Shakespeare and the Urgency of Now: Criticism and Theory in the 21st Century (BOK)
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Today, in light of the markedly precarious state of the world's politics, ecology and economy, where does Shakespeare figure in our changing world? By the same token, how do economic, environmental and institutional pressures interpenetrate Shakespeare as a cultural enterprise - in performance, film, popular culture, global appropriation - and no less in academic criticism? Ever since Martin Luther King Jr. first evoked the 'fierce urgency of now' in the American civil rights movement in the early 1960s, his trope has become ubiquitous. It continues to be a powerful slogan for civil rights. It's frequently intoned by global anti-poverty and social equality activists, and resounds strongly when evoked in the global environmental movement. Connecting with such concerns, these essays address the intersections between Shakespeare, history and the present using a variety of new and established methodological approaches, from phenomenology and ecocriticism to the new economics and aesthetics.