This five-week institute will be directed by Claire Sponsler, Professor of English at the University of Iowa, and hosted by the Folger Shakespeare Library. This institute offers a comparative study of ritual and ceremony across related cultures from 1300 to 1700. It builds on anthropological theories of the ubiquitous role of ritual and ceremony and the impact of that work in performance studies. Testing assumptions about influence and exchange among national traditions and local contexts, it seeks a new understanding of the processes and effects of cultural hybridity and assimilation.
The distinguished international faculty includes: Ian Archer (Keble College, Oxford), Lawrence M. Bryant (California State University, Chico), Barbara Fuchs (UCLA), Gail McMurray Gibson (Davidson College), Bruce Holsinger (University of Virginia), Roslyn L. Knutson (University of Arkansas, Little Rock), Joseph Roach (Yale University), Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly (Exeter College, Oxford), Michael Wintroub (University of California Berkeley), Barbara Wisch (SUNY Cortland).