Thanks to all who helped organize or who attended my recent talks at Cairo U, Ayn Shams (Al-Alsun and Drama Dept), and/or AUC. It was humbling and mind-sharpening to do them in light of everything that was happening in Cairo. And is still happening. Happy (to the limited extent possible) Election Day!
Thanks also to Sameh Fekry Hanna from whose dissertation I lifted the 1912 image at left: “Shakespeare, the democratic English dramatic poet.”
One more talk coming up at Helwan U on Dec 8.
Apologies for the weird focus on the video – I think everyone is still getting the hang of the new technology.
Judging by the dress rehearsal I saw last night, there are still some technical things to be ironed out before tonight’s opening (never mind the idea of change – the real issue is that these guys are scrambling for provisional closure, editing to the last minute!), some meanings to be nailed down, but the play has an amazing energy.
Boston people: come see the show and any of the myriad post-show or para-show events at ArtsEmerson! Reminder: you can also see Sulayman and me in discussion with Graham Holderness at BU this afternoon, 12-2.
Excited that this informal event at BU is actually happening!
I have an article in here about Sulayman Al-Bassam, complete critical history of his work up to and including the Richard III project.
Why are the publishers having so much trouble getting this quotation to appear correctly in Arabic in the forthcoming issue of Shakespeare Studies? Right-to-left issues are a pain. My article on ‘Abdu will be in Shakespeare Studies Vol. 39, accessible via full-text humanities search engines as well as Google Books and the like.
I spent yesterday over at MIT working with Belinda Yung on the Arab world section of the “Global Shakespeares electronic archive. I’m the “regional editor.” We’ve already put up skeletal production info on a few Arab productions and adaptations of Shakespeare – you can expect a lot more in a week or two, including extensive clips from Mohamed Sobhi (محمد صبحي)’s melodramatic 1970s Hamlet production with the Art Studio company.
If you have text or video materials on more plays, please send them to me so we can get them posted!
Under the nice headline “Was Shakespeare an Orientalist?” Beirut’s Daily Star covers our just-concluded conference on “Shakespeare’s Imagined Orient” at AUB. Splendidly organized by Francois-Xavier Gleyzon of AUB’s English department, the conference staged a conversation some of the most important scholars working to remap Shakespeare’s relationship to the Muslim world. Five men were at the center of this conversation: Jerry Brotton, Dan Vitkus, Gerald Maclean, Jonathan Burton, and Gil Harris. My talk was really marginal to the whole thing (I’m not an early modernist), but for obvious journalistic reasons (even if she is not Arab, her readers are), the Daily Star reporter seized on it. She thus ironically supported Ferial Ghazoul’s thesis (in “The Arabization of Othello“), which my talk was trying to problematize: the idea that when Arabs look at Shakespeare, “their point of view” (many Arabs, one point of view) leads them to an immediate and almost exclusive focus on the representation of people like themselves. Well, perhaps such narcissism is only human. Which of us can pick up a friend’s book without looking up our own name in the index?
Woo hoo! Available for pre-order at Princeton: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9582.html.