Joubin Receives the Martin Luther King Jr. Award

By | April 30, 2023

Alexa Alice Joubin received the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, which recognizes Professor Joubin’s “contributions to social justice and inclusive excellence ” that exemplify “the ideals that Dr. King espoused,” particularly “community-based social justice organizing rooted in non-violence.” Read More

Joubin receives the bell hooks Legacy Award

By | April 10, 2023

Alexa Alice Joubin, a scholar of critical race theory, feminism, and transgender, performance, and film studies, was named the inaugural recipient of the bell hooks Legacy Award on April 7, 2023. The Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association (PCA / ACA) established the award to commemorate the late feminist writer and activist bell hooks (1952-2021) who has authored more than 30 books. Read More

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

Cymbeline in the Anthropocene: A global eco-theatrical collaboration

By | September 15, 2022

Cymbeline the Anthropocene is an international performance-research project which brings together seven theatre companies and environmentally committed productions from four continents. It is the first collective effort to present Shakespeare’s ecological insights to audiences beyond academia or the Anglosphere. Each contributing company has created locally site-specific and ecologically adapted performances of Shakespeare’s late tragi-comedy, Cymbeline. Read More

Shakespeare in Cuba: Caliban’s Books

By | September 13, 2022

Donna Woodford-Gormley‘s new book, Shakespeare in Cuba (2021), uses the lens of cultural anthropophagy to explore Cuban adaptations of Shakespeare.  According to the theory of cultural anthropophagy, or literary cannibalism, a culture, like Cuba, can consume Shakespearean plays, but digest them and embody them in new ways, giving life to both the consumed and the consumer. The theory has its roots in Latin America, and so it is an appropriate tool for examining how Shakespeare’s plays have been consumed, digested, and embodied in Cuban forms, but it is also an inclusive theory that places neither culture in a position of subservience and allows all to join the feast. Read More

Open-Access Textbook: Screening Shakespeare

By | August 21, 2022

We are pleased to announce the publication of MIT Global Shakespeares co-founder Alexa Alice Joubin’s Screening Shakespeare, a new, open-access, online textbook with interactive learning modules. You can learn about key concepts of film and adaptation studies. The openly-licensed book is free to all. You can learn about film theory, mise-en-scène, cinematography, sound and music, and adaptation strategies in the context of global Shakespeare. 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

Samurai Shakespeare: Early Modern Tragedy in Feudal Japan

By | April 12, 2022

This is a book of convergences. First, the collision between Japan and Shakespeare, who was imported by the Meiji Empire in the 1880s, along with western technology and culture, as a contemporary dramatist. Second, the much later historicist juxtaposition of Shakespeare’s plays with the 600-year long samurai era, as engineered by Japanese cinema and theatre directors such as Akira Kurosawa and Yukio Ninagawa, whose major productions of Shakespeare’s tragedies form the focus of this study. Read More

Veteran actor Lee Soon-jae performs King Lear

By | December 17, 2021

South Korean actor Lee Soon-jae has appeared on the small and big screen for over 60 years. In Fall 2021, Lee accepted the role of King Lear in a new production directed by Lee Hyon-u, English professor at Soon Chun Hyang University, vice president of the Shakespeare Association of Korea, and a longtime collaborator of the MIT Global Shakespeare Project. The script which was translated by Professor Lee remains faithful to William Shakespeare’s original play. However, actress Lee Yeon Hee played both Cordelia, Lear’s youngest daughter, and the Fool. In this play, Cordelia disguises herself as the Fool, traveling with Lear until she is able to bring the French army to her father’s aid. Read More

ESRA Conference 2021

By | September 13, 2021

It has now been a couple of months since the delights of the ESRA Virtual Conference 2021 which I believe was a major international gathering bringing together so many scholars, practitioners, specialists, organisations, theatre companies, representatives of government agencies, and participants from around the globe concerned about exploring the inextricable relationship between art and nature as it relates to politics not only in Shakespeare’s era of globalized trade but also in today’s era of environmental and socio-economic crises. Read More

Reflections on WSC 2021

By | August 10, 2021

The World Shakespeare Congress is often referred to as the Olympics of Shakespeare studies. This year’s “Shakespeare Circuits” theme fully embodies this Olympic metaphor as it invites multiple circuits of diverse knowledge and experience to intersect. It was refreshing to hear and join dialogues between familiar and unfamiliar names in the field. This is definitely one of the upsides of virtual conferencing. Luckily, the WSC also recorded most sessions and performances, which allowed me to shuffle through the recordings at my own pace, while enjoying some of Pek Sin Choon’s delicious tea. Read More

What do We Need to Know about Shakespeare before the World Ends?

