Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Essaying Shakespeare

2009
Author:

Karen Newman

Essaying Shakespeare

A pioneering scholar of Shakespeare and early modern letters provides an overview of work in the field

For more than twenty-five years, Karen Newman has brought her critical acumen to bear on early modern studies. In this collection of her essays on Shakespeare—some acknowledged classics and others never before published—Newman shows how changing theoretical trends have shaped Shakespeare studies, from new historicism and gender studies to critical race studies and globalization.

Karen Newman is a critic of wide range and great ability, and the Shakespeare she offers—the one she summons up—is always compelling, always inviting readers to think further and deeper concerning the central questions of analysis.

Jonathan Goldberg, Emory University

For more than twenty-five years, Karen Newman has brought her critical acumen to bear on early modern studies. In this collection of her essays on Shakespeare—some acknowledged classics and others never before published—Newman shows how changing theoretical trends have shaped Shakespeare studies, from new historicism and gender studies to critical race studies and globalization.

Central to Newman’s work is social exchange, or the circulation of people and objects. At least two of these essays have had a powerful and lasting impact on Shakespeare studies: “Renaissance Family Politics and Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew” and “‘And wash the Ethiop White’: Femininity and the Monstrous in Othello.” Three essays appear in print for the first time: an examination of clothing of the poor and the portrayal of the king as a beggar in Richard II; a stinging review of Harold Bloom’s book Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human; and a rethinking of claims about the globalization of culture and cultural translation.

Essaying Shakespeare chronicles Newman’s own critical development to provide a significant map of critical work on Shakespeare.

Essaying Shakespeare

Karen Newman is professor of English at New York University. She has written widely on Shakespeare and Renaissance letters and culture.

Essaying Shakespeare

Karen Newman is a critic of wide range and great ability, and the Shakespeare she offers—the one she summons up—is always compelling, always inviting readers to think further and deeper concerning the central questions of analysis.

Jonathan Goldberg, Emory University

Newman’s voice has long been an influential and distinctive part of early modern studies, and her writing in Essaying Shakespeare is consistently fresh, precise, and a pleasure to read.

Daniel Juan Gil, Texas Christian University

[Newman’s] hope—indeed her accomplishment—is to document a ‘trajectory of recent Shakespeare criticism’ that illuminates important ‘changes in approaches to reading and teaching his work.’

Studies in English Literature