The Bard Goes Green 

Since everyone under the sun is going green, shouldn't Shakespeare too get into the act? He already has. Scholars are examining the Bard's plays in terms of the "ecology of the self" (see, for example, A Midsummer Night's Dream and the boundaries between human and animal), and they're considering the idea of "nature" in Renaissance England (see, for example, As You Like It and its contrast between city and countryside).

The label scholars use for such studies is "ecocriticism," and one of those scholars, Scott Newstok of Rhodes College, defines the term accordingly: "Ecocriticism is the study of the relationship between literature and the natural environment. And whereas many environmental-studies scholars have approached the subject from the natural sciences, humanities scholars address environmental issues from a historical, philosophical, and literary perspective, seeking to clarify our very presumptions about what we mean when we speak about 'nature' or 'the environment.'"

Those environmental issues can go from theological notions of the universe to contemporary garden design.

Eager to learn more? Newstok (who recently co-edited a collection of essays titled Weyward Macbeth: Intersections of Race and Performance) has organized a symposium (free and open to the public) at Rhodes on Friday, March 26th. The keynote speaker is Robert Watson of UCLA, whose award-winning Back to Nature: The Green and the Real in the Late Renaissance has been praised as "the most powerful and wide-ranging 'green' reading of early modern literature that has yet emerged." Watson will be joined in a roundtable discussion by other scholars to discuss the "state of the field." For more information on the symposium, go to rhodes.edu/shakespeare.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

The Latest

News Blog

MEMernet: #SunsOutBunsOut

Memphis Gaydar

New Grant Up For LGBTQ-Friendly Nonprofits

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: Louise Page

Politics Beat Blog

Trump Endorsement of Hagerty Senate Bid May Have Force of Edict

From My Seat

The NBA's Supermen

We Saw You

Shift + Gallery, Uriah Mitchell, LGBT Legends, Loving Local

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Leonard Gill

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2019

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation