This is the first volume of the new online journal Selected Papers of the Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference. Nearly 70 papers were read at the 2007 Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference at the University of Akron, and the eight essays contained here represent the editorial board’s selection of the best scholarship from the 2007 conference, whose theme was “Appropriating Shakespeare.” The conference considered this theme in its broadest outlines: Shakespeare’s appropriations and those who have appropriated Shakespeare.
The first four essays in this collection represent long‐standing, traditional approaches to the question of appropriation. David George examines some of the major adaptations of Coriolanus throughout the ages and what they tell us about the nature of adaptations and the play itself. Robert B. Pierce re‐ examines how Shakespeare used Holinshed in Richard II and what this reveals about Shakespeare’s conception of history. Peggy Russo shows us how two great Shakespearean actresses rebelled against standards of “womanhood” during the nineteenth century. And Paul Weinhold compares Bandello to Much Ado to demonstrate the importance of words and speaking in Shakespeare’s play.
The second group of four essays is more wide‐ranging in their examination of appropriation. Amelia Bitely looks closely at how internet “fanfiction” uses Shakespeare, and Jason Demeter explores the many connections between Gladys Vaughn’s 1964 production of Othello and Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman, performed in the same year. Grant Williams investigates how Tony Kushner and Shakespeare both employ the topos of disease, though in radically different ways, in Angels in America and Troilus, respectively. Finally, Patrick Lawrence uses Bakhtin to examine comic devices in two tragedies: Shakespeare’s Lear and Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge.
The editor wishes to thank all those who made this volume possible, especially his editorial board members, his technical editor, Sandee Lloyd, and his editorial assistant, Ryan Sarver.