A portrait of the Duke of Buckingham, a favourite of King James VI and I has recently been rediscovered. The Duke played a controversial part in both the private and public life of the monarch before he was assassinated in 1628.
It makes sense that Cultural Studies has succeeded the New Historicism at the top of the humanities heap, because it’s even more unserious, even more indefinable, even more open to recherché (not to say inane and capricious) topics of “study”; to an even greater extent than the New Historicists, the typical practitioner of Cultural Studies combines a breathtaking cultural and historical illiteracy with a tendency to lean on pseudo-radical tropes about Western imperialism and so forth. In sum, it’s an intellectual and scholarly disaster. And its spiritual father is Stephen Greenblatt.
Stephen Greenblatt is one of the best know literary critics and the editor of The Norton Anthology. Not everone is a fan though.
In the Stadsschouwburg in Groningen there are two Dutch language Shakespeare plays coming up. For details see http://www.de-oosterpoort.nl
25 April: Twelfth Night
Met ‘Driekoningenavond’ zet De Theatertroep vol plezier een hele berg maatschappelijke waarden op de kop, met de boodschap dat het verstand en de zotheid tweelingen zijn. En dat in komedie, onder alle grappen en grillen, de poëzie van de ware tragedie schuilt.
In deze Shakespeare-bewerking moeten zowel personages als acteurs overleven in een web van misverstanden. De rijken worden arm en de armen rijk, de machtigen worden machteloos en omgekeerd, vrouwen worden mannen of vrouwen spelen mannen die vrouwen spelen.
10 May: King Lear
‘Lear’ begint als een realitysoap, live gefilmd op het toneel. Overal camera’s, nergens privacy. Lear, oud en moe, verdeelt zijn rijk onder zijn drie dochters. De dochter die haar liefde het beste toont, krijgt het grootste deel. Maar de jongste dochter Cordelia weigert, zij kapt met de schijnwereld waarin zij al haar hele jeugd leeft. Lear verstoot haar en verdeelt zijn rijk onder zijn twee andere dochters. Pas als het filmdoek valt en de camera’s uitstaan, ziet hij hoe hij zich heeft laten verblinden en zijn kinderen heeft opgeofferd aan egoïsme en zelfoverschatting.
Obviously, it would be better were there to be English language performances, but seeing Shakespeare staged is an enormous benefit to students, especially those taking the Shakespeare and Early Modern Literature course in second year.
The recent Oxford Complete Works of Shakespeare drew on computer analysis of the language to detect the hands of other authors in the plays. This has become a fairly standard feature of digital humanities.
Thomas Nashe: Prose, Drama, and the Oral Culture of Early Modern London
An AHRC funded event jointly organised by The Thomas Nashe Project and Shakespeare’s Globe.
Saturday 20th May 2017
The Thomas Nashe Project is hosting a one-day symposium exploring the relationship between prose and drama, orality and print (and much more)!
The day will conclude with a ‘Read Not Dead’ staged reading of Thomas Nashe’s unsettling and disturbing prose work, Terrors of the Night, a story of nightmares and evil spirits told by candlelight in The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
The reading will be directed by Dr Tom Cornford (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama). The script has been adapted by Dr Kate De Rycker (Newcastle University), who will also introduce it.
You are welcome to come to either event or both.
The symposium is free but registration is necessary. Please contact Prof. Andrew Hadfield, University of Sussex (email@example.com).
Tickets for the Read not Dead event (£20; £10) can be bought from Globe Education:
The Globe’s new artistic director is to be replaced as the theatre’s board have decided that her work does not fit with its outdoor ‘original’ design.
The forthcoming New Oxford Shakespeare will credit Christopher Marlowe as a co-author of the three Henry VI plays. This will inevitably stir up a great deal of controversy, including red-herrings in the authorship question. Most academic focus is on the extent of Shakespeare’s co-authorship as opposed to his authorship of his work.
Online exhibitions include:
- Literary manuscripts (this online exhibition displays important literary manuscripts from medieval times to the work of Austen, Blake, Wilde and Lewis Carroll);
- Historical texts from ancient China to works by Elizabeth I and The Communist Manifesto.
- Key documents related to Henry VIII (with videos and interactive texts).
The British Library
A couple of students have pointed me to the following site: JSTOR Understanding Shakespeare, which keys JSTOR articles to their corresponding line in the text of Shakespeare’s plays with the result that you can read the play and get a line-by-line commentary.
2017 will mark the 500th anniversary of the celebrated Ninety-five Theses that Luther affixed to the church doors in Wittenberg. It’s only with a broad brush-stroke that one could claim that this will be the 500th anniversary of The Reformation, but 2017 is as good a date as any to mark one of the great turning points in European (and subsequently world) history.
As is to be expected, there will be a rush of associated publications. We have already had Brand Luther on Luther and the printing press and now there is a biography from the distinguished historian Lyndal Roper: Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet
(the review is positive about the book but somewhat negative about Luther).
The anniversary is also responsible for the Playmobil (it’s like Lego) Luther that is now in my office and that’s become a best-selling toy. I purchased it along with a Luther comic book on a recent trip to Germany. Actually I purchased two copies of the comic and my nephew who is studying Renaissance and Reformation history at school will have to pretend to be happy to get it.