By | May 03, 2021

Shakespeare is over 450 years old and yet we are still turning to him to help us make sense of ourselves and the world. There is something about his plays that manages to speak complicated truths to all types of readers and spectators. Is it Shakespeare’s inexhaustible repertoire of human experience that makes him so relevant today? Shakespeare seems to serve as a timeless and ever shifting oracle from which we draw our truths. A new publication in Brazil vigorously concentrates on the Bard during the trying times of the pandemic. Read More

Turkish Shakespeares

By | April 28, 2021

Turkish Shakespeares launched on April 23, 2021 — William Shakespeare’s 405th birthday. The website aims to introduce texts, productions and research on Turkish Shakespeares to a broader international audience of students, teachers, and researchers. New content will be added every two weeks. 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

“Shakespeare, Woolf, and Shake-shifting” Podcast

By | February 23, 2021

Diana Henderson, Arthur J. Conner Professor of Literature and MacVicar Faculty Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Co-editor of Shakespeare Studies, spoke in a recent podcast entitled Shakespeare, Woolf, and Shake-shifting, part of a series called Women and Shakespeare. She discussed “Virginia Woolf’s collaborations with Shakespeare, Shakespeare Films, adaptations and Shake-shifting, and collaborative models for the discipline.” Read More

66th Taormina Film Fest

By | September 16, 2020

The 66th Taormina Film Fest took place in Sicily July 11-19, 2020. The feature film Il Re Muore (The King Dies) directed by Laura Angiulli, founder and company director of Galleria Toledo, was selected for the “Feature Competition” of the festival. Read More

The Value of the Humanities

By | December 13, 2019

MIT Global Shakespeares founding co-director Alexa Alice Joubin was quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education, the largest newspaper in the U.S. dedicated to covering colleges and universities (founded in 1966 and based in Washington, D.C.). Read More

TED Talk: Global Change through Shakespeare

By | October 23, 2019

Alexa Alice Joubin will be giving a TED-style plenary presentation on “Global Change through Shakespeare” during the Fulbright Association’s 42nd Annual Conference and Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., at 9:15 am on Saturday, October 26


When history is held hostage by politics, when human rights are violated, story-telling helps restore dignity to what it means to be human. When William Shakespeare’s plays move through different cultures, they reveal unexamined assumptions about human nature and tell surprising stories about globalization.
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2019 Shakespeare Festival in Turkey

By | October 03, 2019

The second annual Shakespeare Festival in Turkey took place on April 5-20, 2019 co-chaired by Prof. Dr. Ömer Sekerci and Dr. İlker Özçelik of Suleyman Demirel University. With a total of 26 events over 14 days including six live performances, three recorded performances and a multi-speaker conference, the festival consisted of a wide range of exciting events held in Isparta, İstanbul, Ankara, and İzmir. Read More

Actes des congrès de la Société française Shakespeare 37 (2019)

The Double Bind of Ophelia

By | July 12, 2019

How does Ophelia become “unbound” through supralinguistic structures of spectacle and music especially in a transgender performance? With case studies of three Hamlet films: Haider (India, 2004), The King and the Clown (South Korea, 2005), and Prince of the Himalayas (Tibet, 2006), this article examines theatrical and cinematic presentations of Ophelia’s double bind as an icon and a victim. Read more in Alexa Alice Joubin’s new article on feminist and transgender performances of Ophelia. 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

Translation of the Complete Works in Brazilian Portuguese

By | June 19, 2017 | 2 Comments

A seminal publication for the study and staging of Shakespeare in Brazil, William Shakespeare. Teatro Completo, is the new edition of Shakespeare’s complete works translated into Brazilian Portuguese. Published in a three-volume box by Nova Aguilar Publishing House to mark the 400th anniversary of death of the English playwright, this edition contains the translations of thirty-eight plays by Shakespeare, including unpublished translations such as Edward III. (Volume I: Tragedies and Dark Comedies; Volume II: Comedies and Romances; Volume III: History Plays). Read More

