The Syrian Lear

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.213  Tuesday, 25 July 2017


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

Date:         July 21, 2017 at 8:57:58 AM EDT

Subject:    The Syrian Lear




There was a story in March 2014 of Syrian children in a refugee camp performing King Lear. I have long wanted to know what has happened to the performers since then. I've also wanted to hear more about why it was Lear that they would choose to do. If anyone knows more of this story, especially an update, please let me know. 


Jack Heller


[Editor’s Note: From The New York Times. –Hardy]




Behind Barbed Wire, Shakespeare Inspires a Cast of Young Syrians


MARCH 31, 2014


ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan — On a rocky patch of earth in this sprawling city of tents and prefab trailers, the king, dressed in dirty jeans and a homemade cape, raised his wooden scepter and announced his intention to divide his kingdom. His elder daughters, wearing paper crowns and plastic jewelry, showered him with false praise, while the youngest spoke truthfully and lost her inheritance.


So began a recent adaptation here of “King Lear.” For the 100 children in the cast, it was their first brush with Shakespeare, although they were already deeply acquainted with tragedy.


All were refugees who had fled the civil war in Syria. Some had seen their homes destroyed. Others had lost relatives to violence. Many still had trouble sleeping or jumped at loud noises. And now home was here, in this isolated, treeless camp, a place of poverty, uncertainty and boredom.

Reflecting the demographics of Syria’s wider refugee crisis, more than half of the 587,000 refugees registered in Jordan are younger than 18, according to the United Nations. About 60,000 of those young people live in the Zaatari camp, where fewer than a quarter regularly attend school.


Parents and aid workers fear that Syria’s war threatens to create a lost generation of children who are scarred by violence and miss vital years of education, and that those experiences and disadvantages will follow them into adulthood.


The “King Lear” performance, the conclusion of a project than spanned months, was one attempt to fight that threat.


“The show is to bring back laughter, joy and humanity,” said its director, Nawar Bulbul, a 40-year-old Syrian actor known at home for his role in “Bab al-Hara,” an enormously popular historical drama that was broadcast throughout the Arab world.


The “King Lear” performance, the conclusion of a project than spanned months, was one attempt to fight that threat.


“The show is to bring back laughter, joy and humanity,” said its director, Nawar Bulbul, a 40-year-old Syrian actor known at home for his role in “Bab al-Hara,” an enormously popular historical drama that was broadcast throughout the Arab world.


The sun blazed on the day of the performance, staged on a rocky rectangle of land surrounded by a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire. The 12 main actors stood in the middle, while the rest of the cast stood behind them, a chorus that provided commentary and dramatic sound effects. The audience sat on the ground.


When each of Lear’s first two daughters tricked him with false flattery in elegant, formal Arabic, the chorus members yelled “Liar! Hypocrite!” until the sisters told them to shut up.


[ . . . ]





Stephen Greenblatt: Shakespeare’s Cure for Xenophobia

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.212  Tuesday, 25 July 2017


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

Date:         July 18, 2017 at 7:54:32 PM EDT

Subject:    Stephen Greenblatt: Shakespeare’s Cure for Xenophobia


Shakespeare’s Cure for Xenophobia

What “The Merchant of Venice” taught me about ethnic hatred and the literary imagination.

By Stephen Greenblatt


I attended university in a very different world from the one in which I now teach and live. For a start, Yale College, which I entered in 1961, was all male. Women were not matriculated until five years after I had received my B.A. degree. Among the undergraduates, there were only a handful of students from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and very few African-Americans, Asian-Americans, or Hispanics, unless one counted a couple of prep-school-educated heirs to grand South American fortunes.


The Yale that I attended was overwhelmingly North American and white, as well as largely Protestant. It was difficult for the admissions office to identify Catholics, but applicants with conspicuously Irish, Italian, or Polish names were at a disadvantage. For Jews, there was a numerus clausus, not even disguised by the convenient excuse of “geographical distribution.” And the whole system was upheld by a significant number of legacies, along with a pervasive air of privilege and clubbiness. To display too much interest in one’s studies or a concern for grades was distinctly uncool. This was still the era of what was called the “gentleman’s C.”


