Shakespeare's Afterlives - CP656

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) DR P Novillo-Corvalan

Pre-requisites

None

Restrictions

None

2017-18

Overview

How have twentieth-century writers across the world negotiated and appropriated Shakespeare’s omnipresent cultural influence? How have they revised, reinvented, and reimagined his legacy in Europe, Asia, and the Americas (North, Central, and South)? This module focuses on a selection of Shakespeare’s most influential plays (Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, and The Tempest) in order to examine how their thematic, historical, and cultural concerns have been transplanted to a wide range of global locations including the Caribbean, Germany, Japan, a farm in the USA, and the Argentine Pampas. The module also engages with theoretical notions related to the act of appropriating Shakespeare, including the theory of intertextuality, the Benjaminian concept of the ‘afterlife’ of a text, and Genette’s study of the ‘palimpsest’ as a text derived from a pre-existent text. In addition, the module will reflect on issues of race, gender, and cultural identity embedded in the adaptations of the bard in the various world contexts in which his work has been complexly modernized and redeployed.

Details

This module appears in:


Contact hours

2 hours per week

Method of assessment

100% coursework

Preliminary reading

Indicative Reading List -

Shakespeare, Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, and The Tempest.
Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
Heiner Müller, Hamletmachine.
Jane Smiley, A Thousand Acres.
Akira Kurosawa, Throne of Blood.
Jorge Luis Borges, ‘Everything and Nothing’, ‘Shakespeare’s Memory’, and ‘The Pattern’.
Marina Warner, Indigo.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

• To accurately deploy techniques of close reading and textual analysis in order to come to a systematic understanding of a range of Shakespeare’s plays and their twentieth-century appropriations;
• To obtain a systematic understanding of key aspects of recent critical approaches to Shakespeare’s plays and adaptations of his plays;
• To engage critically with and comment upon these critical approaches as well as to understand the specific cultural, historical and political contexts from which these approaches emerge;
• To attain detailed and high-level understanding of the intertextual relations between texts, and how Shakespeare’s plays have been adapted to new historical and cultural circumstances across the world;
• To evaluate the various ways in which world writers ‘talked back’ to Shakespeare, and how they responded to his canonical discourse with reverence and irreverence, sympathy and antipathy, and homage and parody;
• To demonstrate an ability to assess comparatively the literary, political, historical, and cultural legacy of Shakespeare’s plays in different world-wide locations;
• To acquire cogent understanding of the theory of intertextuality and broader approaches to the ‘translation’ of literary works as cultural acts of adaptation and appropriation, and to appreciate the complexities and limitations of these approaches.

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