LECTURES FOR 2014-2015
May 30, 2015
"Marlowe's Ghost in 'As You Like It'"
Speaker: Dr. Steve Sohmer - Author, Film & Television Producer, Scholar
Dr. Steve Sohmer's vitae is too long and estimable to fit here, but it is well worth reviewing. He is an acclaimed television writer and novelist, who's works include Favorite Son and The Patriot, which was later made into a movie with Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, Chris Cooper, and Donal Logue. He served as Executive Vice President at NBC, helping to launch such hit series' as Cheers, Family Ties, The A Team, and Remington Steele. He moved on to become President and COO of Columbia Pictures where his credits are innumerable. And he was just getting started.
His love of Shakespeare took him to Oxford University where he obtained a Doctorate of Philosophy with a concentration in Shakespearen sudies. He is currently a respected and sought after Shakespearean scholar and speaker. He has published articles in scholarly journals as well as three books: "Shakespeare's Mystery Play," "Shakespeare for the Wiser Sort," and "Luther's Lives" all from Manchester University Press.
Scholars have long speculated about Christopher Marlowe's influence on Shakespeare. Steve Sohmer is going to suggest that influence was significantly more than we've thought, and that they might have had an intimate friendship. Steve argues that in 1600, Shakespeare wrote, "As You Like It" as a tribute in honor of the seventh anniversary of Marlowe's death... and modeled the character of Jaques on the man who was his friend, mentor, and perhaps more than that. Please join us for this lively and edifying discussion!
March 28, 2015
"A Brief History of Stylometrics"
Speaker: Dr. Jeffrey Kahan - Author, Scholar
Just when did the science of editing form its own language, and how did that scientific language inform the ongoing computerized search for Shakespeare? Just how valid is the scientific approach, and what, if any, are its limits?
Dr. Jeffrey Kahan completed his Ph.D. at the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, England. He is the author of many books, including "Reforging Shakespeare" (Associated University Presses, 1998), "The Cult of Kean" (Ashgate, 2006) and "Shakespiritualism: Shakespeare and the Occult, 1850-1950" (Macmillan, 2013). His scholarly editions include "Shakespeare Imitations, Parodies and Forgeries, 1710-1820" (3 vols. Routledge, 2004), "The Poetry of William-Henry Ireland" (Mellon Press, August 2004, Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare Sourcebook, 2006), "Pericles" (The New Kittredge Shakespeare, 2009), and "Coriolanus" (The New Kittredge Shakespeare, 2011).
He has also edited a variety of nineteenth-century Gothic novels, and he has published innumerable articles reviews in American Notes and Queries, The Ben Jonson Journal, Early Modern Language Studies, The Encyclopedia of British Literature and Poetry, The Encyclopedia of Gay Histories and Cultures, English Language Notes, Marlowe Society of America Newsletter, Notes and Queries, Renaissance Quarterly Bulletin, among many others. In addition to speaking at a variety of conferences, Kahan has been interviewed by the CBC radio and NPR; and he also appears as a featured speaker on BBC television's "The Irresistible Rise of William Shakespeare".
January 24, 2015
"Nothing Truer Than Truth - A Documentary about DeVere & Italy"
Speaker: Cheryl Eagan-Donovan - Filmmaker
Nothing is Truer than Truth is a documentary about Shakespeare, as Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, A-list party boy on the continental circuit, who spent a year and a half in Venice and traveling in Europe, learning about commedia dell'arte and collecting the experiences that would become the plays. Shot on location in Venice, Verona, Mantua, Padua, and Brenta, the film ventures to actual sites De Vere visited in 1576-77. The film features renowned Shakespeare scholars, actors, and directors, including Sir Derek Jacobi, Mark Rylance, Tina Packer, and Diane Paulus, and tours of Castle Hedingham, and Burghley House. The film looks at the process of writing, where life experience, imitation of the masters, and relentless revision come together to create works of genius.
Cheryl Eagan-Donovan is an independent filmmaker and scholar based in Boston, MA. She has published poetry and articles on film and Shakespeare, has a BS from Boston University, and an MFA from Lesley University. Cheryl teaches literature, cinema, screenwriting, and filmmaking at Lesley University, Northeastern University, and Grub Street Center for Creative Writing, and has been awarded grants from the Shakespeare Fellowship Foundation and the De Vere Society.
November 15, 2014
"A Midsummer Night's Dream: Shakespeare's Aristophanic Comedy"
Speaker: Dr. Earl Showerman - Independent Scholar & Physician
This presentation posits that Aristophanes' masterpiece, The Birds, influenced Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. These two festive comedies both feature protagonists who are refugees from Athenian law and both conclude in consecrated marriages. Animal metamorphism, magical plants and birdsongs that awaken a chorus of winged servants are manifest in both comedies. Shakespeare's debt to the Greek Old Comedy is a topic worthy of serious consideration as a philological conundrum.
Dr. Earl Showerman is a retired emergency physician who has been independently researching the Shakespeare attribution for over a decade and currently serves as an instructor on Shakespeare at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute affiliated with Southern Oregon University. He is a trustee of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship and a honorary trustee of the Shakespeare Authorship Trust. He has presented numerous papers at authorship conferences on the topic of Shakespeare's "greater Greek."
September 20, 2014
"DeVere vs Sidney: Tennis & Pseudonyms"
Speaker: Gerit Quealy - Journalist & Teacher
Gerit Quealy is a journalist, sometime actor and avid Elizabethan researcher and paleographer. She has lectured or taught workshops on Shakespeare's texts at Williams College, Columbia University, SUNY-Albany, New York University, City College of New York and others. From 2010-2013 she was a daily columnist at NBC's Life Goes Strong.com. She currently writes for A&E Biography and is a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post. Ironically she also edits titles for Oxford University Press. She podcasts on blogtalk radio: HistoryChiQ SmartTalk.
This talk is an explanation of the "poet war" between Edward de Vere and Philip Sidney, and their factions, that goes beyond the tennis court quarrel (1579) and Sidney's lampoon as Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Master Slender. It points to the creation of the pseudonym William Shakespeare and the ultimate suppression of Oxford's name