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CSS Program Archive

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CSS Program Archive

The programs listed below demonstrate the Center's commitment to a wide range of approaches to the texts of the early modern period, with emphasis on, variously, historical context, critical theory, research skills, and interpretive models.


Center for Shakespeare Studies Programs
  • NEH Summer Institutes
  • NEH Year-Long Humanities Institutes
  • Semester-Long Seminars
  • Weekend Workshops, Conferences, and Faculty Seminars
  • Public Lectures
  • Midday Colloquia

1986 Fall Semester Seminar

"Rhetoric and Discourse in Shakespeare"

Director: Patricia A. Parker (Victoria College, University of Toronto)

This twelve-week seminar (1) related the concerns of contemporary critical theory to a full range of Shakespeare's comedies, "problem plays," tragedies, and romances and (2) examined largely ignored Renaissance discussions of rhetorical terms and tropes as a quarry for the reinterpretation of the wordplay and structures of those plays.
1986 Fall Workshop
Director: Stephen Greenblatt (University of California at Berkeley)
Professor Greenblatt's weekend workshop functioned as a practicum in new historicism, as he first demonstrated his approach with an interpretation of The Tempest in the light of historical documents of New World colonization and then offered reflections upon his working methods and assumptions.

1986 Fall Workshop
Directors: Joel Fineman (University of California at Berkeley), Susan Snyder (Swarthmore College)
Work influenced by the post-structuralist psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan clashed with feminist analysis in this lively weekend workshop.
1986 Fall Lecture/Discussions
Leeds Barroll (University of Maryland at Baltimore County)
"Countesses and Power in the Politics of Drama and Court Show after the Accession of James I"

Jonathan Crewe (Johns Hopkins University)
"Othello and the Discovery of the Woman"

Jonathan Goldberg (Johns Hopkins University)
"Hamlet's Hand"

Andrew Gurr (University of Reading)
"The Price of a Playhouse--The Cockpit and the Two Globes"

Peter Lindenbaum (Indiana University)
"Great-and Lesser-Expectations in All's Well that Ends Well"

Patricia A. Parker (University of Toronto)
"Shakespeare and Rhetoric"

Joseph H. Summers (University of Rochester)
"Shakespearean Imaginations of the `Other'"

Estelle Taylor (Howard University)
"The Unmasking of Othello Criticism"

Glynne Wickham (New Bristol Theatre)
"The Spirit of Place in Shakespeare's Plays"
1987 Spring Seminar
"Printing and Publishing in the Age of Shakespeare"
Director: Peter W. M. Blayney (Scholar-in-Residence at the Folger Library)
This twelve-week seminar was premised on the assumption that an understanding of the practices of the book trade--the mechanics of printing and the organization and regulation of book-selling--is of fundamental importance to textual studies in the period 1585–1625.
1987 Spring Workshop
"Compositor Identification and Printing History"
Director: Paul Werstine (King's College, University of Western Ontario)
During this weekend workshop, Professor Werstine examined the history of compositor identification since its beginning in the 1920s, reviewed the assumptions underlying past studies, and then demonstrated both the difficulties and the promise of attempting compositor identification in Shakespeare's First Folio and in the first quarto of Love's Labor's Lost.
1987 Spring Workshop
"Textual Criticism and Printing History"
Director: Robert K. Turner (University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee)
A central subject of this weekend workshop was the demonstration of how a play printed from a promptbook, for example, "translates" into a printed Folio or quarto text that is markedly different from a text printed from an author's manuscript.
1987 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture
Patricia A. Parker (University of Toronto)
"`Wanton Words': Shakespeare and Rhetoric"
1987 Spring Lecture/Discussions
Peter W. M. Blayney (Scholar-in-Residence at the Folger Library)
"Shakespeare Fights What Pirates?"

Paul Giovanni (Guest Director, Shakespeare Theatre at the Folger)
"Directing Love's Labor's Lost"

Jean Howard (Syracuse University)
"Renaissance Anti-Theatricality and the Politics of Gender and Rank in Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing"

Gerald D. Johnson (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
"The Stationers versus the Drapers: Control of the Press in the Late-Sixteenth Century"

John King (Bates College)
"The Cults of the Virgin Queen: Elizabeth, Spenser, and Posterity"

Ruth Samson Luborsky (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
"What Tudor Book Illustrations Illustrate"

Gail Kern Paster (George Washington University)
"Leaky Vessels: The Incontinent Women of City Comedy"

Virginia M. Vaughan (Clark University)
"Restoration Othello: The Politics of Domestic Tragedy"

1987 Summer Institute for College and University Faculty
"Shakespeare's Texts in Action"
Director: Michael Goldman (Princeton University)
Visiting Faculty: Stephen Booth (University of California at Berkeley), Lee Devin (Swarthmore College), Marvin Rosenberg (University of California at Berkeley), Meredith Ann Skura (Rice University), Michael Warren (University of California at Santa Cruz)
The summer institute explored the ways in which a variety of approaches to Shakespeare's text can be put to new use in the context of performance and the ways in which performance approaches can be refined and improved by a broader consideration of, for example, linguistic, textual, and psychological factors.

1987 Fall Seminar
"Shakespeare and the Theatres of his Time"
Director: Herbert Berry (University of Saskatchewan)
This twelve-week seminar introduced its participants to the most useful documents about Renaissance theatre buildings, their owners, acting companies, and audiences, and then considered the implications of this documentary evidence for the interpretation of plays by Shakespeare and his playwright-contemporaries.

