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.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

Tiger Blue

Tigers 67, Albany 58

News Blog

Fire damages Pete and Sam's restaurant

News Blog

Report: Memphis 'Ground Zero for Government Waste'

News Blog

IMAX Set For Memphis Return

Beyond the Arc

Heat 107, Grizzlies 82: One Thought

From My Seat

1997-2017: Twenty Years of Memphis Sports

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: Letterman Jacket

Tiger Blue

Tigers 90, Bryant 72

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Leonard Gill

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

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