English 52 - Summer Sessions I, 2020

Pop Culture Shakespeare

Class Information

Instructor: Emrich, Lee
CRN: 53733
Time: TR 2:10-4:40


    Ben Jonson, a rival playwright of William Shakespeare, provided the most famous epitaph of the Bard: "He was not of an age, but for all time!" This course examines how William Shakespeare, his life and works, have participated in popular culture since he and they first appeared in Renaissance England. We'll begin the course by examining the debates around Shakespeare's life and the authorship of his plays, considering Shakespeare as a popular figure in his own day as well as ours, before moving through units that analyze some of the different ways Shakespeare is often "translated" for our contemporary imaginary. Along the way, we'll use adaptation theory, political and ethical analysis, media theory, and feminist theory to guide our engagement with the plays and their themes of tyranny, civil unrest, and gender, race, class tensions as we breakdown the divide placed between the past and the present.