Shaking Out Shakespeare Humanities Symposium

By , | May 25, 2017

The Lancaster Campus of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, hosted its fourth annual humanities symposium from April 11-13, 2017. The three-day event, titled “Shaking Out Shakespeare,” attracted over 600 students, faculty, and community members, and explored the profound influence of William Shakespeare on the arts, humanities, and sciences. Read More

Reflections on Shakespeare 2016, Part One: Elsinore

By | March 31, 2017 | One Comment

Throwing a good party takes an inordinate amount of work, and Shakespeare commemorations are no different. I’m sure many of the organizers of the myriad events honoring Shakespeare’s death (and more optimistically, 400 years of afterlife) at some point during 2016 thought, “Why did I get myself into this?” Some of their other guests may too have shared a sense of the irony—dare we say overkill?—in making a bigger deal of the death than the 450th birthdate two years prior. Read More

Ten Years On: A Second Special Journal Issue on Arab Shakespeares

By | February 03, 2017

Excerpt: When the first Critical Survey special issue on Arab Shakespeares (CS 19:3, Winter 2007) came out nearly a decade ago, the topic was a curiosity. There existed no up-to-date monograph in English on Arab theatre, let alone on Arab Shakespeare. Few Arabic plays had been translated into English. Few British or American theatregoers had seen a play in Arabic. In the then tiny but fast-growing field of international Shakespeare appropriation studies (now ‘Global Shakespeare’) there was a great post-9/11 hunger to know more about the Arab world but also a lingering prejudice that Arab interpretations of Shakespeare would necessarily be derivative or crude, purely local in value. Read More

Workshop: Korean Shakespeare in Theory and Practice

By | July 14, 2016

Since 1990, more than 400 Korean Shakespeare productions have been staged in South Korea, many of them touring beyond the Korean peninsula. Yet now that Korean Shakespeare has become known among both audiences and academics beyond the Korean peninsula, there is a need for greater understanding of the traditional Korean theatre which Korean Shakespeares have so thoroughly adopted. This workshop aims to introduce Korean Shakespeare Boom. Especially it will show how traditional Korean theatres are applied to Shakespearean productions. Read More

Yohangza’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream comes to Wellesley

By | April 11, 2016

Wellesley College celebrates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with Shakespeare on the Global Stage: A Festival of Performance and Scholarship. To kick off the festival, a keynote lecture will be given by Tiffany Stern and Hyon-u Lee on Saturday April 23 at 4:15pm. Yohangza, an internationally acclaimed theatre troupe from Seoul, South Korea, will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7:00pm. Read More

2016 Marks the 500th Anniversary of the Jewish Ghetto in Venice

By | March 29, 2016

MIT’s Global Shakespeares and “The Merchant in Venice” project commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with the first ever on-site performance of The Merchant of Venice in Venice’s 500 year-old Jewish Ghetto. Compagnia de’ Colombari is staging the play as part of the Ghetto Quincentennial. The play, running from 26-31 July 2016 has attracted the interest of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who will be adjudicating a mock trial involving Shylock and Antonio, the rival merchants of the play. Read More

New Translations of the Arab Hamlet Tradition

By | March 14, 2016

To celebrate the release of Four Arab Hamlet Plays, a special evening of readings and discussion will take place at the Segal Theatre in New York on March 14, 2016. Co-editor of the book Margaret Litvin, Arab World Regional Editor for the MIT Global Shakespeares Video and Performance Archive, will participate via Skype. Read More

Shakespeare Happenings in Arizona

By | February 29, 2016 | 3 Comments

Cris Busato Smith, Brazil Regional Editor for the MIT Global Shakespeares Video and Performance Archive, gave two talks at the 22nd Annual ACMRS Conference held 3-6 February 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona: “Brazilian Shakespeares,” delivered on February 4 as part of the panel “Dead at 400: Shakespeare, Cervantes and El Inca Garcilasco,” and “Ophelia in Contemporary Brazilian Art,” delivered on February 6. Read More

When “Global Shakespeare” met the “Arab Spring”

By | October 01, 2015

How do Arab theatre makers navigate a “World Shakespeare” festival, maneuvering between interesting times in their home countries and the expectations of British and global funders and audiences? A recent article by Margaret Litvin, Saffron Walkling, and Raphael Cormack explores some of the contingencies, ironies, and unexpected beauties of these collaborations. 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