Shakespeare’s plays enjoy a great deal of popularity across the world, yet most of us study Shakespeare’s local productions. Alexa Alice Joubin‘s Shakespeare and East Asia (Oxford 2021) addresses this gap through a wide-ranging analysis of stage and film adaptations related to Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, Tibet, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the US and UK, including Asian American works.
The New Books Network interview about the book is now live. The interview was hosted by Amanda Kennell (North Carolina State University).
This book focuses on post-1950 adaptations that were distributed across or associated with the Sinophone world and East Asia. She identifies a quartet of characteristics that distinguish these adaptations: innovations in form, the use of Shakespeare for social critiques, the questioning of gender roles, and the development of multilingual patterns of circulation.
The adaptations are alternately funny, dramatic, and thought-provoking, but never boring.
Several of the works described in both the interview and the book are available online through the MIT Global Shakespeares Video and Performance Archive.