Professor Emerita of Literature
Additional teaching and research interests include the literature and culture of the Southern U.S.; women's writing and the representation of gender; the representation of childhood and children's literature; and Irish literature and culture. Kennedy is currently engaged in a study of Virginia Woolf as a reader of Shakespeare.
This interdisciplinary course will combine critical approaches to childhoods with critical studies of literature. We will work on literary texts written for adults that feature children as subjects together with texts written for a young audience and some written by young people. We will explore questions about the representation of children and childhoods; children's agency; memory, loss, displacement, and resilience; and childhoods, imagination, and language. While we will read primarily English-language texts, we will also critically consider the canon of "fictions of childhood." This course is pitched at the Division II level and is not recommended for first-semester students.
Everyone who has read and written may know a desire to respond creatively to a work of art. But what kind of response may be urged by the work of the "greatest" writer who ever lived: William Shakespeare? Does one wish to mimic or to challenge? What does it mean to re-make Shakespeare? How can a modern work of art absorb something that different and that huge? This course will explore works of Shakespeare as the source of inspiration for arts verbal and visual, perfomative and rhetorical. We will read closely four plays from the latter half of Shakespeare's career and analyze artistic reactions to these texts in: modern world theater, film, fiction, and poetry, together with other selected visual representations of Shakespearean characters and scenes. Topics of discussion will include: reading, re-reading, adaptation and translation; the historical and cultural conditions of reception and canon-making; modern theoretical responses (psychoanalytic, postcolonial); as well as individual battles with and seductions by the Bard. There will be regular written responses expected--critical and perhaps creative--together with two formal analytic essays and one longer, developed paper or project.