Leonard Barkan

  • Learning Shakespeare by Doing

    A course on works of dramatic literature whose comparative dimension is theatrical performance. We will consider four Shakespeare plays covering a range of theatrical genres; the emphasis will be on the ways in which Shakespearean meaning can be elucidated when the reader becomes a performer. Students will move from the reading/performing of individual speeches to the staging of scenes to the question of how an overall theatrical conception for a play might be a key to the fullest understanding of the text.
  • One Text, Many Angles: Merchant of Venice

    This course will place Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice at the center of a many-sided scrutiny. It is a play about love, about the law (and the Law), about commerce, about Europe's discovery of the farther world, about the everlasting lure of Venice, about same-sex desire, about what it means to be a Jew, and about what Christians imagined it meant to be a Jew. The play also inserts itself in a nexus that includes many other texts, ranging from the Bible to Boccaccio to Marlowe to Philip Roth.
  • Learning Shakespeare by Doing

    A course on works of dramatic literature whose comparative dimension is theatrical performance. We will consider four Shakespeare plays covering a range of theatrical genres; the emphasis will be on the ways in which Shakespearean meaning can be elucidated when the reader becomes a performer. Students will move from the reading/performing of individual speeches to the staging of scenes to the question of how an overall theatrical conception for a play might be a key to the fullest understanding of the text.
  • One Text, Many Angles: Merchant of Venice

    This course will place Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice at the center of a many-sided scrutiny. It is a play about love, about the law (and the Law), about commerce, about Europe's discovery of the farther world, about the everlasting lure of Venice, about same-sex desire, about what it means to be a Jew, and about what Christians imagined it meant to be a Jew. The play also inserts itself in a nexus that includes many other texts, ranging from the Bible to Boccaccio to Marlowe to Philip Roth.
  • The Classical Roots of Western Literature

    A reading of some of the greatest works of literature in the Western tradition from Homer to the late Middle Ages. The course is also designed as an introduction to Comparative Literature -- that is, a reading of literary works across the boundaries of time, geography, and language. All works taught in English.
  • The Classical Roots of Western Literature

    A reading of some of the greatest works of literature in the Western tradition from Homer to the late Middle Ages. The course is also designed as an introduction to Comparative Literature -- that is, a reading of literary works across the boundaries of time, geography, and language. All works taught in English.
  • Learning Shakespeare by Doing

    A course on works of dramatic literature whose comparative dimension is theatrical performance. We will consider four Shakespeare plays covering a range of theatrical genres; the emphasis will be on the ways in which Shakespearean meaning can be elucidated when the reader becomes a performer. Students will move from the reading/performing of individual speeches to the staging of scenes to the question of how an overall theatrical conception for a play might be a key to the fullest understanding of the text.
  • Studies in Forms of Narrative: Jokes, Laughter, Comedy

    A grand old subject - why do we laugh and how does the comic function within literary works and cultural experience? - about which we'll see if we can say something new. Classic statements on the topic, e.g., Freud and Bergson, but some forays into more contemporary theories, including cognitive science. Literary materials mostly drawn from the early modern period - Erasmus, Rabelais, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Molière - alongside examples from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, to be chosen by the seminar members themselves.
  • Learning Shakespeare by Doing

    A course on works of dramatic literature whose comparative dimension is theatrical performance. We will consider four Shakespeare plays covering a range of theatrical genres; the emphasis will be on the ways in which Shakespearean meaning can be elucidated when the reader becomes a performer. Students will move from the reading/performing of individual speeches to the staging of scenes to the question of how an overall theatrical conception for a play might be a key to the fullest understanding of the text.
  • Studies in Forms of Narrative: Jokes, Laughter, Comedy

    A grand old subject - why do we laugh and how does the comic function within literary works and cultural experience? - about which we'll see if we can say something new. Classic statements on the topic, e.g., Freud and Bergson, but some forays into more contemporary theories, including cognitive science. Literary materials mostly drawn from the early modern period - Erasmus, Rabelais, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Molière - alongside examples from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, to be chosen by the seminar members themselves.

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