On Saturday, September 23, English department faculty and students participated in a roundtable discussion of Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and eminent scholars David Scott Kastan and James Shapiro. The event was part of a series of events surrounding Kasser Theater's production of The Merchant of Venice, directed by Karin Coonrod.
Professor Naomi Liebler introduced the roundtable with a talk that addressed the play's relevance to our time, as well as the history of Shakespeare performance both at MSU and more generally. “In all the ways that really matter, this perfect combination, this perfect brainstorm, is not at all surprising with its collection of ‘others’ in a place suspicious of and yet dependent on them for survival,” said Liebler. “Merchant is the right play for us…not only because it vibrates with national and global issues but also because it speaks to this university’s own embrace of diversity. It’s a stroke of good luck we should have all of this right here, right now.”
Professor Adam Rzepka provided closing remarks, and two English majors, Allison Gormley and Gustavo Vasquez, engaged Justice Ginsburg and the panel with questions about the play. The students' questions and the roundtable discussion can be viewed online.
The play runs through October 1 as part of Kasser Theater's Peak Performances series.
A full account of the evening can be found on the University News page.