Course: PhD English
Research topic: William Shakespeare and Richard Wagner
I am researching and writing on Richard Wagner in conjunction with William Shakespeare. Wagner read Shakespeare during his formative years, and acknowledged him as one of his most important precursors and influences.
He went so far as to write an opera based on Measure for Measure (Das Liebesverbot – “The Ban on Love”), which stands – as I hope to establish in my writing – as one of the most intelligent and radical operatic transcriptions of Shakespeare to date.
I will continue to show, by means of close analysis and argumentation, that the Shakespearian blueprint remains clearly discernible in Wagner’s mature music-dramas, and that it interacts – for better or for worse – with Wagner’s own emerging dramatic voice(s).
My study will focus on the dialectic between the concepts of love and politics, in the works of both dramatists, and will argue that we can learn much from both Shakespeare and Wagner for our own political and ethical fights today.
I have been passionate about Shakespeare and Wagner – among other people – for over five years now. I also take critical writing very seriously, and I have a background in journalism. I wrote for, and co-edited, the London culture website MusicOMH for two years, and was further invited to contribute to websites such as Whatsonstage and The Classical Source.
I also feel it to be important to contribute to student newspapers, in order to engage in, and stimulate, intellectual and political debate on campuses. Political engagement is especially important for us, living when and where we do, and it is in acknowledgement of that point that I have written extensively for both student papers at Royal Holloway University, the London Student, and other publications.
Qualifications: BA English, MA Shakespeare (Royal Holloway, University of London).
My research is being funded with a College of Arts and Law Doctoral Scholarship.