English 189 - Winter, 2024

Seminar in Literary Studies

Topic: Adapting Shakespeare for 21st Century Media

Class Information

Instructor: Bloom, Gina
CRN: 44628
Time: TR 12:10-1:30pm
Location: Wellman 235
GE Areas: Writing Experience


Adapting Shakespeare for 21st Century Media

Shakespeare occupies a surprisingly central place in the history of media. It seems that whenever a new media form arises, Shakespeare?s plays provide fodder for artists to explore the limits and affordance of these new modes of expression. This course examines how 21st century artists have adapted and appropriated Shakespeare for a range of media on screen (television, film, social media, videogames) and off (comic books, music, board and role-playing games). In addition to reading, viewing, listening to, and playing these various texts alongside the Shakespeare plays they adapt, we will use them to explore theories of adaptation and appropriation. How does adapting Shakespeare for contemporary audiences and different media forms affect the meaning of Shakespeare?s plays? How can Shakespeare help us understand the media that we use every day? What is lost and what is gained when contemporary artists wrest authority away from Shakespeare, bringing contemporary perspectives to plays written 400 years ago? In particular, we will consider how transposing the plays to different media forms enable the plays to address wider, more diverse audiences, and to grapple head-on with 21st century concerns around gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality.


Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare
Hamlet, Shakespeare
Othello, Shakespeare
Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare
Elsinore, Glitch Studios
The Bard Game
Prince of Cats, Ronald Wimberly
To be or not to be: A Chooseable Path Adventure, Ryan North
And more