ENGL 18860/38860 Black Shakespeare

This course explores the role played by the Shakespearean canon in the shaping of Western ideas about Blackness, in long-term processes of racial formation, and in global racial struggles from the early modern period to the present. Students will read Shakespearean plays portraying Black characters (Othello, Titus Andronicus, The Tempest, and Antony and Cleopatra) in conversation with African-American, Caribbean, and Post-colonial rewritings of those plays by playwrights Toni Morrison, Amiri Baraka, Bernard Jackson, Djanet Sears, Keith Hamilton Cobb, Aimé Césaire, Derek Walcott, Lolita Chakrabarti, and film-makers Max Julien and Jordan Peele. Students will also get to speak and think with theatre-makers Keith Hamilton Cobb, Kim Weild, and Debra Ann Byrd when they visit this class as part of the UChicago “Black Baroque” focus series during Weeks 5 and 6.

2020-2021 Spring