The Problem of Civility: A Genealogy

To speak of civility at the present moment is to intervene in a vexed and often vicious debate. When, in November 2016, the cast of Hamilton took to the stage to urge the incoming administration to “uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us,” it sparked a firestorm of public debate, some generative—about the […]

Between Shakespeare, the World, and Me

Research projects always bear some intimate relation to one’s personal life and persistent preoccupations. The collaborative project I am beginning with Henry Turner about new understandings of the concept of “world” in the plays of William Shakespeare is no exception. This project had multiple origins and inspirations, but a primary motivation for me—often kept private—was […]

Meghan Markle, Good English Housewife

At a global moment rife with militarized borders, unease over refugees, and anti-immigration rhetoric, Meghan Markle’s royal marriage to Prince Harry provided a timely opportunity to showcase the inclusivity of the historically exclusionary white monarchy. Several aspects of the ceremony foregrounded blackness: for example, the significant position that Markle’s black mother, Doria Ragland, occupied; the […]

To Encounter the Muse

  Elisa Oh is an Associate Professor of English at Howard University, where she teaches British literature, Shakespeare, and literary theory.  Her research interests include women and silence, letters, and early modern drama. Her current book project, Choreographies of Race and Gender: Dance, Travel, and Ritual in Early Modern English Literature 1558-1642, examines the cultural processes […]

Allies and Friends: The Women’s March and Alice Curwen’s Quaker Testimonial

On January 19, 2019, the third iteration of the Women’s March took place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. The now-annual protest defines itself as a woman-led movement dedicated to uniting diverse women in social struggle and dismantling systems of oppression. The first March (held on January 21, 2017–one day after President Trump’s […]

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