English 52 - Winter, 2022

Pop Culture Shakespeare

Class Information

Instructor: Bloom, Gina
CRN: 44394
Time: TR 10:30-11:50
Location: 119 Wellman
GE Areas: Domestic Diversity Visual


The theatrical stage has always been a popular medium for Shakespeare?s plays, and the plays have also been adapted for other media, especially film and video. Today, Shakespearean drama is transposed to just about every media form imaginable, and this great range of popular culture adaptations is the focus of our course. We?ll explore how Shakespeare?s plays are rendered on screen (via social media and videogames) and off-screen (comic books, music, and board/role-playing games).

How does adapting Shakespeare for popular audiences and different media forms affect the meaning of Shakespeare?s plays? How can Shakespeare help us think anew about popular media that we use everyday? How does transposing the plays to these popular media enable the plays to address wider, more diverse audiences, and to speak to human differences such as gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, and social class? How can adaptations of plays performed 400 years ago in England help us think about issues important to us here and now?


In addition to regular attendance and engagement in lectures and small group activities, students will complete a term project: produce an adaptation (in any medium) of one or more of the plays we are reading this quarter.


A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare
Othello, Shakespeare
To be or not to be, a chooseable Path adventure, Ryan North
Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare
Prince of Cats, Ronald Wimberly
Elsinore, Golden Glitch Studios