2016 Janet Grayson Lecture in Literary Studies

imur’s Theatrical Journey: Or, When did Tamburlaine Become Black?Lecture by Dr. Linda McJannet

Wednesday, April 20, 2016  4 p.m.
Centennial Hall Alumni Center
Keene State College

Productions of Christopher Marlowe’s play, Tamburlaine, and historical interpretations of its main character, the Mongol conqueror Tamerlane or Timur Lenk, have gone through many incarnations and interpretations throughout history. The conqueror’s varied theatrical representations highlights both the malleability of iconic figures and the opportunities, nuances, and challenges of “color-blind” or cross-racial casting. In particular, a 2014 production, directed by Michael Boyd at The Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn, in which Tamburlaine and his men ultimately resembled ISIS fighters, demonstrated the play’s uncanny ability to anticipate, reflect, and illuminate contemporary issues of racial, cultural, and religious difference.

Dr. Linda McJannet, Department of English and Media Studies at Bentley University, is the author of two monographs, The Voice of English Stage Directions (1996) and The Sultan Speaks; Dialogue in English Plays and Histories about the Ottoman Turks (2006). She is also co-editor (with Bernadette Andrea) of the collection Early Modern England and Islamic Worlds (2011).

This event is free and open to the public.


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