East Asia by the Book! CEAS Author Talks: Alexa Alice Joubin - "Shakespeare and East Asia" - Michael Saenger

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Alexa Alice Joubin

Alexa Alice Joubin will discuss Shakespeare and East Asia. She will be joined in conversation by Michael Saenger.

Presented in partnership with the University of Chicago Center for East Asian Studies


About the book: Structured around modes in which one might encounter Asian-themed performances and adaptations, Shakespeare and East Asia identifies four themes that distinguish post-1950s East Asian cinemas and theatres from works in other parts of the world: Japanese formalistic innovations in sound and spectacle; reparative adaptations from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong; the politics of gender and reception of films and touring productions in South Korea and the UK; and multilingual, diaspora works in Singapore and the UK. These adaptations break new ground in sound and spectacle; they serve as a vehicle for artistic and political remediation or, in some cases, the critique of the myth of reparative interpretations of literature; they provide a forum where diasporic artists and audiences can grapple with contemporary issues; and, through international circulation, they are reshaping debates about the relationship between East Asia and Europe.

Bringing film and theatre studies together, this book sheds new light on the two major genres in a comparative context and reveals deep structural and narratological connections among Asian and Anglophone performances. These adaptations are products of metacinematic and metatheatrical operations, contestations among genres for primacy, or experimentations with features of both film and theatre.

About the author: Alexa Alice Joubin is Professor of English, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, International Affairs, Theatre, and East Asian Languages and Cultures at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she serves as the founding co-director of the Digital Humanities Institute.

About the interlocutor: Michael Saenger, Associate Professor of English, teaches and writes on Shakespeare from a wide variety of perspectives. He is the author of two books, The Commodification of Textual Engagements in the English Renaissance (Ashgate, 2006), and Shakespeare and the French Borders of English (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), and editor of Interlinguicity, Internationality and Shakespeare (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2014), as well as numerous articles on Renaissance and other literature. He has been a Finalist for the Southwestern Teaching Award, and he teaches courses on such subjects as Medieval literature, Shakespeare in film and performing Shakespeare. He publishes blog entries for Reviewing Shakespeare (administered by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the University of Warwick) as well as for The Times of Israel, and he has spoken internationally on Shakespeare in translation.

About CEAS: The Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) and its three Committees — the Committee on Japanese Studies, the Committee on Chinese Studies, and the Committee on Korean Studies — work to enhance opportunities available to scholars both in the United States and abroad, and to foster communication and inter-disciplinary collaboration among the community of professors and students at the University of Chicago and throughout the wider East Asian Studies community.

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