Organization: Northeast Modern Language Association
This roundtable examines the re-location of Shakespeare in America from the angle of regional production, performance, pedagogy, culture, and impact with a focus on race, class, gender, history, and culture.
The story of “Shakespeare” in America is more than a history of books and performances. It is also a story of politics and society – of race, class, gender, and their intersections, of “culture” in the fullest sense of the word – all of which is deeply inflected by the real and imagined past of particular places. This roundtable examines the re-location of Shakespeare in America from the focused angle of regional production, performance, pedagogy, culture, and impact. We are interested in presentations that explicitly investigate the connection between a region and Shakespeare. Our focus on region takes on a variety of perspectives including: geographical (north/south, east/west, state/nation), historical (across the centuries), cultural, and more. We invite presentations that compare regions and/or that provide a close look at how one region engages with Shakespeare.
In line with the conference theme on surplus, this roundtable seeks to engage with both the productive excesses of regional Shakespeare as well as its deficits, shortfalls, debts. Where does regional Shakespeare shine? Where does it fall? What impact has Shakespeare and its interpretations, adaptations, and reimaginings had on regions? Here we will discuss Shakespeare in context of production, performance, and pedagogy, with a focus on questions of race, class, gender, history, and culture. We see this as an opportunity to share our findings and challenges, our discoveries and concerns, as well as hopes and successes.
This roundtable is a continuation of our Folger Institute project, which closely examines American Regional Shakespeare. We invite previous participants and especially welcome new participants who are interested in contributing their perspectives to our working group. Participants will have the opportunity to submit their work to our planned edited volume.