The Ghetto of Venice, founded 500 years ago, has been long haunted by the ghostly presence of Shylock, the most famous imaginary Jew. The lecture will consider Shakespeare alongside the work of Jewish Venetian poet Sarra Copia Sullam (1592-1641), as well as contemporary poetry and fiction that reimagines the Ghetto for the global present.
Shaul Bassi is Associate Professor of English and postcolonial literature at Ca’Foscari University of Venice. His research, teaching and publications are divided between Shakespeare, postcolonial studies (India and Africa), and Jewish studies. He has published Le metamorfosi di Otello. Storia di un’etnicità immaginaria (Grafis, 2000) and edited an Italian critical edition of Otello (Marsilio, 2009). Recent publications include Visions of Venice in Shakespeare (with Laura Tosi, Ashgate, 2011), Experiences of Freedom in Postcolonial Literatures and Cultures (with Annalisa Oboe, Routledge, 2011); Shakespeare’s Italy and Italy’s Shakespeare. Place, ‘Race’, and Politics (Palgrave Macmillan) is forthcoming. He is currently involved in multiple literary and cultural projects related to the 500th anniversary of the Ghetto of Venice (1516-2016).
Co-sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies, Shakespeare Workshop, Italian Studies, Cowell College, and the Institute for Humanities Research.