I picked all this up within days of arriving in New Haven, but Yale was for me an unfamiliar country whose customs I knew that I could never master. Neither of my parents had gone to college. My mother, along with the other girls in her family, was expected to begin work as a secretary directly after high school. Though my father practiced law, he had attended law school just after serving in the First World War, when a liberal-arts degree was not yet a prerequisite. A good thing, too, since my grandfather, a ragpicker, would have had difficulty mustering the will or the means to pay even the modest tuition fees then required. My grandparents were not indifferent to learning, but they were poor, and for them any learning that was not vocational was necessarily religious. The highest status in their cultural world came not from wealth or power but from the possession of Talmudic knowledge. Theirs was an insular community in which sexual selection—for Darwin, a central motor of mammalian evolution—had for centuries favored slender, nearsighted, stoop-shouldered young men rocking back and forth as they pondered the complex, heavily annotated, often esoteric tractates of Jewish law.


None of this was part of my upbringing: most of it had been abandoned when my grandparents fled tsarist Lithuania, in the late eighteen-eighties, and settled in Boston. But the heavy Talmudic volumes left a residue, an inherited respect for textual interpretation that—reshaped into secularized form—led people like me to embrace the humanities, an arena in which the English Department held pride of place. When I began to take classes at Yale, I could not understand, let alone emulate, the amused indifference of many of my classmates. I felt within me what in 1904 Henry James, observing immigrants in New York, reproved as “the waiting spring of intelligence,” signalling the “immensity of the alien presence climbing higher and higher.” I did not feel alien—I was born in this country, as my parents had been, and I donned my Yale sweatshirt without a sense of imposture—but I seized upon the opportunity I’d been granted to learn with an energy that seemed slightly foreign.


I had a particularly intense engagement with my freshman English-literature course. Midway through the year, the professor asked me if I would be interested in being his research assistant, helping him prepare the index for a book he had just completed. Ecstatic, I immediately agreed. In those days, research assistants were required to apply for their jobs through the financial-aid office, where I dutifully made an appointment. I was in for a surprise.


“Greenblatt is a Jewish name, isn’t it?” the financial-aid officer said. I agreed that it was. “Frankly,” he went on, “we are sick and tired of the number of Jews who come into this office after they’re admitted and try to wheedle money out of Yale University.” I stammered, “How can you make such a generalization?”


“Well, Mr. Greenblatt,” he replied, “what do you think of Sicilians?” I answered that I didn’t think I knew any Sicilians. “J. Edgar Hoover,” he continued, citing the director of the F.B.I., “has statistics that prove that Sicilians have criminal tendencies.” So, too, he explained, Yale had statistics that proved that a disproportionate number of Jewish students were trying to get money from the university by becoming research assistants. Then he added, “We could people this whole school with graduates of the Bronx High School of Science, but we choose not to do so.” Pointing out lamely that I had gone to high school in Newton, Massachusetts, I slunk away without a job.


The conversation left me shaken. Decades later, I recall it with a blend of outrage and wonder inflected by my recognition of the fact that African-American students have had it much worse, and that other ethnic groups and religions have now replaced Jews as the focus of the anxiety that afflicted my interlocutor. What was particularly upsetting to me at the time was that the experience appeared to confirm my parents’ worst fears—fears that had struck me, when I was growing up, as absurdly outdated and provincial. For my parents, the world was rigidly divided between “us” and “them,” and they lived their lives, it seemed to me, as if they were forever hemmed into an ethnic ghetto.


Shortly after my encounter with the financial-aid officer, T. S. Eliot, the greatest living poet in the English language and a winner of the Nobel Prize, came to Yale. Catching the excitement of the impending visit, I began to read him with an avidity that has continued into the present. But that meant that I quickly encountered the strain of anti-Semitism in Eliot’s early poetry and prose, a strain no less ugly for being typical of his conservative milieu. “The population should be homogeneous,” Eliot told an audience at the University of Virginia in 1933, the year that Hitler came to power and the prospect arose of a mass outpouring of refugees seeking protection from the growing menace. “Where two or more cultures exist in the same place they are likely either to be fiercely self-conscious or both to become adulterate.” Perhaps it occurred to him that it was already far too late to prevent two or more cultures from existing in the United States. “What is still more important is unity of religious background,” he added, and then made his point more explicitly: “Reasons of race and religion combine to make any large number of free-thinking Jews undesirable.’’


