NTC Seminar Preview - June 28, 2012

NTC Seminar Preview - June 28, 2012

Ocular Proof: Shakespeare on Film

Regina Buccola, Roosevelt University

Participants will discuss a range of Shakespeare films that take a variety of approaches to transmuting the plays from page/stage to screen. Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet reproduced a conflated text, combining the second quarto (Q2) and First Folio versions of the play. Julie Taymor’s Tempest, (mostly) faithfully follows the play, but alters the play’s meta-theatrical magus from the patriarchal Prospero to Prospera. Popular adaptations like 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s the Man and O fuse the high school angst and stereotyped characterization popularized in the 1980s by John Hughes with Shakespearean plots. We will break down the false high culture (literature)/popular – or even low – culture (film) dichotomy, exploring the intertextual relationship between the films and the plays that inspired them.

Flashpoints and Deep Trends: Critical Cases for Politics in Africa

Patrick M. Boyle, Loyola University

This seminar provides an introduction to politics in contemporary Africa through the lens of four critical case studies, each one tracing a path from colonial realities to current challenges and opportunities. While the conditions for the development of prosperous societies and viable states are present in many countries in the region, the realization of these goals remain elusive. The cases examined will be Kenya and the Rule of Law; The Sudan and State Fragmentation; Nigeria and the Interplay of Religion and Ethnicity; and, Zimbabwe and the Perils of Single Party Rule. The Seminar argues that while the legacy of colonialism has certainly diminished in each case, the challenges for contemporary politics are no less daunting.

Sex, Violence and Gladiators: Teaching the Roman Empire (without Hollywood)

Andrew Miller, DePaul University

This seminar explores teaching methods and tools (e.g. images, sources, documentaries) for approaching Imperial Rome. We will approach the Roman Empire not just as a historical subject, but also as a teaching tool to analyze how modern concepts of the past are formed (e.g. the changing nature of sources and scholarship). Following a power-point overview of the transition from Republic to Empire, as well as the shift from Principate to Dominate and the religious and military transition of the Empire during the third and especially fourth century, we will discuss sources that could be useful in the classroom and talk about strategies to approach such an important, yet often misunderstood, subject.

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