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April 05, 2007
CONTACT: Pamela Young
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NPR's "Shakespeare in American Life" features Eastern Michigan University scholar

YPSILANTI — William Shakespeare’s works may have influenced the theatre, but how relevant are they to American life?

In celebration of its 75th anniversary in 2007, the Folger Shakespeare Library will host a three part, one-hour National Public Radio (NPR) documentary that explores the influence of Shakespeare’s works on American civic, political and cultural life.

Craig Dionne, an Eastern Michigan University scholar and professor of English, is a guest speaker on the NPR series, which runs nationwide through April.

During the documentary, Dionne discusses his current project, “Native Shakespeares: Indigenous Appropriations on a Global Stage,” an edited volume of essays to be published by Ashgate Press in 2008.

“It was exciting to be asked to speak about my latest research, especially since the producers searched for national figures and recognized scholars known for their work in Shakespeare studies in America and across the globe,” said Dionne, a resident of Ann Arbor.

“American culture has ‘commonplaced’ Shakespeare’s plays by taking specific lines and passages out of their original context and integrating them into popular idiom. This mode of reading Shakespeare goes way back in our history and still shapes a huge part of the “middle brow” appreciation of Shakespeare’s work in our country.”

For information on the radio series, go to www.shakespeareinamericanlife.org



Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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