Eliot’s powerful early poetry had already made this undesirability clear. In “Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar,” he conjured up the primal ooze from which he saw those creatures emerging:


A lustreless protrusive eye

Stares from the protozoic slime

At a perspective of Canaletto.

The smoky candle end of time

Declines. On the Rialto once.

The rats are underneath the piles.

The jew is underneath the lot.


“On the Rialto once”: Eliot did not finish the thought, but I did. In the course of that freshman year, I read Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” with its echoing question, “What news on the Rialto?” Encountering the play at the moment I did, together with T. S. Eliot, seemed only to reinforce my parents’ grimmest account of the way things were.


There is something very strange about experiencing “The Merchant of Venice” when you are somehow imaginatively implicated in the character and actions of its villain. You laugh when Shylock’s servant, the clown Gobbo, contemplates running away from his penny-pinching master. You smile when Shylock’s daughter, Jessica, having escaped from her father’s dark house into the arms of her beloved, declares, “I shall be saved by my husband. He hath made me a Christian.” You shudder when the implacable Shylock sharpens his knife on the sole of his boot. You applaud the resolution of the dilemma, when clever Portia comes up with the legal technicality that confounds Shylock’s murderous plan. The Jew who had insisted upon the letter of the law is undone by the letter of the law; it is what is called poetic justice. But, all the same, you feel uneasy.


What, exactly, are you applauding and smiling at? How are you supposed to view the Jewish daughter who robs her father and bestows the money on her fortune-hunting Christian suitor? Do you join in the raucous laughter of the Christians who mock and spit on the Jew? Or do you secretly condone Shylock’s vindictive, malignant rage? Where are you, at the end of the harrowing scene in the courtroom, when Portia asks the man she has outmaneuvered and ruined whether he agrees to the terms she has dictated, terms that include the provision that he immediately become a Christian? “Art thou contented, Jew?” she prods. “What dost thou say?” And what do you think the Jew actually feels when he answers, “I am content”?


Back in my undergraduate days, when I began to ask these questions, I came to a decision. I wasn’t going to allow myself to be crushed by the bigoted financial-aid officer, but I wasn’t going to adopt my parents’ defensive posture, either. I wouldn’t attempt to hide my otherness and pass for what I was not. I wouldn’t turn away from works that caused me pain as well as pleasure. Instead, insofar as I could, I would pore over the whole vast, messy enterprise of culture as if it were my birthright.


[ . . . ]




BSA Bulletin - July / August 2017

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.211  Tuesday, 25 July 2017


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

Date:         July 24, 2017 at 6:58:59 PM EDT

Subject:    BSA Bulletin - July / August 2017


The BSA Bulletin — July-August 2017




CALL FOR PAPERS: British Shakespeare Association annual conference: Shakespeare Studies Today, Queen’s University Belfast, 14-17 June 2018 


Shakespeare Studies is one of the most rich and dynamic areas of interdisciplinary enquiry. It embraces historical explorations of Shakespeare’s canon, ranges across four hundred years of world theatre and performance history, and is continually renewed by Shakespeare’s iconic status in contemporary culture, film and media. Shakespeare draws together academics, teachers, theatre professionals, practitioners, readers and enthusiasts. At the same time, Shakespeare is a global commodity, reinvented in every culture and nation, meaning that his work prompts world-wide conversation. Following on from the 2016 celebrations, the 2018 BSA conference offers an opportunity for academics, practitioners enthusiasts and teachers (primary, secondary and sixth- form teachers and college lecturers) to reflect upon Shakespeare Studies today. Plenary Speakers include: Prof. Pascale Aebischer (University of Exeter), Prof. Clara Calvo (University of Murcia), Prof. Richard Dutton (Queen’s University Belfast), Prof. Courtney Lehmann (University of the Pacific) and Prof. Ayanna Thompson (George Washington University). UK Premieres include: Veeram (dir. Jayaraj, 2016), a South Indian film adaptation of Macbeth, and Hermia and Helena (dir. Matías Piñeiro, 2016), an Argentine adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. BSA 2018 also includes: Q+As with theatre director Andrea Montgomery (The Belfast Tempest, 2016) and film directors Jayaraj and Matías Piñeiro. 


