Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Thematic Through-Line?

Macbeth. So foul and fair a day I have not seen. (1.3.35)

Macbeth. This supernatural soliciting
Cannot be ill, cannot be good. (1.3.129-30)

Lady Macduff. I am in this earthly world where to do harm
Is often laudable, to do good sometime
Accounted dangerous folly. (4.2.71-74)

Macduff. Such welcome and unwelcome things at once,
'Tis hard to reconcile. (4.3.138-39)

Macbeth in Perfomance

Ian McKellen (Macbeth) and Judi Dench (Lady Macbeth)

Ian McKellen, The Dagger Soliloquy

Ian McKellen, "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow"

Ian McKellen discusses Macbeth's last soliloquy

Macbeth: Historical Context

Top to bottom: family tree from John Leslie, De origine, moribus et rebus gestis Scotorum (1578); title-page of King James's Daemonologie (1597); portrait of King James by Daniel Mytens (1621); portrait of Martin Luther by the Workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder (c.1532); portrait of Desiderius Erasmus by Hans Holbein the Younger (1523).

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Shakespeare and Selfhood: Select Bibliography

Some of the books and articles below deal with selfhood quite explicitly. Others explore related concepts such as performance, political subjectivity, conscience, emotion, and sensation. I offer these sources as potential starting points as you begin to brainstorm ideas for your paper. As always, let me know if you have questions!

Altman, Joel B. The Tudor Play of Mind: Rhetorical Inquiry and the Development of Elizabethan Drama. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1978.
------. The Improbability of Othello: Rhetorical Anthropology and Shakespearean Selfhood. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.
Archer, John Michael. Technically Alive: Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
Bailey, Amanda. Of Bondage: Debt, Property, and Personhood in Early Modern England. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013.
Beckwith, Sarah. Shakespeare and the Grammar of Forgiveness. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011.
Braun, Harald and Edward Vallance, eds. Contexts of Conscience in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1700. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.
Curran, Kevin. “Feeling Criminal in Macbeth.” Criticism 54.3 (2012): 391-401, Special Issue on "Shakespeare and Phenomenology," ed. Kevin Curran and James Kearney.
------. “Hospitable Justice: Law and Selfhood in Shakespeare’s Sonnets.” Law, Culture, and the Humanities 9 (2013): 295-310.
De Grazia, Margreta, Maureen Quilligan, and Peter Stallybrass, eds., Subject and Object in Renaissance Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
------. Hamlet without Hamlet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
 Ferry, Anne. The “Inward” Language: Sonnets of Wyatt, Sidney, Shakespeare, Donne. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983.
Fineman, Joel. Shakespeare’s Perjured Eye: The Invention of Poetic Subjectivity in the Sonnets. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986.
Floyd-Wilson, Mary. English Ethnicity and Race in Early Modern England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
------ and Garrett A. Sullivan, Jr., eds., Environment and Embodiment in Early Modern England. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
Fudge, Erica. Brutal Reasoning: Animals, Rationality, and Humanity in Early Modern England. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006.
Garber, Marjorie. Daemonic Figures: Shakespeare and the Question of Conscience. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994.
Hanson, Elizabeth. Discovering the Subject in Renaissance England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Harris, Jonathan Gil. Untimely Matter in the Time of Shakespeare. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009.
Hartley, Andrew James. “Page and Stage Again: Rethinking Renaissance Character Phenomenologically,” in New Directions in Renaissance Drama and Performance Studies, ed. Sarah Werner, 77-91. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
Harvey, Elizabeth D., ed. Sensible Flesh: On Touch in Early Modern Culture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003.
Holbrook, Peter. Shakespeare’s Individualism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Hutson, Lorna. The Invention of Suspicion: Law and Mimesis in Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
Kinney, Arthur. Lies Like Truth: Shakespeare, Macbeth, and the Cultural Moment. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2001.
Kottman, Paul. A Politics of the Scene. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008.
Kuzner, James. Open Subjects: English Renaissance Republicans, Modern Selfhoods, and the Virtue of Vulnerability. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011.
Lee, John. Shakespeare’s Hamlet and the Controversies of Self. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000.
Lupton, Julia Reinhard. Citizen-Saints: Shakespeare and Political Theology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
------. Thinking with Shakespeare: Essays on Politics and Life. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011.
Maus, Katharine Eisaman. Inwardness and Theater in the English Renaissance. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.
------. Being and Having in Shakespeare. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
Paster, Gail Kern. Humoring the Body: Emotions and the Shakespearean Stage. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.
------, Katherine Rowe, and Mary Floyd-Wilson, eds., Reading the Early Modern Passions: Essays in the Cultural History of Emotion. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.
Reiss, Timothy J. Mirages of the Selfe: Patterns of Personhood in Ancient and Early Modern Europe. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003.
Schoenfeldt, Michael C. Bodies and Selves in Early Modern England: Physiology and Inwardness in Spenser, Shakespeare, Herbert, and Milton. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Seigel, Jerrold. The Idea of the Self: Thought and Experience in Western Europe since the Seventeenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Selleck, Nancy. The Interpersonal Idiom in Shakespeare, Donne, and Early Modern Culture. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.
Smith, Bruce R. Phenomenal Shakespeare. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
Sullivan, Jr., Garrett A. Sleep, Romance, and Human Embodiment: Vitality from Spenser to Milton. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Taylor, Charles. Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989.
Turner, Henry S. “The Problem of the More-than-One: Friendship, Calculation, and Political Association in The Merchant of Venice.” Shakespeare Quarterly 57 (2006): 413-42.
Watson, Robert. Back to Nature: The Green and the Real in the Late Renaissance. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.
Werner, Sarah, ed. New Directions in Renaissance Drama and Performance Studies. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
Wilson, Luke. Theaters of Intention: Drama and the Law in Early Modern England. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000.
Yates, Julian. Error, Misuse, Failure: Object Lessons from the English Renaissance. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002

