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Shakespeare and Cultural Appropriation

Shakespeare and Cultural Appropriation


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Shakespeare and Cultural Appropriation pushes back against two intertwined binaries: the idea that appropriation can only be either theft or gift, and the idea that cultural appropriation should be narrowly defined as an appropriative contest between a hegemonic and marginalized power. In doing so, the contributions to the collection provide tools for thinking about appropriation and cultural appropriation as spectrums constantly evolving and renegotiating between the poles of exploitation and appreciation.

This collection argues that the concept of cultural appropriation is one of the most undertheorized yet evocative frameworks for Shakespeare appropriation studies to address the relationships between power, users, and uses of Shakespeare. By robustly theorizing cultural appropriation, this collection offers a foundation for interrogating not just the line between exploitation and appreciation, but also how distinct values, biases, and inequities determine where that line lies. Ultimately, this collection broadly employs cultural appropriation to rethink how Shakespeare studies can redirect attention back to power structures, cultural ownership and identity, and Shakespeare’s imbrication within those networks of power and influence. Throughout the contributions in this collection, which explore twentieth and twenty-first century global appropriations of Shakespeare across modes and genres, the collectionuncovers how a deeper exploration of cultural appropriation can reorient the inquiries of Shakespeare adaptation and appropriation studies.

This collection will be of great interest to students and scholars in theatre and performance studies, Shakespeare studies, and adaption studies.



Publication Date





Abingdon, Oxon, England and New York, NY


cultural appropriation, William Shakespeare


Literature in English, British Isles | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies

First Department


Shakespeare and Cultural Appropriation