Shakespeare from the Margins

1996
Author(s)
Shakespeare from the Margins

In the interpretation of Shakespeare, wordplay has often been considered inconsequential, frequently reduced to a decorative "quibble." But in Shakespeare from the Margins: Language, Culture, Context, Patricia Parker, one of the most original interpreters of Shakespeare, argues that attention to Shakespearean wordplay reveals unexpected linkages, not only within and between plays but also between the plays and their contemporary culture.

Combining feminist and historical approaches with attention to the "matter" of language as well as of race and gender, Parker’s brilliant "edification from the margins" illuminates much that has been overlooked, both in Shakespeare and in early modern culture. This book, a reexamination of popular and less familiar texts, will be indispensable to all students of Shakespeare and the early modern period.

About the Author

Patricia Parker received her M.A. in English at the University of Toronto and taught for three years in Tanzania, whose President Julius Nyerere also translated Shakespeare into Kiswahili. After teaching at the University of East Africa, she completed her Ph.D. at Yale, in Comparative Literature, and taught for 11 years at the University of Toronto. First invited to Stanford as a Visiting Professor in 1986, she came to Stanford permanently in 1988 as a Professor in both English and Comparative Literature. She has also taught as a Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley and as a member of the core faculty at the School of Criticism and Theory (Cornell University, 1998). She is the author of four books (Inescapable Romance, a study of romance from Ariosto to Wallace Stevens; Literary Fat Ladies: Rhetoric, Gender, Property; Shakespeare from the Margins; and Shakespearean Intersections) and co-editor of five collections of essays on criticism, theory, and cultural studies, including Shakespeare and the Question of Theory and Women, Race and Writing in the Early Modern Period. She has lectured widely in France, Germany, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, and other parts of the world, as well as at Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Chicago, Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, and other universities; as Gauss Seminar lecturer at Princeton, Shakespeare's Birthday lecturer at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Northrop Frye Professor lecturer at the University of Toronto, and Paul Gottschalk lecturer at Cornell University; and has served on the Advisory Board of the English Institute. In 2003-4, she organized an international conference and public festival at Stanford devoted to “Shakespeare in Asia.” She has also worked with students to create performance-based programs in the community. She currently teaches courses on Shakespeare (including Global Shakespeares), the Bible and Literature, Epic and Empire and other topics. In addition to books-in-progress on Shakespeare, rhetoric, race, and gender, she is the General Editor of the Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopedia, which will be released online as a global reference work free to anyone in the world with access to the internet.