Humanities Forum - The Charter, Industrialization, and the Bard: Shakespeare as Man of the People

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 ( 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm )

Location: Morton 324

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September 18, 2013. "The Charter, Industrialization, and the Bard: Shakespeare as Man of the People"
A talk by Prof. Tony Pennino.

In this talk, Professor Pennino investigates an important moment in the historical development of how William Shakespeare has been received and understood. The discussion will focus on the Chartist Movement, the first organized labor movement, and how members of that movement employed images of Shakespeare as well as specific interpretations of his plays to advance elements of a political, social, and cultural agenda. Thus, Shakespeare, according to the Chartists, supported the workers against the factory owners, opposed industrialization, and favored a republican rather than a monarchist government. Anachronistic though these conclusions may be, they had a profound impact as to how Shakespeare would be considered thereafter and led directly to a certain conspiracy theory still very much a part of the public conversation today.


Anthony P. Pennino has been teaching at Stevens Institute of Technology in the disciplines of Literature and Theatre since 2007. In 2008, he served as a Fulbright Scholar holding the post of Senior Lecturer at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, Turkey. Most recently, he spoke at the Making Science Public Conference in Nottingham, United Kingdom, where he discussed the impact of contemporary science fiction on scientists and engineers. Current research projects include the utilization of John Locke's theories of property in African-American drama and utopian/dystopian science fiction. Pennino holds a Ph.D. from the University of London and an M.F.A. from Columbia University.