James Shapiro: The Year of Shakespeare: the Writing Life
A Q&A with Professor James Shapiro, in conversation with Gordon McMullan
James Shapiro, Professor of English at Columbia University, New York, and best-selling author of Shakespeare and the Jews, 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? and, most recently, 1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear, talks about his experience of teaching, research and writing about Shakespeare and discusses the pitfalls and pleasures of biography and of engaging with some of the most vexed questions in the history of critical engagement with the world’s best-known playwright.
James Shapiro is the Larry Miller Professor of English at Columbia University, where he has taught since 1985. His books include Rival Playwrights (1991), Shakespeare and the Jews (1996), 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (2005), Contested Will (2010), the anthology Shakespeare in America (2014), and 1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear (2015). He has also co-authored and presented two BBC documentaries: Shakespeare: The King’s Man and The Mysterious Mr. Webster. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Board of Governors of the Folger Shakespeare Library, is Shakespeare Scholar in Residence at New York’s Public Theater.