James Shapiro: Shakespeare in America (2014)
The talk James Shapiro: Shakespeare in America, part of Talks and Screenings at the Folger on May 12, 2014 in the Folger's Elizabethan Theatre. The acclaimed author, scholar, and professor at Columbia University visited the Folger to discuss his latest book: Shakespeare in America: An Anthology from the Revolution to Now. A viewing of Shakespeare's the Thing, part of the Exhibitions at the Folger and a reception followed the talk.
"The history of Shakespeare in America," Shapiro writes in the introduction to this groundbreaking anthology, "is also the history of America itself." Shapiro's book draws on poetry, fiction, essays, plays, memoirs, songs, speeches, movie reviews, and authors from Emerson and Melville to Pauline Kael and Woody Allen in creating a vivid history of the role of Shakespeare in the United States. With a preface by Bill Clinton, Shapiro's book is a fascinating glimpse of the Bard's influence on American soil.
Find out more in this New York Times article on Shakespeare in America.
Shakespeare in America is now available for purchase at the Folger Gift Shop, online and in person.
James Shapiro is currently Larry Miller Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he has taught since 1985.
He the author of Rival Playwrights: Marlowe, Jonson, Shakespeare (1991), Shakespeare and the Jews (1996), Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World’s Most Famous Passion Play (2000), 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (2005), which was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize for the best non-fiction book published in Britain, and Contested Will (2010), which was awarded the Theater Library Association's George Freedley Memorial Award. His 3-hour documentary on late Shakespeare--The King and the Playwright--aired on BBC4 in April 2012.
His essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, the London Review of Books, the Los Angeles Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Bookforum, and the Financial Times. He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Guggenheim Foundation, and The New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.
He serves on the Board of Governors of the Folger Shakespeare Library as well as the Board of Governors of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He is currently the Shakespeare Scholar in Residence at the Public Theater in New York City. He is also a Vice President of the Authors Guild.
In 2011 James Shapiro was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.