Humanities Seminars Course: Shakespeare in Print and Film

Friday, May 11, 2012 - 2:00am to Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 5:00am
Humanities Seminars courses take place in the Dorothy Rubel room at the Helen S. Schaefer Building located at 1508 E. Helen St. (at Vine Ave.)

How do Shakespeare and filmmakers who adapt his plays engage their audiences, construct meaning, and enable us to understand more fully our own culture and ourselves? This seminar will deepen our understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare’s drama and of his cinematic interpreters.  We will focus on the following plays from three different genres—comedy, tragedy, and history: Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV Part I, Henry IV, Part II, and Henry V. Each of those plays will be paired with at least two film adaptations from different decades. We will think critically about Shakespeare’s gorgeous, funny, complicated, disturbing, and infinitely interesting work; in addition, we will consider how one “reads” film as an active and informed interpreter rather than a passive viewer. What we learn will be invaluable for our engagement with the richness and versatility of language, film, and culture.
During class, students will watch brief film clips rather than entire films; they will read the assigned plays and view the movies before each class meeting.

Dr. Meg Lota Brown is Professor of English and Associate Head of the UA English Department. With graduate degrees from Brown University and Berkeley, she is the author or editor of three books; she has also published numerous articles on Reformation politics, Renaissance literature, science, art, theology, education, and authors from Shakespeare and Donne to Christine de Pizan and Rachel Speght. Dr. Brown has been honored with nearly every major teaching award at the university, and she has numerous awards for research, service, and leadership. 


Students are welcome to use any edition they already own; students who don't own the plays should get the following paperback single editions:

Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Signet Classics, 1998. ISBN: 0-451-52686-4.
Shakespeare, William. Twelfth Night. Signet Classics, 1998. ISBN: 0-451-52676-7.
Shakespeare, William. Henry IV, Part 1. Signet Classics, 1998. ISBN: 0-451-52711-9.
Shakespeare, William. Henry IV, Part 2. Signet Classics, 2002. ISBN: 0-451-52853-0.
Shakespeare, William. Henry V. Signet Classics, 1998. ISBN: 0-451-52690-2.