June 30, 2015

Friends and Rivals: Shakespeare and the Competition

Summer with the Bard: Episode #6

The early modern English theater scene was fairly small and highly competitive. Playwrights like Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and Edmund Spenser were friends, but also rivals. They collaborated, imitated, and satirized each other equally as they jostled for success. Joe Loewenstein, a professor of English and director of the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities and the Humanities Digital Workshop at Washington University in St. Louis, returns to share stories about these relationships and discusses the fluid nature of authorship in theater at the time.

June 23, 2015

The Upstart Crow: Shakespeare's feud with Robert Greene

Summer with the Bard: Episode #5

In 1592, the writer and critic Robert Greene accused the budding playwright William Shakespeare of plagiarism, and this stung the Bard deeply. Joe Loewenstein, professor of English and director of the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities and the Humanities Digital Workshop, shares Shakespeares initial response to the criticism and explains how, even decades later, the Bard was still responding to Greene--though not in the way you might expect. He also discusses the culture of imitation and plagiarism in the late 16th- and early 17th-centuries.

June 17, 2015

Getting Lost with Radiolab

A Conversation with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich

Curiosity. Obsessions. Serial. Hermaphroditic snails. The “shape” of a radio show. When you sit down with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, creators and cohosts of the innovative, hugely popular podcast Radiolab, you never know exactly where the conversation will lead.


June 9, 2015

The Birth of Theater As We Know It

Summer with the Bard: Episode #4

While Shakespeare wrote his plays, English theater itself was changing. The first actual theaters like the Globe were built, so companies could perform in places built soley for performance rather than marketplaces, pubs, or inns. Instead of religious and morality plays, writers brought politics, race, and class issues to the stage for the first time in London, which made authorities wary. Musa Gurnis, an associate professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis, explains what early modern theater was like for London audiences and how theater gave English society a way to think about itself in a new way.

June 1, 2015

Why Shakespeare?

Summer with the Bard: Episode #3

Almost 500 years after William Shakespeare lived and wrote, students are still studying his work, and actors are performing his plays to packed theaters around the world. What keeps us coming back to his texts? Why has Shakespeare's work lived on when so many other great writers have been abandoned? As a sneak peak of the series to come, all of the participants of "Summer with the Bard" share their answers and perspectives on this tricky question.

May 25, 2015

The Real Antony and Cleopatra

Summer with the Bard: Episode #2

After talking with Shakespeare Festival St. Louis about their current production of Antony and Cleopatra, I decided to meet up with Roman historian Karen Acton at Washington University in St. Louis to get a sense of the real people behind the legend. Together, we look back at Plutarch's The Life of Antony, which William Shakespeare used to write his play, and the texts that survive about the lovers from their contemporaries, rivals, and ancient Roman writers.

May 18, 2015

Shakespeare: In the Park & in the Streets

Summer with the Bard: Episode #1

Shakespeare is not just in the theater or the classroom anymore. In St. Louis at least, you can find performances of the Bard's work in Forest Park and in the streets of your own neighborhood, thanks to the efforts of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. Bruce Longworth, the organization's associate artistic director, and Mike Donahue, the director of this year's Shakespeare in the Park performance, come together to talk about the Shakespeare Festival's many projects and to share their insights into this year's mainstage production: Antony and Cleopatra.

May 13, 2015

Horses and Jockeys: The Practical Side of Innovation

Where's My Jetpack?: Episode #5

As managing director of the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Emre Toker has encountered many innovative ideas for products and businesses - some of which succeed, most of which do not. Toker, who has founded or co-founded five companies, discusses his own experiences as an investor and entrepreneur and explains some of the common pitfalls that keep innovators from bringing their ideas to life.


May 6, 2015

Beyond the Medical Breakthrough: How Partnerships Improve Global Health

Where's My Jetpack?: Episode #4

As director of the Institute for Public Health at Washington University, William Powderly believes that in order to be innovative and find useful solutions to global health challenges, effective partnerships are key. But how do these partnerships form, and what types of partnerships are most effective? To continue our collaboration with the graduate student group ProSPER, graduate student Kuan-lin Huang interviews Powderly about the importance of working with teams both around the world and across academic disciplines.