February 17, 2017
I was invited to give a keynote talk at the “Shakespeare and the African American Experience” Conference, organized by the SCSU English and Modern Languages department. My topic was “Intercultural Shakespeare: The Politics of Cultural Adaptation.” Many thanks to Dr. Reginald Rampone and Dr. Janice Hawes for putting this event together.
May 12, 2016
I have recently been awarded the John B. and Thelma A. Gentry Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities by the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities at Clemson University. The award is one of Clemson University’s most prestigious teaching awards and recognizes “an outstanding humanities faculty member and provides an annual competitive fund to support projects, materials and activities that will improve and enrich teaching in the humanities.”
April 13-19, 2015
“Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare
Sunday, April 19 at 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Brooks Center for the Performing Arts, Bellamy Theatre 141 Jersey Lane, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
The Clemson Players present “Twelfth Night.” “If music be the food of love, play on.” Shakespeare’s comic masterpiece is set against a background of romance and mystery. This hilarious story of identical twins and mistaken identity, set in the mystical world of Illyria, explores the universal themes of love and all its ambiguous effects on human behavior.
Director: Richard St. Peter
Dramaturg: Lucian Ghita
During the ancient festival of Dionysia, held annually at Athens, each competing playwright presented a tragic trilogy followed by a satyr play. Even though only one such work has survived in complete form, satyr plays are generally thought to have provided comic relief and ironic context to the terrifying world of the tragedies. Their earthy, festive, and irreverent tone shaped to a large extent the form and conventions of Western comedy from the ancient works of Aristophanes and Plautus to commedia dell’arte and Elizabethan theater.
Set in the mythological land of Illyria, at once a former Greek province and an imagined theatrical space, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night conjures up a Dionysian world in which characters and audiences alike indulge in a fantasy of desire and disguise. Written in 1601, around the same time as Hamlet, the play functions, much like a satyr drama, as a comic foil to Shakespeare’s famous revenge tragedy. Hamlet’s obsessive preoccupation with madness, mourning, masquerade, and masculinity finds interesting ironic echoes in the topsy-turvy universe of the play.
Subtitled What You Will, the comedy alludes to the carnivalesque atmosphere of Twelfth Night or the Feast of the Epiphany, which, in the Elizabethan tradition, marked a period of revelry and misrule. In its playful mixture of brutal comedy and mock gravity, the play inevitably forces us to explore the intricate dynamic between power, sexuality, and gender identity. As audience, however, we repeatedly find ourselves wandering in a gallery of curved mirrors. As Fabian quips in a metatheatrical allusion, “If this were played upon the stage now, I would condemn it as an improbable fiction” (3.4.129-30).
– Lucian Ghita
September 25 & 27, 2013
The event, which was organized in conjunction with the two English literature classes (“Banned Books in World Literature”) I am teaching at Clemson U, was part of the American Library Association’s annual celebration of the Banned Books Week during the last week of September. Students, librarians, and faculty in the English department read excerpts from various books that have been censored or suppressed throughout history.