1987 Fall Workshop
"Shakespeare and the Theatres of his Time"
Speakers: Herbert Berry (University of Saskatchewan), C. Walter Hodges (Lewes, Sussex), William Ingram (University of Michigan)
This weekend workshop made some of the material of Professor Berry's seminar available to a far wider audience; his expertise in literary documents about Renaissance theatrical buildings was complemented by Mr. Hodges's skill in "reading" pictorial representations of the theatres and by Professor Ingram's research in the biographies of Renaissance actors.

1987 Fall Lecture/Discussions
Herbert Berry (University of Saskatchewan)
"The First Public Playhouses"

Deborah Curren-Aquino (Washington, D.C.)
"`Now hear our English king': King John on the Twentieth-Century Stage"

Jay L. Halio (University of Delaware)
"The Endings of King Lear"

Margaret L. Knapp (New York, New York)
"Stages and Staging Practices in the Universities and Inns of Court"

P. J. Mroczkowski (University of Cracow)
"An Appeal to Henry VIII from his Confessor on the Rule of Princes [De Regimine Principum, 1509]"

R. Brian Parker (Trinity College, University of Toronto)
"Coriolanus and `th'interpretation of the time'"

Joseph G. Price (Pennsylvania State University)
"Ophelia: Double Time or Double-cross?"

1987 Spring Seminar
"Strategies for Maturation in Shakespeare"
Directors: David Bevington (University of Chicago), Barbara A. Mowat (Folger Library)
The problems of maturation that were addressed in this twelve-week seminar included those of career, responsibility, and ambition in Shakespeare's history plays and in some of his tragedies, and of sexuality, love, marriage, jealousy, parenthood, and advancing age in the comedies and tragedies.

1987 Spring Workshop
"Growing Up and Growing Older in Shakespeare"
Speakers: David Bevington (University of Chicago), Carol Thomas Neely (Illinois State University), Meredith Ann Skura (Rice University)
At this weekend workshop, a production of The Merchant of Venice at the Shakespeare Theatre at the Folger sparked a brilliant discussion of male and female anxieties, fantasies, and strategies for maturation and aging as depicted in Shakespeare's plays.

1988 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture
David Bevington (University of Chicago)
" 'Is this the promised end?': Shakespeare's King Lear"

1988 Spring Lecture/Discussions
Denise Albanese (George Mason University)
"Admiring Miranda and Enslaving Nature"

Kathleen Campbell (George Mason University)
"The Art of Communitas: Theatre and The Winter's Tale"

Jerzy Limon (University of Gdansk)
"The Masque as a Literary Form"

Richard McCoy (Queens College, City University of New York)
"The Rites of Knighthood"

Barbara A. Mowat (Folger Library)
" 'Ariel (like a Harpey)': Story and Play in The Tempest"

Bruce Smith (Georgetown University)
"Shakespeare's Negative Incapability"

Patricia Harris Stablein (Scholar-in-Residence, Folger Library)
"Incest and Writing in Titus Andronicus"

1988 Summer Institute for College and University Faculty
"New Directions in Shakespeare Criticism"
Director: Paul Werstine (King's College, University of Western Ontario)
Visiting Faculty: Jonathan Dollimore (University of Sussex), Joel Fineman (University of California at Berkeley), Jean E. Howard (Syracuse University), Louis Adrian Montrose (University of California at San Diego), Barbara A. Mowat (Folger Library), James R. Siemon (Boston University)
Participants in this summer institute investigated such current critical discourses as new historicism, cultural materialism, feminism, Lacanianism, speech-act theory, and revisionist textual criticism; applied these theories to the reading of Shakespeare; and discussed strategies for deploying post-structuralist theory and practice in the classroom.

1988 Fall Workshop
Reading Shakespeare Historically"
Director: Lisa Jardine (University of London)
In a lively weekend workshop, Dr. Jardine demonstrated some ways in which material from ecclesiastical and secular court records, from canon law, from household inventories and wills, and from humanist educational materials can be used to develop a sense of Renaissance cultural mentality.

1988 Fall Workshop
"Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Social Structure: The Mirror Image Fractured"
Director: Peter Laslett (Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure)


Denying the proposition that literature simply "reflects" the structure of the society in which it is produced, Dr. Laslett proposed some of the ways in which literature can be used as a resource for those seeking to reconstruct the past. 


1989 Spring Seminar

"Big-Time Shakespeare"
Director: Michael Bristol (McGill University)

One avenue to the understanding of Shakespeare's multi-generational appeal is the analysis of the macro-temporal dimensions of his plays: the latent meanings that have become visible only, for one example, in the context of such successor cultures as England in the eighteenth century or, for another, through feminist critique.
1989 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture

Jonathan Dollimore (University of Sussex)
"Shakespeare Studies and the Current `Crisis' in the Humanities"


1989 Spring Lecture/Discussions

A. R. Braunmuller (UCLA)
"George Chapman: Politics, Patronage, and the Drama"

Michael D. Bristol (McGill University)
"Artaud and Anti-Theatricalism"

Ann E. Imbrie (Vassar College)
"Renaissance Women and Reading"

Robert S. Miola (Loyola College in Maryland)
"Othello Furens"

Michael Neill (University of Auckland)
"The Basel Totentanz: Ideas of Death and Ending"

