Tiffany Stern, PhD, professor of English at Oxford University, is the visiting Hurst Professor in the Department of English in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis the week of Oct. 18.
Stern’s expertise is in Early Modern theatrical practice.
She will give three presentations in Hurst Lounge, Duncker Hall, on the Danforth Campus:
- “Books as Theatrical Spaces; Theatrical Spaces as Books,” 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19;
- “Shakespeare on Page and Stage,” 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21; and
- “The State of the Art in the Study of Early Modern English Drama,” 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22.
All presentations are free and open to the public.
‘Books as Theatrical Spaces; Theatrical Spaces as Books’
Her first presentation, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, will focus on the way audiences occupied theatrical space before and during performances.
There were no fixed seats in the Early Modern theater, so audiences had to arrive for performances hours in advance to secure good places. Stern will discuss the books spectators brought with them to read in the theater, or bought while there, as well as the “tables,” or commonplace books in which they recorded what they enjoyed.
The talk also will look at the theater’s response to that textual audience. Exploring the way the stage space was hung about with words written on large boards, it will show how the theater played games with — and awoke — an audience shaped to understand books better than performances.
‘Shakespeare on Page and Stage’
Her second lecture, at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, will explore how William Shakespeare’s actors put on their plays, including what their scripts were like and how they rehearsed.
This talk will show how Shakespeare was alert to actors’ preparation as well as their performance. Exploring actors’ cues and parts, it will describe how Shakespeare was both a poet and a practical man of the theatre.
‘The State of the Art in the Study of Early Modern English Drama’
In her third event, at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, Stern will participate in a panel discussion titled “The State of the Art in the Study of Early Modern English Drama.”
Also participating in the discussion will be Robert Henke, PhD, professor of comparative literature and drama, both in Arts & Sciences, at WUSTL, and Jonathan Sawday, PhD, professor of English at Saint Louis University.
About Tiffany Stern
Stern has been a professor of English at Oxford since 2008. She is the author of four books: Documents of Performance in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, 2009); Shakespeare in Parts, with Simon Palfrey (Oxford University Press, 2007); Making Shakespeare (Routledge, 2004); and Rehearsal from Shakespeare to Sheridan (Clarendon Press, 2000).
Stern’s book Shakespeare in Parts concerns the implications of the fact that Early Modern scripts were distributed to their performers as “sides” containing only the given actor’s cues and lines; Stern considers what it means to understand acting as the performance of an isolable role.
Stern also has served as a visiting professor at Emory University and Mary Baldwin College in the United States, the University of Queensland in Australia, and Jagiellonian University in Poland.
Stern earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Merton College, Oxford, in 1990. She earned a doctorate from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1997.
For more information, call the English department at (314) 935-5190.