The Centre for Adaptations holds regular seminars across the disciplines of Film Studies, Media Studies, Imaging and Communication, Design, Drama and English. Below are a few of our recent seminars.
Adaptations Seminars 2014-15
'The-New-'Othello-Music|' by Barclay Rafferty
This presentation examines the relationship between Othello and music, from the play text to opera, popular music allusions, and diegetic and non-diegetic soundtracks, exploring its adaptability/inadaptability in various contexts with a focus on the issue of race. It will do this through the lenses of adaptation studies and the singular history that adaptations of Shakespeare’s work have. The central question will be: What do musical adaptations reveal about the adaptability of the play? In his essay, “The Othello Music” (1930), G. Wilson Knight writes that Othello is rich with lyrical speeches, particularly by the eponymous character; the term, ‘the Othello music’ refers to the symphonic quality of characters’ voices as instruments, specifically, the lyrical quality of Othello’s words in contrast with the candour of Iago’s language. Wilson Knight’s essay was published during a period in which sound cinema and popular recorded music were in their early stages and he does not consider them for discussion. What this presentation aims to achieve is to expand the lines of analysis from Wilson Knight’s conception of the ‘Othello music’ into other musical adaptations of the play.