Gail Kern Paster (George Washington University)
"Covering his Ass: The Scatalogical Imperative in Gammer Gurton's Needle"

Jeanne Addison Roberts (American University)
"The 'Mothers' of Shakespeare's Invention"

Margarita Russell
"The History of the Armada Tapestries in the House of Lords"

Alan Sinfield (University of Sussex)
"The Politics of Storytelling"


1989 Summer Institute for College and University Faculty

"The Problem of an Intellectual History for Shakespeare's Age"
Director: Leeds Barroll (University of Maryland at Baltimore County)
Visiting Faculty: Natalie Zemon Davis (Princeton University), J. A. Guy (University of Bristol), Margaret C. Jacob (New School for Social Research), Gordon J. Schochet (Rutgers University), Hayden White (University of California at Santa Cruz)

The institute was a group revaluation of development, stasis, and change in the relation of intellectual theory to practice in England from 1480 to 1642, as participants identified Renaissance philosophical, political, economic, and scientific theories and inferred ideology from English practice in commerce, politics, and literature.
1989 Fall Workshop

"Words Made Flesh: Language, the Body, and the Passions in Shakespeare"
Director: Keir Elam (University of Pisa)

This weekend workshop called upon recent developments in linguistics, semiotics, and pragmatics to approach Shakespeare's language in its fullest and most dynamic sense, as the interplay between verbal discourse, bodily rhetoric, and the passions both in the dramatic worlds of the plays and in the stage-audience transactions of performance.
1989 Fall Workshop

"Shakespeare Texts for Students and Teachers"
Director: Richard Knowles (University of Wisconsin at Madison)

After reviewing school editions of Shakespeare that were available in the past, Professor Knowles in this weekend workshop analyzed the variety of Shakespeare editions presently available, evaluating their strengths and weaknesses, and then offered an introduction to editorial principles.
1990 Spring Seminar
"Intertextual and Inter-Repertory Links in London Plays, 1594–1615"
Director: Andrew Gurr (University of Reading)
This twelve-week seminar, devoted to an analysis of the competing repertories of London theatrical companies, demonstrated both the increasing specialization of some of the companies in their appeal to differing social allegiances and also how local and intimate allusions from one repertory to another were the source of considerable contemporary pleasure in playgoing.

1990 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture
Andrew Gurr (University of Reading)
"Boy Voices and Adult Voices on the Shakespearean Stage"

1990 Spring Lecture/Discussions
Andrew Gurr (University of Reading)
"Digging Up the Rose and the Globe"

Arthur Kinney (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
"Macbeth and the Subjects of History"

Gary Taylor (Brandeis University)
"Middleton and/or Shakespeare"

Ann Thompson (University of Liverpool)
"Cymbeline's Other Endings"

Lois Potter (University of Leicester)
"The Two Noble Kinsmen: Topicality and Politics"

Mary Hazard (Drexel University)
"Flesh Made Words: The Elizabethan Language of Food"

Washington Renaissance Dancers
"Court Dances of the High Renaissance, 1585–1610"

Leeds Barroll (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
"The First Stuart Entertainment, June 1603"

William Pressly (University of Maryland, College Park)
"Shakespeare and Art: Cataloguing the Paintings at the Folger Shakespeare Library"
1990 Summer Institute
"Shakespeare and the History of Taste"
Director: Joseph G. Price (Pennsylvania State University)
Visiting Faculty: Jonathan Bate (Trinity Hall, Cambridge), Margreta de Grazia (University of Pennsylvania), Terence Hawkes (University of Wales), Jeanne T. Newlin (Harvard Theatre Collection), Stephen Orgel (Stanford University)
This six-week summer institute approached "Shakespeare and the History of Taste" from two directions: first, the perception of Shakespeare in each age as illustrated in its editions, criticisms, theatrical performances, and visual representations; and second, his influence in each age upon literature, art, music, popular culture, and, frequently, politics.

1990 Fall Workshop
"Problems of Historicist Research in the Renaissance"
Director: Stanley Fish (Duke University)
The emphasis in this weekend workshop was theoretical, using a study of the institutional history and assumptions of the "New Historicism" to open up an investigation of the vexed connection between intellectual work and work in general, and about the relationship of the academy to larger social issues.

1990 Fall Lecture/Discussions
Marcin Kozikowski (Gdansk, Poland)
"The Reconstruction of an Elizabethan Theatre in Gdansk, Poland"

Marcel Gellert (Budapest University)
"Tragedy versus Theory: Theoretical Approaches in the Twilight of Tragedies, with a Special Regard for Shakespeare's Major Pieces"

Peggy Simonds (Bethesda, Maryland)
"Pericles and Petrarch"
1991 Spring Seminar
"Desire in Shakespeare"
Director: Catherine Belsey (University of Wales College of Cardiff)
This twelve-week seminar explored the unsettled, contradictory, and plural meanings of desire in Shakespeare, whose texts look back to medieval notions of love as irrational and destructive of domestic happiness, look forward to modern understandings of love as concordant and fundamental to marriage, and reveal the early modern process of relational differentiation.