Monday, November 9, 2015

Research Paper

Due: Friday, December 11 (before midnight)
Length: 3,000 words
Format: Word, double-spaced, standard margins, standard font (Times New Roman or Cambria). Your paper should have a title and your name on it.
How to submit: by email (kevin.curran@unil.ch). Write "Research Paper" in the subject line. Use your last name as the file name (i.e. Johnson.doc).

The major assignment of the course, the Research Paper should tackle a significant question and demonstrate: 

(1) that you have read the relevant plays/sonnets very closely.
(2) that you know how to advance a compelling argument and support it with evidence.
(3) that you know how to position that argument in relation to the ideas of other critics.
(4) that you know how to analyze literary texts in a way that is responsive to cultural, historical, and/or philosophical context.

You may work on any topic relevant to our course theme, "Shakespeare and Selfhood," and any play or plays we've dealt with. The sonnets are fair game, too. I don't offer ready-made essay prompts of the sort you'd find on an exam. At Masters level, I think it's crucial that you learn how to develop your own research topics--topics that are significant but still manageable. This is an important intellectual and critical skill. That said, I'm happy to list a few broad areas of investigation that might help you focus your thinking a bit. Most of this stuff grows out of discussions we've had in class.

Selfhood and science

Selfhood and the Reformation

Selfhood and Renaissance education  

Selfhood and performance

Philosophical contexts of selfhood 
(Aristotle, phenomneology; agency, intention; the mind-body problem; etc.)

Selfhood and economics

Selfhood and political theory 

Selfhood and gender and/or sexuality 

Humans and animals

Humans and things

Colonial contexts

And much, much more!   

Remember that scholarship, like theater, benefits from collaboration and discussion. Talk to each other as you develop your paper topics. And feel free to come talk to me, too! I'm more than happy to offer guidance. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015

Exam Dossiers -- Deadline: Friday, December 4

If you choose to take a university exam on this course, please send me your dossier -- a short description of two themes you'd like to write an essay on and a reading list of 8-10 items that will allow you to deepen your knowledge of those themes -- by the end of week 12: Friday, December 4.

If you are opting for a written exam, you will get back from me two questions and you will choose one.

If you are opting for an oral exam, you will not have a choice but will instead be presented with one topic to discuss on the day of the exam.

Remember: You don't have to take an exam on this course. You may decide instead to validate it simply by doing the course assignments and getting a final grade. This is your choice. If you do choose to do the exam and this happens to be your first semester in the M.A. program, then you're on the 2015 plan d'études and don't have to do the course work. (i.e. You do the exam instead of the course assignments.) If you choose to do the exam and this is not your first semester in the M.A. program then you're on the old plan d'études and have to do all coursework as well as the exam.