All Posts By

Alexa Alice Joubin

Shakespeare’s Transgender Plays

By | March 28, 2023

Cross-gender roles and performances permeate many of Shakespeare’s plays. Viola presents as pageboy Cesario for most of the dramatic action in Twelfth Night. Falstaff escapes Ford’s house as the Witch of Brainford in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Rosalind ventures into the woods as Ganymede in As You Like It. In that same comedy, Celia (as Aliena), Phoebe, and Audrey were also played by boy actors in Shakespeare’s time. In Cymbeline, British princess Imogen dresses as a male servant, Fidele, on their quest to find their husband among the Roman soldiers. Read the special issue on contemporary transgender performance of Shakespeare of the open-access journal dedicated to Shakespeare and appropriation, Borrowers and Lenders. Read More

Sinophone Adaptations of Shakespeare

By | July 08, 2022

Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear have inspired incredible work in the Sinophone theatres of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China for over two centuries as political theatre, comedic parody, Chinese opera, and avant-garde theatre. Gender roles in the plays take on new meanings when they are embodied by actors whose new accents expand the characters’ racial identities. A new, one-of-a-kind anthology, Sinophone Adaptations of Shakespeare, edited by Alexa Alice Joubin, honors this fact of diversity. English-subtitled videos of most of the plays in this anthology are available on MIT Global Shakespeares. Read More

A Transgender Ophelia

By | July 07, 2022

What if some Shakespearean characters are transgender or played by trans actors? Examples include Viola as pageboy Cesario in Twelfth Night, Falstaff as the Witch of Brainford in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Rosalind as Ganymede in As You Like It, and Imogen disguised as the boy Fidele in Cymbeline. Different kinds of trans practices elicit contrasting reactions. While trans masculine acts, such as those staged by Viola’s Cesario, are often performed in the vein of empowerment, trans feminine characters, such as Falstaff’s Witch of Brainford, are ridiculed by other characters and by the audiences. Read More

Fulbright Snapshot: Joubin’s New Book

By | March 24, 2021

Shakespeare and East Asia (2021) explores distinctive themes in post-1950s Asian-themed performances and adaptations of Shakespeare. In this Fulbright Snapshot, Alexa Alice Joubin discusses the book and the importance of wider research into Global Shakespeares. Read More

New Book: Race (Routledge New Critical Idiom Series)

By | February 10, 2019

MIT Global Shakespeares co-founder and co-editor Alexa Alice Joubin has published a new book, Race, with postcolonial theorist Martin Orkin. The book is part of Routledge’s New Critical Idiom series. The series emphasizes clarity, lively debate, and original and distinctive studies of important topics by leading scholars. Read More

South Africa’s Shakespeare by Adele Seeff

By | November 02, 2018

Shakespeare’s role in England’s global expansion is often categorized as a conduit for Empire. For example, Shakespeare’s texts were performed in English for the entertainment of European traders in Calcutta and Bombay in 1775. However, his texts function in a much more complicated way than these earlier models of transmission from London to the peripheries. Performances of Shakespeare offer a lens through which we can view the movement of peoples and their languages and cultures. Read More

London Globe

New Book: Local and Global Myths in Shakespearean Performance

By | October 26, 2018

Local and Global Myths in Shakespearean Performance. Edited by Aneta Mancewicz and Alexa Alice Joubin. In the Reproducing Shakespeare series (ed. Tom Cartelli and Katherine Rowe). Palgrave Macmillan, 2018 “Contradictory myths are the foundation to many conversations about Shakespeare today. We can better grasp the significance of globalShakespeare by understanding the cultural logic of the production and consumption of these myths—often articulated in the form of journalistic adoration of universal aesthetics.” Full text of the Introduction: Read More

New Book on Ethics, Shakespeare, and Appropriation

By | February 20, 2015

Making an important new contribution to rapidly expanding fields of study surrounding the adaptation and appropriation of Shakespeare, Shakespeare and the Ethics of Appropriation (edited by Alexa Huang and Elizabeth Rivlin) is the first book to address the intersection of ethics, aesthetics, authority, and authenticity. Read More