1991 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture
Catherine Belsey (University of Wales College of Cardiff)
"Making Histories"

1991 Spring Lecture/Discussions
Alan C. Dessen (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
"Recovering Shakespeare's Theatrical Vocabulary"

Martin Butler (University of Leeds)
"Reform or Reverence? The Politics of the Caroline Masque"

Theodora A. Jankowski (Montclair State College)
"'The Scorne of Sauage people': Violence against Women in John Lyly's Love's Metamorphosis"

Shen Lin (Central Academy of Drama, Beijing)
"Pretty and Pert: Female Impersonators as Lady Killers"

Kim Felicia Hall (Georgetown University)
"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?: Colonialism and Miscegenation in Shakespeare"
Jongsook Lee (Seoul National University)
"Shakespeare in Korea"

Margaret Lael Mikesell (John Jay College, CUNY)

"Overly Prescribed Desdemona"

Dympna Callaghan (Syracuse University)
"Feminist Shakespeare: The Case of Romeo and Juliet"

Peter W. M. Blayney (Folger Shakespeare Library)
"The Shakespeare First Folio, 1622-1930"

Peter W. M. Blayney (Folger Shakespeare Library)
"Shakespeare in St. Paul's Churchyard"

Margaret J. M. Ezell (Texas A & M University)
"What Happened to Shakespeare's Sisters? Nineteenth-Century Anthologies and Shakespeare's Female Contemporaries"

Anthony Grafton (Princeton University)
"Reading in Elizabethan England: The Case of Gabriel Harvey"

1991 Summer Institute
"Ceremony and Text in the Renaissance"
Director: Thomas M. Greene (Yale University)
Visiting Faculty: James A. Boon (Princeton University), Emily R. Jayne (Mount Holyoke College), Leah S. Marcus (University of Texas at Austin), Richard C. McCoy (Graduate Center and Queens College, CUNY), Edward W. Muir, Jr. (Louisiana State University)
Drawing upon the perspectives of anthropology, social history, theology, politics, and choreography, the participants in this institute explored the functions of ritual in Tudor England, including the staging of royal entries, the metaphysical implications of formal dancing, the conflicting definitions of church sacraments and other expressions of ritual and popular festivity.

1991 Fall Workshop
"Court and Culture During the Reign of Elizabeth I: The Last Decade"
Speakers: Simon Adams (University of Strathclyde), Marie Axton (Newnham College, Oxford), Leeds Barroll (University of Maryland at Baltimore County), Patrick Collinson (Cambridge University), Alistair Fox (University of Otago), John Guy (University of Rochester), Christopher Haigh (Christ Church, Oxford), Lisa Jardine (University of London), Fritz Levy (University of Washington), Richard C. McCoy (Graduate Center and Queens College, CUNY), Stephen Orgel (Stanford University), Linda Levy Peck (Purdue University), Jenny Wormald (St. Hilda's College, Oxford)
This heavily subscribed workshop surveyed recent interpretations of Elizabeth, her court, the way in which the Reformation evolved in the late sixteenth century, and the nature of Elizabethan patronage and faction. It suggested strategies for employing this historical material in the teaching of Shakespeare's plays.

1992 Spring Seminar
"Shakespeare, the Body, and the Material Text"
Director: Peter Stallybrass (University of Pennsylvania)
Visiting Faculty: Peter W.M. Blayney (The Folger Shakespeare Library), Margreta de Grazia (University of Pennsylvania), Gail Kern Paster (George Washington University), Gordon J. Schochet (Rutgers University), Marion Trousdale (University of Maryland, College Park)
Taking Renaissance conceptualizations of the body, the body politic, the body mystical, the body natural, this seminar examined the different ways of thinking of "the body" in Shakespeare, and investigated the ways in which the writer's corpus emerged as a kind of enclosure defined against the "contamination" of the theatre.

Spring 1992 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture
Peter Stallybrass (University of Pennsylvania)
"Worn Worlds: Clothes and Identity in Shakespeare"

1992 Spring Lecture/Discussions
Janet Ing Freeman (Princeton University Library)
"Scholarship, Forgery, and Fictive Invention: John Payne Collier before 1831"

Kenneth Gross (University of Rochester)
"Shakespeare and Slander"

Elizabeth H. Hageman (University of New Hampshire)
"Editing Katherine Phillips"

Margaret P. Hannay (Siena College)
"Editing Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke"

Park Honan (University of Leeds)
"The Current State of Shakespeare Biography"

Ann Rosalind Jones (Smith College)
"Poets and Portraits: Veronica Franco and Mary Wroth as Designing Women"

Carole Levin (SUNY College at New Paltz)
"The Return of the King: Pretenders in the Reign of Elizabeth"

Margarida Gandara Rauen (Tuiuti College)
"A Secular Perspective on Richard II, Q1"

Winfried Schleiner (University of California at Davis)
"Perspectives on Medical Ethics"

R. Malcolm Smuts (University of Massachusetts, Boston)
"Court-Centered Politics and the Uses of Roman Historians"

Marion Trousdale (University of Maryland at College Park)
"The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestickmaker: REED on Stage"

Brad Waller (Shakespeare Theatre)
"Elizabethan Fencing: Lecture and Demonstration"

Susan Zimmerman (Queens College, CUNY)
"Disruptive Desire: Artifice and Indeterminacy in Jacobean Comedy"

1992 Summer Institute for College and University Faculty
"The Theatre in History: The Social Function of Renaissance Dramatic Genres"
Director: Jean E. Howard (Columbia University)
Visiting Faculty: Susan Amussen (Union Institute Graduate School), Frances E. Dolan (Miami University), Kathleen McLuskie (University of Kent, Canterbury), Lena Cowen Orlin (The Folger Shakespeare Library), Gail Kern Paster (George Washington University), Don E. Wayne (University of California, San Diego)
In this six-week intensive institute participants focused on two theatrical subgenres, domestic tragedy and city comedy, in a collaborative effort to understand how these genres fulfilled historically specific needs and how they articulated social, economic, and political tensions.

