clues, he would whisper them.

 

Thanks very much for your reply,

 

Cheers, 

ARNIE

 

 

 

Identity of the Clown in Othello

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.126  Thursday, 14 April 2016

 

From:        Jinny Webber <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 12, 2016 at 10:13:45 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Othello's Clown

 

Dear Arnie and fellow contributors to this thread,

 

In following this debate I’ve had no strong reaction to your thoughts about the Clown. Intriguing possibility which seems slightly far-fetched. And the thought that Iago has homoerotic feelings for Othello seems perfectly plausible. How better to explain his ‘motiveless malignity’?

 

However, the notion that Iago is a woman in disguise does not work. Iago is a hardened soldier; his masculinity is not assumed for safety and perhaps temporarily as it is with Viola or Rosalind. I’ve spent years on the woman-disguised-as-a-male concept, producing three novels about the historical actor Alexander Cooke from the perspective that ‘he’ was ‘she.’ 

 

For a woman to convincingly present herself as a man, let alone serve in the army for years, would be extraordinarily difficult. There’s the problem of menses—yes, herbals of the day tell how to end “female courses”, however effectively—as well as urination, dressing in relatively public situations, backstage or in the barracks. Way more is involved than putting on male apparel and padding the crotch. I can’t help but think that if this were the case with Iago, Shakespeare would have given a clue. And hey, he had such a person right there in his playing company, if indeed Alexander Cooke was born female (which of course he guessed). 

 

All in good fun,

Jinny Webber

www.jinnywebber.com

 

 

 

Podcast about Shakespeare and Cognition

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.124  Thursday, 14 April 2016

 

From:        Neema Parvini <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 13, 2016 at 10:55:36 AM EDT

Subject:    Podcast about Shakespeare and Cognition

 

Hi there, of possible interest to subscribers:

 

https://blogs.surrey.ac.uk/shakespeare/2016/04/13/shakespeare-and-contemporary-theory-19-shakespeare-and-cognition-with-raphael-lyne/

 

To kick-start season 2 of Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory, Dr Neema Parvini (University of Surrey) spoke with Dr Raphael Lyne (University of Cambridge) about the ‘cognitive turn’ in Shakespeare studies and what studying Shakespeare might be able to tell us about the human mind.

 

 

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