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Sep 13, 2023

In today's episode, we are joined by the brilliant Dr. Mia Escott to embark on a journey through the complex intersections of race, Shakespeare, and the early modern era.

Dr. Escott provides crucial context to help us understand how people of the early modern era were socially categorized based on nationality, religion, and social status. It's a crucial foundation for dissecting Shakespeare's approach to race.

Aaron, the enigmatic character from Titus Andronicus, takes center stage. Dr. Escott walks us through the complexities of this character, a Moor in a world where stereotypes and villainy are often intertwined. We explore key moments and lines that shed light on Aaron's character and the racial dynamics at play.

We also discuss Blackness and race within Shakespeare's broader canon, as Dr. Escott sheds light on how Shakespeare both humanized and socially othered his Black characters. Woven throughout our discussion are Dr. Escott's insights into how the worlds of academia and theatre can better approach race and discussions of race, especially when it comes to Shakespeare. 

Dr. Mia Escott  is an Assistant Professor of English, Rhetoric, and Writing at Berry College. She joined the faculty in 2022 after receiving her doctoral degree in English from Louisiana State University. An Alabama native, she has graduated from Auburn University and the University of Montevallo. Her research and teaching interests include early modern British Literature, Renaissance Drama, Shakespeare, Critical Race Theory, and Women’s and Gender Studies. Dr. Escott is the 2022 recipient of LSU’s HSS Diversity Committee— Excellence in Teaching Graduate Student Award, which highlights her commitment to making academia an inclusive and equitable learning space. Most recently she has been a guest speaker at various Berry College events, sharing her love for English and Shakespeare.

If you are not a Berry student then luckily you can find Dr. Escott on TikTok as @dr.shakesfeare, where she is making The Bard more accessible and comprehensible, in a humorous way.

Recommended Reading: 

White People in Shakespeare: Essays on Race, Culture and the Elite by Arthur L Litttle Jr. 

The Great White Bard by Dr. Farah Karim-Cooper

Shakespeare Anyone? is created and produced by Kourtney Smith and Elyse Sharp.

Music is "Neverending Minute" by Sounds Like Sander.

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