The Bard in the Borderlands: Race, Language and Coloniality

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This roundtable conversation brings together five scholars actively working at the intersections of Shakespeare and borderland studies. Building on the momentum created by artistic, pedagogical and scholarly communities en la frontera, they explore the innovative ways Chicanx and Indigenous writers and theatermakers are translating and transforming the works of William Shakespeare to think about the long histories and present realities of colonialism, immigration and discrimination in the U.S.–Mexico borderlands. As they highlight the contours of this emerging field, the discussants will address the role of Shakespeare in the region, recent works of borderlands Shakespeare appropriation, language politics, racial formation and decolonial and antiracist methodologies for teaching, performance and scholarship.

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This event, as with all ACMRS digital events, will be live closed-captioned.

Learn more about the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies here.

About our speakers

Ruben Espinosa is associate professor of English at the University of Texas at El Paso, and he is the author of "Masculinity and Marian Efficacy in Shakespeare’s England" (2011) and co-editor of "Shakespeare and Immigration" (2014). He was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Shakespeare Association of America in 2018, and he is currently at work on his next two monographs, "Shakespeare on the Border: Language, Legitimacy and La Frontera", and "Shakespeare on the Shades of Racism" (forthcoming with Routledge). ​

Katherine Gillen is associate professor of English at Texas A&M University–San Antonio. She is the author of "Chaste Value: Economic Crisis, Female Chastity, and the Production of Social Difference on Shakespeare’s Stage" (Edinburgh University Press, 2017). Her essays appear in several collections and in journals such as Studies in English Literature, Shakespeare Studies, and Exemplaria and has pieces forthcoming from Borrowers and Lenders, Shakespeare Bulletin, and Shakespeare Quarterly. Her current work focuses on race in early modern drama and on Shakespeare appropriation, particularly Latinx Shakespeare, and her monograph in progress is tentatively titled "Race, Rome, and Early Modern Drama: The Whitening of England and the Classical World".

Jesus Montaño is an associate professor of English at Hope College, a liberal arts college in Holland, MI. He has a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University and a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. His primary teaching and research interests include Latinx young adult literature and Latinx/Latin American literary confluences. His co-authored book "Tactics of Hope: Conocimiento, Resistance, and Transformation in Latinx Children’s and Young Adult Literature" (with Regan Postma-Montaño; forthcoming, U of New Mexico Press) highlights the reparative power of books for young readers to survive and thrive in the challenging spaces of our Americas. His current project on the intersection of Shakespeare and Latinx young adult literature, "Young Latinx Shakespeares: Race, Justice, and Literary Appropriation" (under contract, Palgrave Macmillan), investigates how various contemporary Latinx young adult novels utilize Shakespeare as a locus for staking their claims to the literary and cultural power of Shakespeare while simultaneously signaling, in their divergence from the informing texts, the intention to willfully open and create new terrains from which to articulate ways of being and doing Latinx.

Adrianna M. Santos earned a B.A. in English from UT-Austin, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Chicana/o studies with an emphasis in feminist studies from UC, Santa Barbara. She is an assistant professor of English at Texas A&M University-San Antonio and co-coordinator of the Mexican American, Latinx, and borderlands studies minor. She has published on anti-violence advocacy and writing as resistance in El Mundo Zurdo, Aztlán, Chicana/Latina Studies, and Latina Critical Feminism and volunteered at Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center and Child Advocates of San Antonio. She is currently working on a monograph called "Beyond Survival: Trauma and Healing in the Literary Borderlands".

Kathryn Vomero Santos is assistant professor of English and co-director of the Humanities Collective at Trinity University. Her cross-historical research explores the intersections of theatrical performance with the politics of language, migration and racial formation in the early modern period and in our contemporary moment. Her essays have appeared in Philological Quarterly, Shakespeare Studies, Borrowers and Lenders, and various edited collections. Her recent work on race, coloniality and bilingual borderlands appropriations of Shakespeare is forthcoming in Shakespeare Quarterly and Literature Compass. She currently serves as performance reviews editor for Shakespeare Bulletin and is working on a book about interpreters and the embodied economies of live translation in early modernity.

Monday, February 8

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