Saturday, April 7, 2012

SAA 2012 roundup

So, another SAA come and gone. I got to see Bardiac and Flavia, whom I've met before, and I also met Fie Upon This Quiet Life and Moria (briefly). So, yay.

My seminar was kind of odd, as people spent most of the time debating the merits of one particular National Theatre production that I hadn't seen, and nobody really had much to say about my paper. Well, at least that means nobody had much bad to say about my paper, which is always a relief.

I went to a session today that had a really good paper about doublets in Othello. (In the rhetorical sense, I mean, not in the sense of what fashionable Renaissance dudes like Mike Cassio are wearing.) I hope I can remember some of the examples when I teach Othello in the fall, because the whole paper was an incredibly sharp demonstration of why close reading matters, and how words shape character and vice versa. (I always feel like I'm swimming against the stream when I try to teach close attention to language; most of my colleagues apparently don't, and the students sure as heck are not getting it in high school like I did. I've been having students memorize and recite passages in the Shakespeare class these last few semesters, which seems to help a bit. At least that way they have to look at every word.)

I saw a rather weird film of Pericles being acted out with toys, and a very enjoyable production of A King and No King (which wasn't actually part of the conference, but the student group performing it wisely timed it for this weekend). I remembered only three things about AKANK from grad school: that it was about a king who falls in love with his sister but she turns out not to be his real sister (accurate); that there was a joke about someone confusing "peace" with "peas" (also accurate); and that it wasn't very good (this turned out to be quite wrong -- I mean, I won't say it's a particularly deep play, and it certainly isn't a plausible one, but it is a heck of a fun romp).

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