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Throughout the year, enjoy fascinating lectures, performances, and discussions about exciting topics in Shakespeare’s plays. Select from the months below for information on upcoming lectures and topics.


Shakespeare and the Supernatural

Led by Jim Casey, Associate Professor of English at Arcadia University in Philadelphia
Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2019; 6pm-7pm
Location: The Free Library of Philadelphia; 1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Parkway Central Library); Room 405
Admission: Free with advance registration
Parking: Metered street parking, and nearby garages and lots

Shakespeare’s plays are full of supernatural elements and entities, but how did these fantastic spectacles appear on stage during Shakespeare’s time? What did Shakespeare’s fairies look like? How were ghosts recognized on stage? What were the techniques of stage-magic that made gods and witches (dis)appear or made Oberon turn invisible? Paying particular attention to the material embodiment of magicians, devils, ghosts, and fairies, this lecture will attempt to answer these questions and illuminate the role of the audience in the creation of magic on the early modern stage.

Click here to register today!

*Photo by Kendall Whitehouse

Shakespeare’s Wonder Women

Led by Jim Casey, Associate Professor of English at Arcadia University in Philadelphia
Date: Wednesday, November 20, 2019; 6pm-7pm
Location: The Free Library of Philadelphia; 1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Parkway Central Library); Room 405
Admission: Free with advance registration
Parking: Metered street parking, and nearby garages and lots

In his first letter from the New World in 1493, Christopher Columbus described the women of the island Matremonio as Amazons from classical myth. By Shakespeare’s time, these women-warriors had become regular characters in both fiction and non-fiction texts, and Queen Elizabeth was sometimes associated with the Amazon queen Penthesilea. In Shakespeare’s work, Amazons appear in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Two Noble Kinsmen (based on Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale and co-written with John Fletcher), but what qualities made a woman an Amazon? What do these warriors look like? How “Amazonian” are Shakespeare’s Amazons? By considering these two plays, we will examine what it means to be an Amazon in the plays of Shakespeare.

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Shakespeare and the Violated Body

Led by Jim Casey, Associate Professor of English at Arcadia University in Philadelphia
Date: Wednesday, January 22, 2020; 6pm-7pm
Location: The Free Library of Philadelphia; 1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Parkway Central Library); Room 405
Admission: Free with advance registration
Parking: Metered street parking, and nearby garages and lots

Carol Chillington Rutter suggests that while bodies in texts may disappear, “Material bodies in the theatre remain in view.” Traumatized bodies in literature or criticism can be skipped over or even erased, but in the closed space of the theatre, we cannot ignore the bodies in pain before us. Focusing on Titus Andronicus (one of Shakespeare’s bloodiest plays), this lecture will explore the gendering of violence, the complicity of the audience in violent acts on stage, and the cultural attitudes toward violence during Shakespeare’s time.

Click here to register today!

*Photo by Kendall Whitehouse

Love and Conflict in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Led by Jim Casey, Associate Professor of English at Arcadia University in Philadelphia
Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2020; 6pm-7pm
Location: The Free Library of Philadelphia; 1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Parkway Central Library); Room 405
Admission: Free with advance registration
Parking: Metered street parking, and nearby garages and lots

There is an Internet meme that suggests that Romeo and Juliet is not a love story but rather a brief relationship between two teenagers that causes multiple deaths. But do the lovers cause the deaths or are they themselves the victims of the polarized environment they grow up in? By tracing the literary genealogy of the star-crossed lovers, this lecture will discuss the place of Shakespeare’s lovers in romantic history, in the play itself, and in their divided community.

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About the Presenter:

Jim Casey

Jim Casey is an Associate Professor of English at Arcadia University in Philadelphia and a recent Fulbright Scholar at the University of Debrecen in Hungary. He loves all things Shakespeare and all things geeky, especially those involving the fantastic. He has published essays on fantasy, monstrosity, medieval and early modern poetry, critical theory, comics, anime, masculinity, grief, old age, Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Battlestar Galactica. He is the editor of the New Kittredge Shakespeare edition of Shakespeare and Fletcher’s The Two Noble Kinsmen and, with Christy Desmet and Natalie Loper; he is the co-editor of Shakespeare/Not Shakespeare, a collection of essays on Shakespeare and adaptation.


Special thanks to our “Shakespeare in the World Lecture Series” Partner:

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