Power, Race, Sex, and Violence in Global Adaptations of Shakespeare How and why are Shakespeare's tragedies performed, filmed, read and taught from China to Chile, from Singapore to South Africa? What makes Shakespeare a "global" force? Shakespeare's plays display the vast panoply of human desires and emotions: from passionate love to bewildering fear, from unswerving loyalty to basest envy, from the noblest instances of self-sacrifice to the desire to inflict unspeakable pain. His depictions of these emotions are often shocking in their vividness, yet always recognizable as fundamental facets of human experience. This course focuses on four plays: Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Othello, and Titus Andronicus, asking two main questions about each. 1) What did these plays mean to audiences in Shakespeare's time? That is, what (and how) would these plays have communicated to spectators at the Rose or the Globe? Emphasis is on the text, historical context, and performance traditions. 2) What do these plays mean in our time? Here we examine modern performances, particularly cinematic adaptations, of each of these plays throughout the world--Mexican and Malaysian Othellos, an African King Lear, Romeo and Juliet in Southeast Asia, Titus in Ireland. Emphasis is on why our contemporary world remains fascinated by the nexus of power and desire staged by Shakespeare. Where possible, the course includes opportunities to learn from Shakespearean film directors and theatre practitioners.