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THE SHAKESPEARE SALON

A pandemic. A polarized society. Political unrest. Sound familiar? Elizabethan Britain—and Shakespeare’s plays—shared a surprising number of concerns with us. Choose an angle for your dialogue with one of our scholars and explore Shakespeare’s work in light of the questions that grip modern society. 

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CONTACT US WITH QUESTIONS, SPECIAL REQUESTS OR SUGGESTIONS!

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We aim to bridge the gap between Humanities/Arts scholars and the world outside academia. We offer access to experts in literature, art, music or philosophy for people who are eager to explore, ask questions and think for themselves. For scholars, we offer opportunities for outreach with motivated, thoughtful learners who are ready to move beyond podcasts and TED talks. 

Tempted, but not sure what kind of topic you should choose? Use this form to tell us about your interests and we will get back to you with suggestions. Think about historical periods you find intriguing, art forms you enjoy, cultures or regions of the world you would like to focus on, specific themes, or anything else that seems relevant. 

"What attracts Wagner's Tristan and Isolde to Liebestod? Is this element already present in Wagner’s source texts? Was it echoed later in the myths or ideology of fascism?"

"Why are there recurring debates about whether the works of Shakespeare were written by someone else? Is there a consensus among scholars? Would it change the way we should understand Shakespeare or his work?"

"What can philosophy teach us about "fake news" and competing versions of reality (e.g., politics, social change, or science)? Isn't this just the nature of human perception? What can we do about it?"

"Is there a historical basis in the United States for the concept of cultural appropriation? How does it relate to obviously degrading practices like blackface, or team mascots caricaturing indigenous people?"

EXAMPLE OF REQUESTS

REAL DIALOGUE: ASK A SCHOLAR

Interested in a work of literature, art, music or philosophy? Are you eager to know more, and ready to go beyond the TED Talk?

We provide a unique learning experience: a one-on-one conversation with a scholar. Tell us about your interests, and we will match YOU with an expert on your topic. Our scholars answer the questions you want to ask to achieve deeper insight and a broader perspective. 

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Featured Conversations

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Tyranny through a
shakespearean lens

Discover the veiled political critiques in Shakespeare and explore how he prompts us to judge rulers’ use or abuse of power

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Beginner/Intermediate

Impostors and con artists

Impostors, phonies and hypocrites abound in the works of Shakespeare. Why do so many of his plots revolve around fraud, deceit or disguise?

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Beginner/Intermediate

Shakespeare and Trump

What can Shakespeare’s controversial or contested leaders—Richard III, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, King Lear—teach us about the Trump years?

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Beginner/Intermediate

Shakespeare and Trump

What can Shakespeare’s controversial or contested leaders—Richard III, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, King Lear—teach us about the Trump years?

Request a conversation

Beginner/Intermediate

Tyranny through a
shakespearean lens

Discover the veiled political critiques in Shakespeare and explore how he prompts us to judge rulers’ use or abuse of power

Request a conversation

Beginner/Intermediate

Impostors and con artists

Impostors, phonies and hypocrites abound in the works of Shakespeare. Why do so many of his plots revolve around fraud, deceit or disguise?

Request a conversation

Beginner/Intermediate

Scandalous Shakespeare:
conspiracy edition

Surprising theories, speculation and debates about Shakespeare abound even to this day. 

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Beginner/Intermediate

Controversial Shakespeare

How should modern readers understand Shakespeare’s handling of complex questions that are still explosive today—including prejudice, gender roles, disability, sectarian violence and more? 

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Beginner/Intermediate

Untimely deaths:
mourning too soon

Fake funerals were a trend long before 1980s soap operas! Find out why Shakespeare represents mourners grieving before a death--or without any death at all. 

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Beginner/Intermediate

Shakespeare in depth

Custom one-to-one conversation: discuss your chosen theme or another aspect (historical context, sources…) of 1-3 works by Shakespeare. 

Request a conversation

Beginner/Intermediate