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Virtual Offerings: The Folger Shakespeare Library

The Folger Shakespeare Library is providing a slate of free virtual offerings, from an interactive Hamlet quiz to a discussion series on race’s role in Shakespeare works. Here’s how to learn more about the English poet from home:

Lucy Munro on the King’s Men

On the ‘Shakespeare Unlimited’ podcast, learn the story of The King’s Men, the acting company that performed Shakespeare’s plays for the first time. Barbara Bogaev interviews Lucy Munro, the author of Shakespeare in the Theatre: The King’s Men. Munro discusses the inner workings of bringing Shakespeare to the stage.

Listen to the podcast and view the transcript here.

Kim Hall on American Moor

Read an excerpt from the introduction of Keith Hamilton Cobb’s ‘American Moor.’ Kim Hall, a Professor of English and Africana Studies at Barnard College, wrote the introduction to Cobb’s one-man play. ‘American Moor’ explores “blackness, racial dynamics in American theater, ‘ownership’ of Shakespeare and the subtext of Othello,” according to Shakespeare & Beyond.

Read the excerpt here.

The Political Insect

Bees take center stage in the latest installment of Wild Things, a series exploring the representation of animals in early modern life and culture. Haylie Swenson considers how Shakespeare and other early modern English writers used bees as metaphors for human behavior.

Read “The Political Insect: Bees as An Early Modern Metaphor for Human Hierarchy” here.

Up Close: First Folio

For people missing the library, this interactive tool offers viewers a close look at the title page of Shakespeare’s First Folio. Published in 1623, the First Folio is the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays.

As viewers click through captions recounting the First Folio’s history, the interactive tool zooms in on relevant parts of the title page.

Learn more here.

Quiz: To Be or Not To Be

Test yourself on Hamlet’s famous soliloquy by correctly ordering lines from the famous Act 3, Scene 1 speech.

Can you successfully complete the quiz? That is the question.

Try it here.

Coming up: Critical Race Conversations

As part of its Fiftieth Anniversary Project, the Folger Institute is hosting a series of free online sessions on topics in early modern critical race studies.

According to the Folger website, scholars featured in Critical Race Conversations “are furthering an overdue and necessary push towards reinvigorated investigations, innovative teaching agendas, and social and political activism, all with the goal of creating a more just, inclusive academy and society.”

On Thursday, July 9, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., Ambereen Dadabhoy of Harvey Mudd College and Nedda Mehdizadeh of the University of California, Los Angeles will discuss cultivating an anti-racist pedagogy.

On Thursday, July 16, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., David Sterling Brown and Jennifer L. Stoever, both of Binghamton University, will talk about challenging white centrality and integrating critical race studies into the premodern classroom.

Learn more about Critical Race Conversations here.

Eva Herscowitz is a journalism student at Northwestern University currently interning with the Hill Rag. She writes for Northwestern’s student newspaper, The Daily Northwestern. You can reach her at eva@hillrag.com

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