Shakespeare and the Making of America





June 27-July 16, 2021 Length: 3 Weeks


Summer Program

Summer Program Type

Summer Program Audience




Shakespeare and the Making of America will convene for three weeks on the campus of the College of William and Mary to study two plays: The Tempest and The Merchant of Venice. Our emphasis will be on the contradictory views of justice, liberty, refuge and belonging that animate these comedies, and that took hold on American shores and in American minds before the nation’s birth in 1776. We will look at literature and history simultaneously, through documents, inquiry, and literally getting our hands dirty. Rigorous study of the plays will be distinguished by attention to their scholarly, performative, pedagogical, and historical elements. Come explore America’s mark on Shakespeare, and Shakespeare’s Making of America.

Project Director(s)

Margaret O'Brien

Lecturers and Visiting Faculty

Peggy O’Brien; Ellen MacKay; Kyle Grady; Caleen Jennings; Michael Tolaydo; Stefanie Jochman; Heather Lester; Mark Summers; Katherine Rowe; Michael Witmore; James Horn; Karin Wulf

Grantee Institution

Folger Shakespeare Library

Funded through the Division of Education Programs