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Shakespeare and YouTube

Stephen O'Neill

DOI: 10.5040/9781472593825

ISBN: 9781441120922

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The video-sharing platform YouTube signals exciting opportunities and challenges for Shakespeare studies. As patron, distributor and archive, YouTube occasions new forms of user-generated Shakespeares, yet a reduced Bard too, subject to the distractions of the contemporary networked mediascape.

This book identifies the genres of YouTube Shakespeare, interpreting them through theories of remediation and media convergence and as indices of Shakespeare's shifting cultural meanings. Exploring the intersection of YouTube's participatory culture – its invitation to 'Broadcast Yourself' – with its corporate logic, the book argues that YouTube Shakespeare is a site of productive tension between new forms of self-expression and the homogenizing effects of mass culture.

Stephen O'Neill unfolds the range of YouTube's Bardic productions to elaborate on their potential as teaching and learning resources. The book importantly argues for a critical media literacy, one that attends to identity constructions and to the politics of race and gender as they emerge through Shakespeare's new media forms.

Shakespeare and YouTube will be of interest to students and scholars of Shakespearean drama, poetry and adaptations, as well as to new media studies.

This savvy, informative and accessible book is an asset to teachers and learners in general as well as to researchers. A copy by every Shakespearean's laptop? Shakespeare Survey

Stephen O'Neill's Shakespeare and YouTube ... provides an extensive examination of a medium that includes amateurs, professionals, students, dilettantes, and nearly every other category one could imagine. O'Neill's account of YouTube Shakespeare is professional, articulate, and nuanced. Shakespeare Quarterly