'Mind the gap': Making Meaning in the Theatre
I am currently working on an interdisciplinary collaborative project with two Oxford colleagues: Felix Budelmann in Classics, and Robin Dunbar in Evolutionary Psychology. We are using Greek tragedy and Shakespearean drama to test a range of theories about audience response, from how audiences fill in gaps in order to create ‘character’ to how dramatists’ understanding of audiences’ mind-reading capacities influence how they structure plot or create ambiguity.
I have recently coupled a long-standing interest in the theatricality of early modern medicine with an equally long-standing interest in Shakespearean selfhood to look at two kinds of interiority: one which yields its secrets to surgeons’ anatomical dissection and one which does not.
To undergraduates at Magdalen I teach Shakespeare and the Renaissance, and individual authors and topics from 1550 onwards. To English and Classics students I teach Shakespeare, Renaissance, Tragedy; Comedy; Satire. I lecture on Shakespeare and his contemporaries in the English Faculty and teach graduate courses to Masters of Studies students.