Shakespeare today is a global phenomenon: over five hundred years after his death, the playwright’s legacy continues to flourish with new performances, reworkings, appropriations, and adaptations continuously produced across the world in a range of languages and across various media. Once exported along with the ideologies and practices of empire, Shakespeare’s works have now become an index for the complex histories of colonialism and postcolonialism as well as a crucial site for studying processes of racialization, constructions of gender across time, and debates over the universalizing idea of “the human.” How did Shakespeare become global? Was the cultural imagination of his plays always already global, written at a time with the very notion of the modern world as we know was being shaped? Have modern adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays made them global and able to cross cultures—or are these versions merely responding to early modern debates about globalization, identity and cultural politics that were already embedded in the drama?
This program explores the political afterlives of “Shakespeare” as a cultural icon and aesthetic touchstone for the Western tradition through a close reading of Romeo & Juliet alongside its adaptation West Side Story, to elucidate the themes that have made Shakespeare global—in particular, questions of race, gender, sexuality, generational conflict, and political intrigue.
*Photograph by Tanya Marcuse*
Associate Professor of Comparative Literature andChair of the Program in
Renaissance Studies, Yale University
Ayesha Ramachandran is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Chair of the Program in Renaissance Studies at Yale University. Her first, prizewinning book, The Worldmakers (University of Chicago Press, 2015) provides a cultural and intellectual history of “the world,” showing how it emerged as a cultural keyword in early modernity. She has also published on Ariosto, Donne, Lucretius, Montaigne, Petrarch, Spenser, and Tasso; on comparative histories of early modern world maps, on the concept of the global early modern, on postcolonial drama, and on the histories of religious fundamentalism and cosmopolitanism in various journals and volumes. Her current projects range from new research on early modern and contemporary South Asia to work in comparative philology, cartography, oral history, and lyric studies. Her new book manuscript in progress is tentatively entitled, Lyric Thinking: Towards a Global Poetics.
- 4 90-minute online lecture and discussion sessions (a total of 6 hours) over 2 weeks
- Pre-program reading selected by the professor
Those who attend 100% of the sessions will each receive a certificate of completion.
The language of the program will be English.
Please download and install the Zoom Application beforehand. Yale Center Beijing’s staff will contact confirmed participants for further testing in advance of the program to ensure a pleasant experience.
Date & Time
China Standard Time：
- Friday, December 9; Saturday, December 10; Friday, December 16; Saturday, December 17;
- 8:30-10:00 pm
- Middle / high school / university students and anyone who is interested in literature and poetry (Recommendation: be at least 16 years old)
- English language proficiency for meaningful participation during discussions
- Special Ticket on Double 11 (by end of November 11, the first five registrants will receive a copy of the Pelican English version of Romeo and Juliet): RMB 3,499
- Flash Sale (by November 18): RMB 3,599
- Friends of YCB Ticket (Open to participants of previous YCB programs, by November 25): RMB 3,399
- Early Bird (by November 25): RMB 4,599
- Student Ticket (by November 25): RMB 4,599
- Group Discount Price (at least three persons, by November 25): RMB 4,599
- Standard Ticket: RMB 5,599
*The registration fee for the event is non-refundable. Unless due to a force majeure reason, Yale Center Beijing will not refund any part of the registration fee if a participant fails to attend the event.
+86 139 1131 9551
To apply, scan the QR code below, or click HERE.
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