Department of English

The Annual British Studies Shakespeare Talk and 2011 Cranfill Shakespeare Lecture

Fri, September 23, 2011 | Prothro Theater, Harry Ransom Center

3:00 PM

What’s for Dinner on a Desert Island: Feast and Famine in The Tempest

Professor Leonard Barkan, Princeton University

Friday, September 23

at 3:00 p.m.

in the Prothro Theatre, Harry Ransom Center


What’s for Dinner on a Desert Island: Feast and Famine in The Tempest

If one dips below the surface of The Tempest, even slightly, one discovers that the question of food and drink is intriguingly pervasive. No surprise, since the early modern literature about unknown worlds beyond Europe was often obsessed with the question of what (or who) was eaten in those far-off places. Caliban's menu, Stephano's wine cask, the sumptuous banquet that magically appears and disappears in front of the hungry travellers: these add up to a significant dimension of the play.

Leonard Barkan is the Class of 1943 University Professor and Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature at Princeton University where he has taught courses on subjects including Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Narcissus, Word and Image, and Comedy. He is the author of more than a half-dozen books; the most recent, Michelangelo: A Life on Paper, was published in November 2010. He is also a regular contributor to publications in both the U.S. and Italy, where he writes on the subject of food and wine. A recipient of the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he has been a professor of English and of Art History at universities including Northwestern, Michigan, and N.Y.U. 

Sponsored by: Department of Art & Art History, the Program in British Studies and the Center for European Studies

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