L&S Curricular Connections

L&S Discovery Courses

LS 20B

New World Jealousy: Othello in the Americas

Arts and Literature

Othello is arguably the most intimate of Shakespearean tragedies. Its disturbing portrayal of jealousy, a mirror emotion that reflects one’s own insecurities and moral convolutions, has mesmerized artists and audiences for centuries. At the same time, the play links this intensely personal passion to wider social issues of race, politics, and power. In this course, we will examine what happens when this 17th-century English drama travels across time, space, language, and genre to the Americas. What shifts and what remains timeless as Othello passes through the hands of Latin-American writers such as 19th-century Afro-Brazilian Machado de Assis, various film directors, and contemporary choreographers? Through these specific works, students will gain a broader introduction to issues of genre adaptation, translation, media change, and the role of tragedy in contemporary arts.

José Luiz Passos

Terms Offered

  • Spring 2006