1992-93 Institute for College and University Faculty
"Shakespeare and the Languages of Performance"
Director: Lois Potter (University of Delaware)
Visiting Faculty: Harry Berger, Jr. (University of California, Santa Cruz), Ralph Alan Cohen (James Madison University), Michael Goldman (Princeton University), Jean-Marie Maguin (Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier III), Susan Snyder (Swarthmore College), Audrey E. Stanley (University of California, Santa Cruz), Jane Williamson (University of Missouri, St. Louis)
This institute brought seventeen college and university teachers of Shakespeare to the Folger Shakespeare Library one weekend each month concurrent with the academic year 1992–93. The institute was designed to enable teachers to transmit to the classroom the excitement they receive from Shakespearean performances. Participants attended, reviewed, and discussed productions; they were also required to act and direct scenes. Integral to the program was the organized, cooperative sharing of pedagogical strategies for the teaching of Shakespeare.

1992 Fall Workshop
"Fictions of the Pose: Problems in the Politics of Self-Representation in Early Modern Culture"
Director: Harry Berger, Jr. (University of California, Santa Cruz)
In conjunction with the institute, "Shakespeare and the Languages of Performance," this workshop explored the complex interactions between representing oneself to others and to oneself as exemplified in Shakespearean soliloquy, Rembrandt's self-portraits, and Italian portraits.
1993 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture
Michael Neill (University of Auckland)
"Shakespeare and Translation"

1993 Spring Seminar
"The Imperial Theme: Shakespeare and the Designs of Empire"
Director: Michael Neill (University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Visiting Faculty: Margo Hendricks (University of California, Santa Cruz), Patricia Parker (Stanford University), Jyotsna Singh (Southern Methodist University), Ngugi wa Thiong'o (New York University)
This seminar looked at Shakespeare's plays through the optics of colonial and post-colonial discourse of empire. Participants reviewed the emergent discourses of race, empire, and colonial enterprise in the Elizabethan and Jacobean period and considered how these are incorporated and interrogated in the writing of Shakespeare.

1993 Spring Workshop
"From Critic to Director: Teachers Staging Shakespeare"
Director: Ralph Alan Cohen (James Madison University)
Offered in conjunction with the institute "Shakespeare and the Languages of Performance," this workshop enabled teachers to use performance strategies to better engage their students of Shakespeare by allowing the teachers to redirect scenes from a Shenandoah Shakespeare Express production of Antony and Cleopatra.

1993 Spring Lecture/Discussions
Edward W. Muir, Jr. (Louisiana State University)
"Masculinity and Revenge in Renaissance Italy"

Lee Bliss (University of California, Santa Barbara)
"Griselda on the Renaissance Stage: The 1599 Dekker-Chettle-Houghton Patient Grissil"

Jerzy Limon (University of Gdansk)
"The Question(s) of Kyd's Spanish Tragedy"

Thomas Cartelli (Muhlenberg College)
"Transplanting Misrule: The Construction of Disorder in Morton's New English Canaan and Bradford's Of Plimouth Plantation"

Joseph M. Levine (Syracuse University)
"Philology and History: The Case of the Joannine Commas from Erasmus to Edward Gibbon"

Johann Sommerville (University of Wisconsin)
"Thomas Hobbes and Royalist Politics"

Phyllis Rackin (University of Pennsylvania)
"Engendering the Tragic Audience in Richard III"

Trevor Howard-Hill (University of South Carolina)
"U and Non-U: Class and Discourse Level in Othello"

Michael Bristol (McGill University)
"Building a Better Virus: Some Reflections on Cultural Longevity"

1993–1994 Institute Extension Workshops
"Shakespeare and the Languages of Performance"
Director: Lois Potter (University of Delaware)
In conjunction with the institute "Shakespeare and the Languages of Performance," the original participants gathered for a weekend in the fall to engage in intensive planning for a spring weekend workshop. The spring weekend workshop featured the teaching strategies learned from the year-long institute, and brought sixty teachers of college English from all over the United States to the Folger to participate in sessions which addressed student writing, discussion strategies, and film and video in the classroom.

1994 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture
Gail Kern Paster (George Washington University)
"Heat-Seeking Missiles: Shakespeare, Women, and the Caloric Economy in Early Modern England"

1994 Spring Seminar
"Humoring the Body: Social Practice and Behavioral Theory in Early Modern England"
Director: Gail Kern Paster (George Washington University)
In early modern Europe, the humoral theory of blood, phlegm, choler and bile constituted an explanatory paradigm of great scope and durability. The interpretative difference humoral theory makes in reading the plays of Shakespeare, Jonson, and their contemporaries provided the focus of this seminar.

