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Literature in a State of Siege

Online event
Thursday, Jun 24, 2021, 7:00 PM

Stephen Greenblatt, Carey Harrison

Literature in a State of Siege

Chair: Susan Neiman, Potsdam

Stephen Greenblatt
John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Carey Harrison
Professor of Humor, Brooklyn College, City University of New York
Online via Zoom
Please register here to join the conversation.


Tyrants and populist demagogues assume prominent roles in many of Shakespeare’s histories and tragedies. What does Shakespeare have to say about the psychology, rise, and influence of such figures? And what do his insights reveal about their real-life successors today?

The novelist and playwright Carey Harrison will discuss these questions with the literary scholar Stephen Greenblatt, the author of the acclaimed 2018 work Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics.

Stephen Greenblatt is Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. Also General Editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, he is the author of eleven books, including The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve: The Story That Created Us, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (winner of the 2011 National Book Award and the 2012 Pulitzer Prize); Shakespeare’s Freedom; and Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare.
Carey Harrison was born in London during The Blitz, the Luftwaffe’s bombing onslaught, and as soon as the war ended he was taken to America, where he has lived on and off, for the past 72 years. The off periods have coincided with his British education, at Harrow School and Cambridge, and a teaching post at Essex University. He has subsequently taught comparative literature at Cornell, at UC San Diego, at UT Austin, at the Florida Institute of Technology, and for the past 20 years at the City University of New York. He is the author of 16 novels and over 200 plays and scripts for TV, theatre, radio, and film. His work has been shown in 37 countries, and translated into 13 languages. He is Professor of Humor at CUNY’s Brooklyn College and a member of the Einstein Forum’s Board of Advisors.

The event will be held in English