Marjorie Garber: Desperately Seeking Shakespeare
With the recent attention to Shakespeare commemorative activities both inside the academy and in the public sphere (the 450th anniversary of his birth in 2014, the 400th anniversary of his death in 2016), there has been a renewed surge of energy in an industry already running at top speed—the quest to find something about Shakespeare that would explain his astonishing accomplishment. History, neuroscience, biography and genetics have all been consulted. To what end? This talk will take account of such investigative explorations and the questions that seem to underlie them.
Marjorie Garber is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of English and Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University, and Chair of the Committee on Dramatic Arts. She has published seventeen books and edited seven collections of essays on topics from Shakespeare to literary and cultural theory to the arts and intellectual life. Newsweek magazine chose Shakespeare After All as one of the five best nonfiction books of 2004, and praised it as the “indispensable introduction to an indispensable writer ... Garber’s is the most exhilarating seminar room you’ll ever enter.”
Garber has served as Director of the Humanities Center at Harvard, Chair of the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, and Director of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. She is the former President of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes and a continuing member of its advisory board. She currently serves as a Trustee of the English Institute and on the Board of Directors of the American Council of Learned Societies and a member of the American Philosophical Society. In 2010, she chaired the judging committee of the non-fiction category of the National Book Awards. This past summer, she was a featured commentator on the BBC/PBS television series, "Shakespeare Uncovered."