Shakespeare so fully renders human behavior on stage that scholars still endlessly debate the meaning of his plays, finding within them a seemingly bottomless well of philosophical, political, and psychological insight.
The Shakespeare Studies minor is part of the Theatre program of the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University. The interdisciplinary field of Shakespeare Studies connects the playwright and his works with the culture of Elizabethan and Jacobean England. The Shakespeare Studies minor at SOU emphasizes the performance of Shakespeare’s plays and their cultural impact during the past 400 years. The program is supported by the special resources of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), the Margery Bailey Renaissance Collection, and the Center for Shakespeare Studies.
The Shakespeare Minor at SOU provides a thorough, thoughtful overview of Shakespeare’s work. To know Shakespeare is not only to know a literary and theatrical genius but to possess a set of references and a reservoir of meanings that our culture continually draws on. Classes in Shakespeare Studies combine historical, literary, and performance analysis, examining a Shakespeare play as a historical artifact, a transhistorical text, and a script for contemporary performance.
Students enrolled in the minor take sixteen credits’ worth of required courses plus eight credits’ worth of elective courses.
Two Interesting Courses
SHS 337 – Shakespeare on Film
Analyzes film and television productions and adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays from the silent era to the present, focusing on their interpretations of Shakespeare’s text and their cinematic art (e.g., directorial technique, camera-work, lighting, costume, and location). Includes such directors as Olivier, Welles, Kurosawa, Zeffirelli, Branagh, and Luhrmann.
SHS 338 – Shakespeare in Popular Culture
Explores the manifestations of Shakespeare’s work in contemporary media, as well as its roots in the popular and folk culture of Shakespeare’s time. It examines questions of cultural capital and expression through theoretical and critical readings and extensive examples from film, theater, music, and television, as well as digital, transmedia, and participatory culture.
Five Possible Complementary Majors at Southern Oregon University
Unique Opportunities within the Major/Minor
Southern Oregon University’s location in Ashland, Oregon, home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, provides students with unparalleled opportunities to engage with the world of Shakespeare. The mission of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival states that:
Inspired by Shakespeare’s work and the cultural richness of the United States, we reveal our collective humanity through illuminating interpretations of new and classic plays, deepened by the kaleidoscope of rotating repertory.
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival operates a nine-month season (April through December) and:
…we have three theatres: our two indoor stages—the Angus Bowmer Theatre and the Thomas Theatre—and our flagship outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre, which opens in early June and runs through mid-October. We offer up to 8 different plays that include works by Shakespeare as well as a mix of classics, musicals, and world-premiere plays. And our O! digital stage features groundbreaking online productions, films, immersive experiences, and art.
Sample Similar Programs