1994 Spring Lecture/Discussions
Richard Helgerson (University of California, Santa Barbara)
"Murder in Faversham: Holinshed's Impertinent History"

Catherine Belsey (University of Wales College of Cardiff)
"The Serpent in the Conjugal Garden"

Reg Foakes (University of California, Los Angeles)
"'My fair kingdom': The Crown and the Land in King Lear"

Claire McEachern (University of California, Los Angeles)
Putting the Poly Back into Poly-Olbion: Drayton, the British Union, and the Borders of the English Nation"

Carol Thomas Neely (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
"Love Sickness and Love-Doctors: Women's Case Histories and the Jailer's Daughter's Cure"

Christa Jansohn (Bonn University)
"The Making of a National Poet: Shakespeare, Carl Joseph Meyer, and the German Book Market in the Nineteenth Century"

Elihu Pearlman (University of Colorado, Denver)
"The Death of Talbot"

Lawrence M. Bryant (California State University, Chico)
"From Ceremony to History: Performing Politics / Embodying Politics"

Gary Williams (The Catholic University of America)
"Modern and Postmodern Dreams in the Theatre"

John Pitcher (St. John's College, Oxford)
"'Do not say 'tis superstition': Idolatry in The Winter's Tale"

1994 Summer Institute for College and University Faculty
"The Graphic Revolution in Early Modern Europe: The Politics and Technologies of Representation in Visual, Literary, and Theatrical Arts from 1400 to 1660"
Director: Harry Berger, Jr. (University of California, Santa Cruz)
Visiting Faculty: Elizabeth J. Bellamy (University of New Hampshire), Margaret D. Carroll (Wellesley College), David Lee Miller (University of Alabama), Margreta de Grazia (University of Pennsylvania)
The fourfold purpose of this institute was 1) to explore some of the technical developments that contributed to the graphic revolution, along with their aesthetic, social, political, and psychological consequences, and to focus on the questions or problems they pose for the traditions of representation out of which they emerged; 2) to test some of the new approaches mentioned above for their usefulness in forwarding this exploration; 3) to see whether it is possible to generate a coherent and logical framework for interdisciplinary study, a framework that is neither reductive nor esoteric; and 4) to apply the results of this exploratory and experimental project to the task of improving both the pedagogical techniques and the curricular formats through which the early modern foundations of contemporary culture may be communicated in all their richness and in a manner that highlights their relevance, indeed their kinship, to the predicaments of the present time.

1994 Fall Weekend Faculty Seminar
"'Remember Me': Shakespeare and the Arts of Memory"
Director: Stephen Greenblatt (University of California at Berkeley)
This seminar was concerned with memory and memorialization in Shakespeare and included visits to memorial sites in Washington. The seminar examined contemporary theoretical literature on trauma and commemoration, and discussed Shakespeare's tragedy of Hamlet, a play centered around traumatic memory.

1995 Spring Weekend Faculty Seminar
"Contextualizing Writing by Early Modern Women"
Director: Barbara Lewalski (Harvard University)
This seminar collected scholars actively engaged in the recovery and study of writings by early modern women and with issues of gender and culture that bear upon writing. It explored the theoretical, practical, and aesthetic problems involved in attempting to contextualize more adequately the writings of early modern women.

1995 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture
Phyllis Rackin (University of Pennsylvania)
"Thoroughly Modern Henry, or It is Better to Marry than to Burn"

1995 Spring Seminar
"Historical Difference / Sexual Difference"
Director: Phyllis Rackin (University of Pennsylvania)
Recent criticism has paid considerable attention to representations of cross-dressing in Elizabethan and Jacobean plays, but there is very little consensus in regard to what these representations tell us about early modern understandings of sex and gender. This seminar considered changing conceptions of patriarchal authority, sexual difference, and personal identity, among other topics.

1995 Spring Conference
"Material London, ca. 1600"
Speakers: Ian Archer (Keble College, Oxford), Peter W.M. Blayney (Folger Shakespeare Library), Sheila ffolliottt (George Mason University), Alice T. Friedman (Wellesley College), Patricia Fumerton (University of California, Santa Barbara), Andrew Gurr (University of Reading), Jean Howard (Columbia University), Ann Rosalind Jones (Smith College), Derek Keene (University of London), Gail Kern Paster (George Washington University), Linda Levy Peck (University of Rochester), David Harris Sacks (Reed College), Jane Schneider (Graduate School and University Center), John Schofield (Museum of London), Alan Sinfield (Sussex University), Joan Thirsk (St. Hilda's College, Oxford), Peter Thornton (Sir John Soane's Museum)
This conference attracted the largest audience to date at a Folger Institute program. It assembled an international panel of speakers from the fields of social, intellectual, urban, and agrarian history; from archaeology and cultural anthropology; from the history of architecture and the decorative arts; and from literary history and theory. It undertook a collaborative investigation of the structures and practices that distinguished London before the Great Fire, based on their material traces in artifacts, documents, the built environment, and archaeological remains. The academic conference complimented an exhibition on "Elizabethan Households" at the Library, and a packet of images from the exhibition, for classroom use, were included in the materials distributed to registrants.

