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Signs of Race

Weyward Macbeth

Intersections of Race and Performance

Editors: Newstok, S., Thompson, Ayanna (Eds.)

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About this book

Weyward Macbeth, a volume of entirely new essays, provides innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to the various ways Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'  has been adapted and appropriated within the context of American racial  constructions. Comprehensive in its scope, this collection addresses the  enduringly fraught history of 'Macbeth' in the United States, from its  appearance as the first Shakespearean play documented in the American  colonies to a proposed Hollywood film version with a black diasporic  cast. Over two dozen contributions explore 'Macbeth's' haunting presence  in American drama, poetry, film, music, history, politics, acting, and  directing — all through the intersections of race and performance.

About the authors

Scott L. Newstok is Associate Professor of English at Rhodes College, USA, where he is Director of the Pearce Shakespeare Endowment. He has edited Kenneth Burke on Shakespeare and has published a study of the rhetoric of English epitaphs, Quoting Death in Early Modern England: The Poetics of Epitaphs Beyond the Tomb (Palgrave, 2009). 
Ayanna Thompson is Professor of English at George Washington University, USA. She is the author of Performing Race and Torture on the Early Modern Stage; Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America; Teaching Shakespeare with Purpose: A Student Centred Approach (co-authored with Laura Turchi); the editor of Colorblind Shakespeare: New Perspectives on Race and Performance; Othello, the Revised Third Edition, as well as two special issues of the Shakespeare Bulletin and Borrowers and Lenders. Dr. Thompson has served as a Trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Marshall Scholars, and is on the editorial boards of Renaissance Drama, Shakespeare Bulletin, and Shakespeare Quarterly

AYANNA THOMPSON Arizona State University, USA HEATHER NATHANS University of Maryland, USA BERNTH LINDFORS University of Texas Austin, USA JOHN BRIGGS University of California, Riverside, USA JOYCE GREEN MACDONALD University of Kentucky, USA LISA SIMMONS Independent Filmmaker MARGUERITE RIPPY Marymount University, USA SCOTT NEWSTOK Rhodes College, USA LENWOOD SLOAN Director of Cultural and Heritage Tourism Program Pennsylvania, USA WALLACE CHEATHAM Composer and Musicologist DOUGLAS LANIER University of New Hampshire, USA TODD LANDON BARNES University of California, Irvine, USA PETER ERICKSON Williams College, USA PHILIP KOLIN University of Southern Mississippi, USA CELIA DAILEADER Florida State University, USA AMY SCOTT-DOUGLASS Denison University, USA FRANCESCA ROYSTER DePaul University, USA COURTNEY LEHMANN University of the Pacific, USA HARRY J. LENNIX Actor RICHARD BURT University of Florida, USA NICK MOSCHOVAKIS Reed College, USA ALEXANDER C. Y. HUANG Penn State University, USA ANITA MAYNARD-LOSH Director JOSÉ A. ESQUEA Director WILLIAM C. CARROLL Boston University CHARITA GAINEY-O'TOOLE doctoral student, Harvard, USA ELIZABETH ALEXANDER Yale, USA BRENT BUTGEREIT Rhodes College, USA

Reviews

"Timely . . . as with the best works of historical scholarship, Newstok and Thompson's collection merges detailed historiography with immediate relevancy, making this a valuable book indeed." - Dan Venning, Theatre History Studies

"There is something for everyone in this worthy volume." - Kevin Wetmore, Jr., CHOICE

"Remarkable." - Jonathan Gil Harris, Studies in English Literature

"Weyward Macbeth is an excellent companion piece for theatre educators looking to enrich classroom instruction or to further students' understanding of fully realized productions. Newstok and Thompson's diverse collection of provocative and enlightening articles serves as a valued addition to Shakespearean scholarship and as a complement to the study of Macbeth." - John Robert Moss, Theatre Topics

