Thursday, September 04, 2008

What I have been doing this week

NB Peter Holland's essay "Hearing the Dead Speak," in Players, Playwrights, Playhouses, is one of the most magical critical essays I have ever read - I heard it first as a talk a couple years ago, and have not been able to stop telling people about it ever since...

Studies in Eighteenth-Century Literature
Shakespeare in the Eighteenth Century

Five plays by Shakespeare, alongside their bizarre and often highly revealing reimaginings by eighteenth-century British theatrical adapters and a host of other evocative materials. We’ll work in a number of different modes: at times, we’ll be delving very deeply into Shakespeare’s own language and dramatic choices, but we’ll also explore questions of literature in relation to more broadly cultural trends, the nature and interpretive utility of popular theatrical adaptations and updatings, the cultural work performed by Shakespeare editions in eighteenth-century Britain and so forth.

9/2 Introduction

9/9 Shakespeare, King Lear

9/16 Nahum Tate, The History of King Lear (1681)

Michael Dobson, from The Making of the National Poet: Shakespeare, Adaptation, and Authorship, 1660-1769

Jean Marsden, from The Re-Imagined Text: Shakespeare, Adaptation, and Eighteenth-Century Literary Theory

Catherine M. S. Alexander, “Shakespeare and the Eighteenth Century: Criticism and Research” (optional)

9/23 Shakespeare, Richard III

9/30 Colley Cibber, The Tragical History of King Richard III (1700)

David Wheeler, “Eighteenth-Century Adaptations of Shakespeare and the Example of John Dennis”

Assignment #1 due Friday 10/4

10/7 Shakespeare, Midsummer Night’s Dream and adaptations

Michael Dobson, “Shakespeare exposed: outdoor performance and ideology, 1880-1940”

10/14 Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale and adaptations

10/21 Samuel Johnson, “Preface” (1765)

Charlotte Lennox, Shakespear Illustrated (1753-54), excerpts

Susan Green, “A Cultural Reading of Charlotte Lennox’s Shakespear Illustrated

Assignment #2 due Friday 10/24

10/28 David Garrick, The Jubilee

Jack Lynch, “Worshipping Shakespeare,” from Becoming Shakespeare

Michael Dobson, “Embodying the Author,” from The Making of the National Poet

Jonathan Bate, “Shakespeare,” from Shakespearean Constitutions: Politics, Theatre, Criticism, 1730-1830

11/4 Election holiday – no class

11/11 Marcus Walsh, “Eighteenth-Century Editing, ‘Appropriation’, and Interpretation”; “Making Sense of Shakespeare,” from Shakespeare, Milton, and Eighteenth-Century Literary Editing: The Beginnings of Interpretative Scholarship

Excerpts from Peter Martin, Edmond Malone, Shakespearean Scholar: A Literary Biography

Simon Jarvis, “Textual Criticism and Enlightenment,” from Scholars and Gentlemen

Assignment #3 due Friday 11/15

11/18 Shakespeare, Hamlet

11/25 Hamlet adaptations and eighteenth-century commentary, plus excerpts from Margreta de Grazia, Hamlet without Hamlet and Alexander Welsh, Strong Representations

Maurice Morgann, An Essay on the Dramatic Character of Sir John Falstaff (1777)

12/2 Peter Holland, “Hearing the Dead: The Sound of David Garrick”; “On the gravy train: Shakespeare, memory and forgetting”

Gary Taylor, “Singularity,” from Reinventing Shakespeare

Final assignment due Thursday, Dec. 11

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