Gail Kern Paster: Annual Shakespeare Lecture

Gail Kern Paster “Head to Head: The Dialogue of Skin and Skull in Holbein and Hamlet”
Wednesday, October 17, 2007, 5-7 pm

Margaret M. Walter Hall, Room 145
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
A reception will follow and all are welcome.

This year’s OU Department of English Annual Shakespeare Lecture features Dr. Gail Kern Paster exploring the unexpected connections between Hans Holbein’s 1533 portrait, The Ambassadors, which famously includes a distorted skull at the bottom edge of the painting, and Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which likewise features the famous skull of Yorick.

Dr. Paster is one of the foremost Shakespeare scholars in the U.S. Her research has focused on literary representation of the body in Renaissance culture, demonstrating that the automatic separation between mind and body in modern thought was not one that Shakespeare’s audience would have shared. Her books include Humoring the Body: Emotion and the Shakespearean Stage (2004), The Body Embarrassed: Drama and Disciplines of Shame in Early Modern England (1993), The Idea of the City in the Age of Shakespeare (1985), and she has recently co-edited a collection of essays, Reading the Early Modern Passions: Essays in the Cultural History of Emotion (2004). Dr. Paster taught for many years as a professor in the English Department at George Washington University, and she is currently the director of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. She is also the senior editor of Shakespeare Quarterly.

The OU English Department’s Annual Shakespeare Lecture is funded by an endowment which seeks to ensure that the study and appreciation of Shakespeare remains a vital experience for Ohio University undergraduates and the entire university community. The annual lecture series brings leading national figures in the study of Shakespeare to campus.

Contact: escobedo -at-


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