Phyllis Rackin, Professor Emerita of English at the University of Pennsylvania, presented selections from her book, Shakespeare and Women (available from Oxford University Press). The book stems from Rackin’s belief that we’ve been overestimating the degree of women’s subordination, both in Shakespeare’s plays and in the world where they were first produced. She focused on the chapter entitled “Our Canon, Ourselves,” which argues that the plays we choose to emphasize nowadays may tell us more about our own assumptions about women than they do about those of Shakespeare and his original audiences; and, within that chapter, she focused on the discussion of The Taming of The Shrew, a play which has been extremely popular in recent years but may not have been so popular when it was first performed. There was also plenty of time for your questions and comments.
Phyllis Rackin, Professor Emerita of English at the University of Pennsylvania and a former President of the Shakespeare Association of America, has published numerous scholarly articles on Shakespeare and related subjects as well as five books on Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Tragedies, Stages of History, Engendering a Nation, Shakespeare and Women, and an anthology of essays on The Merry Wives of Windsor. Her awards include a Lindback award for distinguished teaching.