1995 Spring Lecture/Discussions
Margo J. Hendricks (Cowell College, University of California, Santa Cruz)
"Sort, Kind, Nation: The Philology of Race"

Alan Nelson (University of California, Berkeley)
"Edward de Vere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford: The Compleat Sodomite"

Julie Solomon (American University)
"The Replay's the Thing: Addiction as Epistemology in Hamlet"

Constance Jordan (Claremont Graduate School)
"Why British Cymbeline Pays Roman Taxes"

Sean Shesgreen (Northern Illinois University)
"William Hogarth and the London Cries"

Pamela O. Long (Washington, D.C.)
"Power, Patronage, and the Authorship of Ars: The Fifteenth-Century Renaissance of Technical Literature"

Alan C. Dessen (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
and Leslie Thomson (Erindale College, University of Toronto)
"Work in Progress: A Dictionary of English Renaissance Stage Vocabulary"

Noam Flinker (University of Haifa)
"Orality and Textuality in William Baldwin's Canticles or Balades of Salomon (1549)"

Georgianna Ziegler (Folger Shakespeare Library)
"'More than feminine boldness': The Gift Books of Esther Inglis"

Steven N. Zwicker (Washington University)
"The Politics of Reading c. 1649"

1995–96 Institute for College and University Faculty
"Shakespeare Examined Through Performance"
Directors: Audrey Stanley (University of California, Santa Cruz) and
Alan C. Dessen (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Visiting Faculty: Michael D. Friedman (University of Scranton), Cary M. Mazer (University of Pennsylvania), Lois Potter (University of Delaware), Michael J. Warren (University of California, Santa Cruz), ACTER (A Center for Theatre, Education, and Research, based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), The Shakespeare Theatre at the Lansburgh (members of the production team)
This year-long humanities institute investigates the ways in which teachers may translate the excitement of theatrical rehearsal and theatrical performance into the college English classroom.

1995 Fall Weekend Faculty Seminar
"Literary Questions: A Seminar for Historians and Other Scholars in Non-Literary Fields"
Director: Marjorie Garber (Harvard University)
Focusing on a Shakespeare play and on "Shakespeare" as an institution, as well as on selected critical essays and other examples, this seminar explored and debated the kinds of inquiries that have been central to literary analysis in recent years and their bearing on inter- and cross-disciplinary scholarship in the humanities.


1996 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture

A. R. Braunmuller (University of California, Los Angeles)
"Bearded Ladies in Shakespeare"


1997 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture

Peter Holland (Cambridge University)
"Measuring Performance"


1998 Spring Seminar

"Shakespeare and Postmodernism"
Director: Linda Charnes (Indiana University at Bloomington)


This seminar juxtaposed theory, method, film, and cultural studies to see what Shakespeare's plays can bring to a post-humanist, and perhaps even post-literary landscape, and vice versa. The seminar also explored early modern anticipations of postmodern political cultures in the Henriad and questioned the assumptions behind terms such as "modernity" and "postmodernity," working to formulate flexible and productively provisional definitions and applications of related terms such as "post-humanist," "post-liberal," and "posthistoricist" to the study of Shakespeare's texts.


1998 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture

Linda Charnes (Indiana University at Bloomington)

"The Hamlet Formerly Known as Prince"


1998-99 Mellon Weekend Seminars

"Shakespeare in an Age of Visual Culture"

Director: Bruce R. Smith (Georgetown University)


Visiting Faculty: Martin J. Irvine (Georgetown University), Stephen Orgel (Stanford University), Randall Nakayama (San Francisco State University), Lois Potter (University of Delaware), and Claire Farago (University of Colorado at Boulder).


This series of four weekend seminars, also supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, addressed the problems of interpretation that are met in the classroom when Shakespeare's texts are filtered through visual media that are defined by their own generic conventions and convey the values of cultural moments very different from Shakespeare's.


1999 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture

Harry Berger Jr. (University of California, Santa Cruz, emeritus)
"Harrying the Stage: Theatre, Bad Conscience, and Other Skills of Offence in Henry V"


2000 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture

Margreta de Grazia (University of Pennsylvania)
"The Latest Hamlet"


2001 Spring Seminar

"Shakespeare, Jewishness, and English Cultural Identity"

Director: James Shapiro (Columbia University)


With The Merchant of Venice as its focal point, this seminar explored the ways in which unresolved issues of conversion and intermarriage raised in Shakespeare's play recur in a range of early modern texts, challenging stable notions of English racial and national identity.


2001 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture

James Shapiro (Columbia University)
"Jessica's Daughters"


2002 Spring Seminar

"Historicizing Shakespeare's Language: Social Discourse and Cultural Production"

Director: Lynne Magnusson (Queen's University)


Francis Meres' claimed that Shakespeare extended the resources and tapped the potential of the English language. This seminar explored the uses of that language and raised important questions about what a newly historicized engagement with the complex language of Shakespeare's plays and poetry would look like.


2002 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture

Katherine Duncan-Jones(University of Oxford)
" Love and Death in Shakespeare's Poetry"


2003 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture

John Guy (Cambridge University)
"Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots"


Fall 2004 Seminar
Emerging Ethnographies in Shakespeare's England
Director: Virginia Mason Vaughan
Participants in this seminar examined how cultural description changed during Shakespeare’s lifetime as England became more involved with overseas trade and travel using such texts as Andrew Borde’s The Fyrst Boke of the Introduction of Knowledge, George Abbot’s A Briefe Description of the World, and John Speed’s The Theatre of Great Britain.  And they teased out contradictions, conflations, and cross-fertilizations in England’s engagements with other cultures.          
2004 Spring Seminar
"Making of Shakespeare(s)"
Director: Coppélia Kahn (Brown University)
This seminar engaged in the debate about the construction of Shakespeare(s) by attending to such contexts as writing and nationhood, discourses of race, the literary and theatrical marketplace, authorship, intellectual property, and the formation of the English canon.