"A welcome addition to the scholarship on theatrical history and practice . . . most of the contributors do show the considerable charge that thinking differently, or highlighting and remembering race, can bring to the play . . . most of the authors at some point refer parenthetically to one or more of their fellow contributors, offering a sense of cogency, a wider arc of discussion, than many such collections manage." - Eric Mallin, College Literature

"In this remarkable and ground breaking book, the editors have put together essays that examine the text and spirit of Macbeth from different and, sometimes, startling perspectives." - Clement Ndulute, The Griot: The Journal of African American Studies

"This rich and provocative collection of essays is a compilation of historical, theoretical and interdisciplinary viewpoints on ways in which performances of Macbeth have engaged issues of race . . . Weyward Macbeth leaves a reader strangely unsettled as, of course, does Macbeth. I closed the volume with a new sense of Macbeth's importance to issues of race in the United States, more acutely aware of the ferment and potential of engaging with this intersectional study, and yet also conscious of the still fragmented state of this aptly named 'weyward' pursuit . . . Many diverse perspectives are at work in this volume, and not always towards the same ends. But in the last analysis, that diversity seems utterly appropriate: the move here is not to establish a new orthodoxy but to break down received ideas about race and Shakespeare . . . Newstok and Thompson's volume corroborates that vision of multiple Shakespeares and multiple Shakespeareans, both within 'the confines of the script' and beyond it." - Nicholas Jones, Shakespeare Bulletin

"This collection undoubtedly demonstrates the intractable diversity of American readings of Macbeth over time . . . Weyward Macbeth goes a long way in making the effort to tell that difficult history." - Robert Ormsby, Modern Drama

"Weyward Macbeth deserves reading - and re-reading - because, contrary to popular belief, Orson Welles's famous 'Voodoo' Macbeth (1936) was far from unique in re-casting Shakespeare in a non-traditional setting. With over 100 cross-racial productions recorded here, you are bound to ask: why have so many Americans been repeatedly drawn to this particular play in the context of racial discourses? Read this penetrating study to find out - it's an intellectual delight." - James V. Hatch, Professor Emeritus, The Graduate Theatre Program at the City University of New York and co-author of A History of African American Theatre

"Weyward Macbeth is an interesting and deeply thought-provoking book, which is well set out, and ideal to dip into when a fresh perspective is required about Macbeth." - Jane Wright, seriouslyshakespeare.com


Weyward Macbeth is an astonishingly wide-ranging volume, taking in an impressive swath of theatrical and cultural history. From Frederick Douglass to Roman Polanski, Middleton to minstrelsy, Aldridge to Ellington, Verdi to hip-hop, the Scottish-Shogun-Voodoo-Tlingit play has sustained a surprising range of only apparently 'weyward' efforts to occupy the intersection of race and power through performance. This is a provocative collection, certain to animate discussion of Macbeth, and much more, for some time to come.” (W. B. Worthen, Alice Brady Pels Professor in the Arts, Barnard College, Columbia University)

Table of contents (27 chapters)

  • What Is a “Weyward” Macbeth?

    Thompson, Ayanna

    Pages 3-10

  • Weird Brothers: What Thomas Middleton’s The Witch Can Tell Us about Race, Sex, and Gender in Macbeth

    Daileader, Celia R.

    Pages 11-20

  • “Blood Will Have Blood”: Violence, Slavery, and Macbeth in the Antebellum American Imagination

    Nathans, Heather S.

    Pages 23-33

  • The Exorcism of Macbeth: Frederick Douglass’s Appropriation of Shakespeare

    Briggs, John C.

    Pages 35-43

  • Ira Aldridge as Macbeth

    Lindfors, Bernth

    Pages 45-54

Buy this book

eBook £19.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-230-10216-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £81.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-230-61633-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover £25.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-230-61642-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Weyward Macbeth
Book Subtitle
Intersections of Race and Performance
Editors
  • S. Newstok
  • Ayanna Thompson
Series Title
Signs of Race
Copyright
2010
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-0-230-10216-3
DOI
10.1007/978-0-230-10216-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-230-61633-2
Softcover ISBN
978-0-230-61642-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVII, 288
Topics