There are four ways to participate in BSA 2018:


1. Submit an abstract for a 20-minute paper. Abstracts (100 words) and a short biography to be submitted by 1 October 2017 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2. Submit a proposal for a panel session consisting of three 20-minute papers. Abstracts for all three papers (100 words each), a rationale for the panel (100 words) and short speaker biographies to be submitted by 1 October 2017 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


3. Submit a proposal for a performance / practice or education workshop or a teachers’ INSET session. For a workshop, submit a summary proposal outlining aims and activities and a biographical statement. For an INSET session (either a one-hour event or a twenty-minute slot), submit a summary proposal and biographical statement. All proposals to be submitted by 1 October 2017 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


4. Submit an abstract to join a seminar. The seminar format involves circulating a short paper in advance of the conference and then meeting to discuss all of the papers in Belfast. Abstracts (100 words), a short biography and a statement of your seminar of preference to be submitted by 1 October 2017 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


For full details of the available seminars and all other information, please visit this link: http ://www . britishshakespeare . ws/bsa-news/call-for-papers-2018-bsa-conference/


BSA election of new Trustees

As several Trustees are now approaching the end of their terms of service, the Board of Trustees of the British Shakespeare Association wishes to appoint new Trustees to take up positions on the Board in September 2017. Nominations have been received and an election is now in progress. All current members of the BSA are entitled to vote. Details on how to do this will be circulated to current members today. The ballot will close on 31st August.


Nominations open for our Honorary Fellowships for 2018

This year, 2017, the BSA Honorary Fellowships are to be given to Sarah Stanton—formerly Publisher of Shakespeare and Early Modern Literature Studies at Cambridge University Press—and to the actor Adrian Lester. The BSA’s Fellowship Committee would like to invite all current Members of the BSA to offer nominations for next year’s award. The choice for nomination should fulfil the following criterion: ‘The title of ‘Honorary Fellow of the British Shakespeare Association’ should be reserved for those who, at whatever level, have made, or are making, over a significant period of time, a major contribution to the field of Shakespeare activities, whether it be in Scholarship, Education more generally, or in the Performance of the plays.’ All nominations, from whichever area or constituency, require the names of two nominators (a Proposer and a Seconder) and a formal written proposal, stating the case for nomination. This text should be at least 250 words in length. The closing date for nominations is 1st September 2017. Full information on how to submit nominations are available here: http ://www . britishshakespeare . ws/bsa-news/nominations-open-for-our-2018-fellowships/


Annual conferences for 2018, 2019, and 2020

The institutions that will host our three upcoming annual conferences and their titles are as follows. The BSA Annual Conference of 2018 will take place at Queen’s University Belfast on 14-17 June under the title Shakespeare Studies Today. Swansea University will host the conference in 2019 with the title Shakespeare: Race and Nation, while in 2020 it will take place at the University of Surrey and the theme will be Shakespeare in Action. We would like to thank all three institutions for the hard work they have invested in their applications, and we look forward to visiting Belfast, Swansea, and Surrey in due course. The Belfast and Swansea BSA conferences will be the first to take place in Northern Ireland and in Wales, respectively, which is enormously exciting, as the BSA would have visited all four constituent nations of the United Kingdom by the end of 2019.


