Visiting scholars to present 'Shakespeare the Recycler'

Wed, 04/02/2014

Contact

Kristi Henderson
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
785-864-3663

LAWRENCE – In an age where reduce, reuse, recycle is a popular mantra, Shakespeare would have fit right in.

The legendary playwright’s approach to look for inspiration in the world around him and in dormant dramatic genres embodies the adage that "everything old is new again.” Two of the world’s top scholars of the Bard will visit the University of Kansas from England to discuss the reasoning and results behind this approach, in a panel titled “Shakespeare the Recycler.”

The presenters will draw on their groundbreaking research about Shakespeare. Gordon McMullan is professor of English at King’s College London and a KU alumnus who earned a master’s in English in 1986. He will look at how Shakespeare modeled some works on traditional folklore featuring birds. Michael Neill is professor of early modern studies at the University of Kent in England and also has a KU connection, as father of English professor and chair Anna Neill. He will examine how Shakespeare resurrected past dramatic genres by means of collaborative writing. Both are prolific authors and editors in the field.

Both scholars’ perspectives demonstrate how the Shakespearean tradition can continue to influence modern writing and thinking, said Jonathan Lamb, KU assistant professor of English and Shakespeare scholar who organized the event.

“The kinds of activities Shakespeare engaged in are more relevant than ever. Recycling is not just a useful concept for the physical environment. It’s an illuminating metaphor for how writers past and present create new works that are at once innovative and familiar,” Lamb said.

The panel, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, at the Hall Center for the Humanities, is open to the public. Please RSVP by Wednesday, April 9, to hallcenter@ku.edu or call 785-864-4798.

The event is co-sponsored by the Hall Center and the Department of English. A question-and-answer session will follow.

The Department of English is in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, which encourages learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers. Through innovative research and teaching, the College emphasizes interdisciplinary education, global awareness and experiential learning. The College is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit.



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