“Uncomfortable Bedfellows: Shakespeare and Global Studies,” Congrès de la Société Française Shakespeare Shakespeare et le dialogue des disciplines  
Saturday, March 13, 2021

Shakespeare adaptations share an intimate relation with global studies, because Shakespeare—as a cultural institution—registers a broad spectrum of values and practices that generate productive dialogues with humanistic disciplines. Global studies enables us to examine deceivingly harmonious images of Shakespeare. This paper deploys Deleuze and Guatarri’s rhizomatic methodologies for interdisciplinary inquiries into culturally fluid, contemporary adaptations in relation to digital cultures. Mining rhizomatic and non-linear flows of tropes, my approach reevaluates the perceived lack of connections among Saudi, Bollywood, and French New Wave films. The second part of this paper traces global Shakespeares during and after the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020. While the global pandemic closed live theatre events and cinemas worldwide, it also ushered in a new phase of globalization fuelled by digital videos as at-home audiences took to streaming to engage with Shakespeare. In tandem with the spread of coronavirus, there is a global viral spread of Shakespeare via digital videos that carry site-specific meanings with them in disembodied forms. In juxtaposing the ways in which localities create site-specific meanings in the three films, and the ways in which cultural meanings are reframed through ever-evolving forms of digital engagement, this paper outlines the future challenges and opportunities for Shakespeare and global studies.

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