Studies in Drama

From ancient Troy, Greece, Rome, and Egypt to medieval England and France, the heroes, lovers, and villains of Shakespeare’s historical plays range widely across Europe and the Mediterranean—while speaking to the politics and passions of his present. We will work backwards and forwards in time from those stories, putting them in dialogue with the perspectives of modern media artists and literary and historical scholars alike, to map the playwright’s imaginative journeys as well as our own. From Troilus and Cressida to Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar to Richard II, we will compare historical upheavals and their dramatic representation, uncovering the societal and theatrical contexts that still compel artists across the globe to stage, rewrite and film them. As well as learning about different disciplinary and theoretical approaches to them, we will analyze drama as performance—a distinctive art form within an ever-changing media landscape.  We will also celebrate the wit and outrageousness of plays such as Henry V, Pericles, and Titus Andronicus, learning from seminar participants as well as guest experts about adaptations and spinoffs, heroic myths and tragic destruction—so students in Theater Arts, Ancient and Medieval Studies, CMS/W, History and, of course, Literature will all be welcome!