2004 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture

Coppélia Kahn (Brown University)

"Made in America: Shakespeare(s) for the Nineteenth Century"


2005 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture

Stuart Sherman (Fordham University)

"Garrick and Theatrical Death"

2006 Spring Weekend Seminar
W.B. Worthen (University of California, Berkeley) and Barbara Hodgdon (University of Michigan)
"Remembering Theatre"
This seminar drew  on participants’ own research interests to investigate how the technologies of contemporary performance, including the technologies of contemporary theater, define “Shakespeare” by defining the condition of dramatic performance.

2006 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture

W.B. Worthen (University of California, Berkeley)

"Shakespeare 3.0"


2007 Spring Conference

"Shakespeare in American Education, 1607-1934"

Organizers: Theodore Leinwand (University of Maryland), Kathleen Lynch (Folger Institute), and Barbara Mowat (Folger Institute).

Speakers: Denise Albanese (George Mason University), Jonathan Burton (West Virginia University), Sandra Gustafson (University of Notre Dame),  Dayton Haskin (Professor of English, Boston College), Nan Johnson (The Ohio State University), Coppélia Kahn (Brown University), Rosemary Kegl (University of Rochester), Marvin McAllister (Howard University), Jennifer Mylander (Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Heather S. Nathans (University of Maryland), Peggy O’Brien (Corporation for Public Broadcasting), and Elizabeth Renker (The Ohio State University).

Commentators: Arthur Applebee (University at Albany, SUNY), Michael Bristol (McGill University), John Guillory (New York University), and Michael Warner (Rutgers University).


This conference sought to answer the following questions: Under what conditions did Shakespeare’s plays become an integral component of America’s cultural literacy, its moral education, its civic formation? At what levels of instruction, for what socio-economic classes and ethnic groups, and playing what roles in American political, military, or social histories?   What exemplary “Shakespeares” have American classrooms created, for what purposes, and at what cross-purposes? With what kinds of records may scholars tell what kinds of histories of the teaching of Shakespeare?


2007 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture

Barbara Mowat (Folger Shakespeare Library)

"The Founders and the Bard"


2008 Spring Seminar

"Shakespeare on Screen in Theory and Practice"

Directors: Katherine Rowe (Bryn Mawr) and Tom Cartelli (Muhlenberg College)


The seminar focused on several of the more cutting-edge developments in screen Shakespeare, welcoming a range of approaches to adaptation, exhibition, and reception. It sought opportunities to look back from this recent period of experimentation to the long history of Shakespeare on screen, inviting reflection on the place of audio-visual adaptations in academic and classroom practice.


2008 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture

Alan Stewart (Columbia University)

"How Shakespeare Made History"

2009 Spring Seminar
"Researching Theatre History"
Director: Russell Jackson (University of Birmingham)
This seminar  focused on the theory and practice of research in theatre history, with particular emphasis on recent developments in the field. Participants explored a range of possible paradigms for theatre research, including the interpretation of theatrical biography and autobiography; the evaluation of theatrical reviewers; the use of archival material in interpreting the economic and social dimensions of performance; the archaeology of acting styles; the place of scenic spectacle and music in Shakespearean performance; and the rediscovery and application of early modern staging techniques.
2009 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture
Russell Jackson (University of Birmingham)
"Sensational Shakespeares"
2010 Fall Workshop
"Reassessing Henry VII"

Organizers: Paul E. J. Hammer (University of Colorado at Boulder) and Kathleen Lynch (Folger Institute).


Speakers: Thomas P. Campbell (Metropolitan Museum of Art) will deliver the keynote address. Invited session leaders include Susan Bordo (University of Kentucky), Susan Doran (Jesus College, Oxford), T.S. Freeman (Cambridge University), Steven Gunn (Merton College, Oxford), Maria Hayward (University of Southampton), Christopher Highley (The Ohio State University), Peter Marshall (University of Warwick), Barbara Mowat (Folger Shakespeare Library), Tania String (University of Bristol), and Susan Wabuda (Fordham University).


This workshop, sponsored by the Center for Shakespeare Studies, was scheduled in conjunction with two Folger events: the production of The Famous History of the Life of King Henry VIII and the exhibition Vivat Rex! Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Accession of Henry VIII. Key themes of the workshop included important new work on the material culture of Henry’s reign (especially artworks and dress), new perspectives on the Henrician Reformation, biographical studies of the king himself, and the impact on scholarship and teaching of modern media images of Henry and his royal court.

2010 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture
Jonathan Bate (University of Warwick)
"The Good Life in Shakespeare"
2010 NEH Summer Institute
"Ritual and Ceremony: Late-Medieval Europe to Early America"
Director: Claire Sponsler (University of Iowa)
2011 Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture
Wendy Wall (Northwestern University)
"Food for Thought: Shakespeare and the Art of the Kitchen"
2011 NEH Summer Institute
"Shakespeare: From the Globe to the Global"
Director: Michael Niell (University of Auckland)
This institute will equipped college teachers with the knowledge to introduce their students to Shakespeare in his global and historical contexts. While the plays initially reflected the concerns of an expanding early modern world, Shakespeare soon emerged as a voice and an icon of empire and Englishness. He is now the most significant representative of a globalized literary culture and the most popular playwright of the non-Anglophone world. Twenty participants will examined this history of reception, adaptation, translation, and re-appropriation.
Unknown artist. Shakespeare signboard. Oil on panel, late 1600s to early 1700s.

Shakespeare. Plays. London, 1632

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