The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0429  Tuesday, 3 September 2013


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

Date:         September 3, 2013 3:28:09 PM EDT

Subject:     Marshall Grossman Lecture Series UMdCP


The Marshall Grossman Lecture Series at the University of Maryland, College Park presents:


Paul Menzer, Mary Baldwin College

September 18, 4:30pm 

Tawes Hall 2115

“Shakespeare, Anecdotally”


The four-hundred-year performance history of Shakespeare’s plays is full of anecdotes – gossipy, trivial, frequently funny, and only ever loosely allegiant to fact. “Shakespeare, Anecdotally” argues that such anecdotes are a vital index to the ways that Shakespeare’s plays generate meaning across varied times and varied places. Furthermore, particular plays accrete peculiar anecdotes – stories of a real skull in Hamlet, superstitions about the name Macbeth – and therefore express something immanent in the plays they attend. Anecdotes constitute then not just a vital component of a play’s performance history but a form of vernacular criticism by the personnel most closely involved in their performance. 





Ayanna Thompson, George Washington University

“Othello in the 21st Century: To Perform or Not To Perform?”

November 6, 4:30pm

Tawes Hall 2115


Although as Dympna Callaghan has said, “Othello was a white man”—that is, the role was written to be performed by the white renaissance actor Richard Burbage in black make-up—the part has come to represent the pinnacle for the classically trained black actor (e.g., Ira Aldridge, Paul Robeson, Earle Hyman, Roscoe Lee Browne, Morgan Freeman, Laurence Fishburne, and more recently Chiwetel Ejiofor). Yet starting in the late 20th century, many black actors began refusing to play Othello. This talk analyzes the debates about Othello’s role in the 21st century; it addresses the complex and dynamic relationships between Shakespeare, race, and performance.





Rob Wakeman, University of Maryland

Graduate student article workshop

“The Tathed Stage”

November 20, 4:30pm

Tawes Hall 2115


The agroecological concept of "tathing" stresses the important relationship between trampling sheep and fertile soil. In this article, I consider the stages of the Towneley and Chester Shepherds' Plays as sheepfolds sated with all manner of lively ovine materials. Wool, mutton, urine and feces, breath, and the warmth of bodies are passed between the actors and animals on their path toward the discovery of the Agnus Dei. Against readings that maintain the use of sheep, food, and animal waste would have been mimed or otherwise rendered “imaginary,” I argue that the concept of a tathed stage provides the plays' metaphors their organic complexity and the plays' allegory its fertile soil.





Visiting in Spring 2014: Erika Lin (George Mason University), Claire Sponsler (University of Iowa) and Henry Turner (Rutgers University)



All are welcome! Events are free and open to the public.


Scott A. Trudell

Assistant Professor

Department of English

3243 Tawes Hall

University of Maryland

College Park, MD 20742



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