BSA funding available for conference, events, and other activities

The BSA is able to award small amounts of money to Shakespeare-related education events, academic conferences and other activities taking place in the UK. For more information or to apply for funding, please email the Chair of the Events Committee, Susan Anderson (  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or the Chair of the Education Committee, Sarah Olive (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


LAST DAY: £10 Amazon voucher offered in return for your participation in a study of Teaching Shakespeare’s impact

We are currently carrying out an evaluation of the impact of Teaching Shakespeare, the British Shakespeare Association magazine, which aims to provide support for Shakespeare educators across sectors. This evaluation is being carried out by the editor and founder of the magazine Dr Sarah Olive and research assistant at the University of York, Dr Chelsea Swift. The British Shakespeare Association are also a named project partner. The aim of this evaluation is to evidence the impact of the magazine on its non-academic readership (and those who hold roles in other sectors as well as academia). This is with a view to gaining a better understanding of how it is read and used by practitioners, and how its relevance to educators and usefulness for practitioners might be strengthened. We are interested in how and why you read the magazine and whether and how the magazine has influenced or changed your thinking about, attitudes towards and practices when teaching Shakespeare.


As a ‘thank you’ for participating in a short telephone or Skype interview with a researcher, each interviewee will receive a £10 Amazon voucher. If you are willing and able to participate, would like further information or have any further questions, please contact Dr Chelsea Swift (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view, July 24th, giving your name and the address to which you would like your Amazon voucher posted. We will ensure you receive it ASAP.


Your participation would be much appreciated, we look forward to hearing from you soon.


Dr Sarah Olive and Dr Chelsea Swift




 Teachers’ Conference: Shakespeare and Creativity, The Shakespeare Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 3-5 August 2017 POSTPONED

Please note that the first Teachers’ Conference organised by the BSA and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has now been postponed until further notice. We will keep members informed of future updates.



The new film of Macbeth, directed by Kit Monkman (2017), reviewed by Alison Findlay and Ramona Wray

Our Chair, Professor Alison Findlay, and our trustee Dr Ramona Wray review Kit Monkman’s new film of Macbethhttp ://www . britishshakespeare . ws/bsa-news/a-review-of-macbeth-dir-kit-monkman-2017/


Report from the Living and Dying Well in the Early Modern World Conference,  University of Exeter, 15-16 June 2017

The BSA is proud to have sponsored the Living and Dying Well in the Early Modern World conference at the University of Exeter on 15th and 16th June 2017. The following report is by Bailey Sincox, a PhD student at Harvard University: http ://www . britishshakespeare . ws/bsa-news/report-from-the-living-and-dying-well-in-the-early-modern-world-conference/


Reports from the Offensive Shakespeare Conference, Northumbria University, 23-24 May 2017

The BSA is proud to have sponsored the Offensive Shakespeare Conference at Northumbria University on 23rd and 24th May 2017. Our website includes reports written by those who received BSA bursaries for the event: John Rowell and Shauna O’Brien. They are available here: http ://www . britishshakespeare . ws/bsa-news/reports-from-the-offensive-shakespeare-conference/


New Editors for the Education Network Blog

As of February 2017, following on from the excellent work of Dr Sarah Olive, our Education Network blog will be jointly edited by the BSA’s two Teaching Trustees: Chris Green and Karen Eckersall. Chris and Karen will welcome any contributions to the education network blog. You can contact them with articles, ideas or questions at the following email addresses: Chris Green – Karen Eckersall – More information on: http ://www . britishshakespeare . ws/bsa-news/new-editors-of-the-education-network-blog/ 




Teaching Shakespeare 12 is out!

We are pleased to announce that the twelfth issue of Teaching Shakespeare and the first ever summer issue of the magazine, with articles on Shakespeare in Hanoi, on Shakespeare and autistic students, on young offenders and Othello, and on digitized promptbooks, is now available for free download. You can download your free copy here: http ://www  .  britishshakespeare  .  ws/bsa-news/teaching-shakespeare-12-is-out/




We are pleased to advertise news and activities by our members and other Shakespeare associations. If you would like to advertise a Shakespeare-related activity, please email our Membership Officer, José A. Pérez Díez, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Items below are not affiliated with or endorsed by the BSA – please use individual contact details for more information.


The Story of the Shakespeare Club of Stratford-upon-Avon 1824-2016, Susan Brock and Sylvia Morris, available now.

