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English 9100A
Othello, Then and Now

Professor M.J. Kidnie
Fall Half Course

This course will study Othello, and some of its theatrical and filmic adaptations. We will consider what defines adaptation as a category of study (especially in relation to potentially “adaptive” choices made by performance), and explore theoretical issues of media transfer from script to stage and television. Of particular interest will be how modern adapters have interpreted and and reinterpreted the play’s action. We will see Othello and Taking Shakespeare at the Stratford Festival on 22 September, and the teaching programme will also include an archival session.

Please have Othello read in advance of the first class, and bring it to our first meeting (the Oxford edition, edited by Michael Neill is on order at the university bookshop, and this edition is highly recommended). Clips from Stage Beauty, Burge’s and Parker’s films of Othello, and Omkara will be shown in class, but students are expected to watch these films in their entirety in their own time; they are all available in the film resource library in the basement of UC.

 

Texts

Othello, ed. Michael Neill
Jeffrey Hatcher, Stage Beauty
Djanet Sears, Harlem Duet
Paula Vogel, Desdemona: A Play about a Handkerchief
Toni Morrison, Desdemona
John Murrell, Taking Shakespeare

Smock Alley Othello (promptbook)
Photo-negative Othello (archival materials from Shakespeare Theater, Washington, DC)

Omkara, dir. Vishal Bhardwaj (2006)
Othello, dir. Stuart Burge (1965)
Othello, dir. Oliver Parker (1995)
Othello, dir. Jude Kelly (2010)
Stage Beauty, dir. Richard Eyre (2004)

View the course syllabus here: English 9100A.


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