AFRICAM 159 | Shakespeare in Harlem

2024 Spring | T, TH 11 - 12:30 | COURSE #22451 | UNITS: 3

Chiyuma Elliott & Naomi Etsehiywot

This course looks at the complicated and longstanding creative relationships that Black artists have with the world’s most famous playwright by examining 20th century and contemporary African American re-creations of, and responses to, Shakespeare’s plays and poems (particularly MacbethRichard III and the “dark lady” sonnets).

These creative encounters with Shakespeare are compelling works of art, and interesting also because of what they reveal about the ways African American artists make claims about the nature and meaning of human existence. Additionally, they provide terrific models for storytelling, which students learn from as they produce their own nonfiction writing.

In this course, all written assignments focus on one non-fiction genre: podcasting. One class meeting per week is devoted to discussion of the readings, and the other is dedicated to podcast script brainstorming, research, writing and production (including hands-on audio recording and editing, and mini-workshops and tutorials). Throughout the semester, we use online technical and creative resources to craft compelling audio storytelling that is firmly grounded in scholarly research.

Image credit(s)

Thumbnail: Costume Design from New York production of Macbeth (Sketch #1 (front)). Finding Aid Box 1107

Banner: Opening of the Federal Theater Project production of Macbeth at the Lafayette Theatre, Harlem (Library of Congress American Memory Collection).