In their new book, The Story of the Shakespeare Club of Stratford-upon-Avon 1824-2016, Susan Brock and Sylvia Morris answer the question “How did it come about that a small market town in the centre of England became the focus of the worldwide worship of Shakespeare?”  After all, London’s claims were much stronger being the place where he became famous and spent the most productive years of his life. The story of the part played by the Shakespeare Club of Stratford-upon-Avon, set up nearly 200 years ago by ordinary townsfolk and still in existence today, is told in this alternative history of the town. The Club was responsible for organising the first local festivities for Shakespeare’s Birthday on 23 April in 1827, 1830 and 1833. It played an important part in saving Shakespeare’ s Birthplace and setting up the Birthplace Trust. It worked towards the preservation of the Shakespeare monuments and the graves in Holy Trinity Church and it played a huge part in setting up the theatres in Stratford so that Shakespeare’s plays have a permanent home for their performance outside London. The fully-illustrated book is based on documentary evidence provided by the rich archives of the Club dating back to its foundation in 1824 and the archives of Stratford-upon-Avon which are preserved in the collections of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Published by the Shakespeare Club of Stratford-upon-Avon, copies (£12.99) are available direct from www  .  stratfordshakespeareclub  .  org or write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


King Lear (alone), one-man play with inamoment theatre.

After its highly acclaimed full outing last year, inamoment theatre's one-man play King Lear (alone) is this month appearing at the Buxton Fringe Festival (13,14 & 15) and the Bristol Shakespeare Festival (27,28 & 29). Full details can be found at www . kinglearalone . uk. Using mostly Shakespeare's words, it's an astonishing piece of immersive theatre retelling the events that led to Lear's tragedy. "I left the theatre feeling like I’d been exposed to a flawed individual at their most honest . . . " "King Lear (Alone) is a gripping production and the formidable performance given by Bob Young makes it compelling viewing."  "Bob Young in the title role, is a powerful performer. His tormented character takes shape thanks to his profound voice, whilst his presence on stage appears carefully studied..... In Bob Young's poignant (portrayal), the play is quite intense." 


Hamlet's Bastard by Mick Foster

This new novel developed from a well-received production of the play by Chelmsford Theatre Workshop. The CTW production took the view that the Prince and his father are selfish and rather callous characters, something that audiences overlook because of the glamour cast by the glorious language. We emphasised the cruelty of the Prince, and gave a relatively sympathetic portrayal of Claudius. The novel develops these ideas. It tells the story from the viewpoint of a bastard son of the young Prince, who interviews the survivors and uncovers a different perspective on what happened and why. The bastard son also finds himself embroiled in court politics under the Norwegian King Fortinbras. The  way he deals with the danger of being the only surviving member of the Danish royal family provides a contrast to his father's tragic story. The novel is available at http ://www . amazon . com/author/mickfoster.



Recommendations for Associate Editor and Upcoming Hiatus

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.210  Monday, 24 July 2017


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

Date:        Monday, July 24, 2017

Subject:   Recommendations for Associate Editor and Upcoming Hiatus 


Dear Subscribers,


I have not received any applications for Associate Editor. I did receive one from someone who would assist but did not have the credentials that I desire for one I would hand over SHAKSPER to when I decide to give it up.


I recently had a significant birthday that made me reflect on my own mortality, so I am doubly concerned about the future of SHAKSPER. I cannot go on forever.


Consequently, I am changing my plea. If anyone knows of an advanced Graduate Student or tenure-track Assistant Professor who you might recommend as a possible replacement for me, please contact that person and have her send a CV and letter of interest to me. 


Along these lines, I am going to England for the last module in the Bodhi College Committed Practitioners’ Programme that I have been enrolled in for the past two years. I will leave late August 2 and return late August 9.




The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.209  Friday, 14 July 2017


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

Date:         July 13, 2017 at 5:52:13 PM EDT

Subject:    RE: SHAKSPER:


Responding to Gerald E. Downs.  Q: 


The problem with is that they charge a fee from students/scholars/people in general who want to download our materials without joining the site.  How we may feel about a site being able to profit from our work will likely vary, but I was not happy about it.  While I still have a site there, I removed my articles and left directions for anyone interested to download my articles for free from MLA-Humanities Commons.  See which also allows you to build a website, but will not charge you for it. has started charging its users for various services like web sites and their enhanced analytics data. 


All best,



Cristina León Alfar, PhD

Associate Professor

Hunter College, CUNY




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