'Bollywood Loves Shakespeare' paper wins prize at conference

Four Clark University undergraduates presented papers at the Eleventh Annual Undergraduate Shakespeare Conference, held Saturday, April 21, at Assumption College. The conference theme was “Recycling Shakespeare,” and the day concluded with an afternoon session of student performances and scene work at the Hanover Center for the Performing Arts in Worcester.

Divya Sasidharan '14 won one of two $100 cash prizes, donated by publisher Bedford/St. Martin's, for the most outstanding student presentations. Sasidharan won for her talk on "Bollywood Loves Shakespeare: Shakespearean Adaptation in Popular Hindi Cinema," a paper that she prepared independently from her current course work.

Other Clark presenters and their topics were: Alexandra Tennant ’13, “Alas, Poor Yorik: Memento Mori in Shakespeare and Caravaggio”; Naomi Kurtz ’12, “Stoicism Revived in Hamlet: Seneca’s Letters and Hamlet’s Soliloquies”; and Daniel Zeliger ’12, “Representations of Irrationality, Art and Theatrical Experiences in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The conference provided an opportunity for Clark’s students to share their original research into Shakespeare’s plays and poems with students and faculty from eleven other colleges and universities. Thirty-one students from schools as far away as Ohio submitted proposals to be considered for the conference, and from those, 18 finalists were selected. With four presentations, Clark supplied more speakers than any other institution participating in the conference.

Brian Walsh, assistant professor of English in the Renaissance Studies Program at Yale University, was the plenary speaker.

The “Recycling Shakespeare” conference theme explored such topics as Shakespeare’s language and characterization on stage and film, analysis of Shakespeare’s works in adaptation, analysis of the ways Shakespeare’s works recycle or reuse sources, early modern textual materials, or early modern cultural ideas; and discussions of Shakespeare’s work in modern life, culture and politics.

Last April, Clark University hosted the Tenth Annual Undergraduate Shakespeare Conference, themed “Shakespearean Representations.”