The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Race

Edited by Ayanna Thompson

"The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Race" shows teachers and students how and why Shakespeare and race are inseparable. Moving well beyond "Othello," the collection invites the reader to understand racialized discourses, rhetoric and performances in all of Shakespeare's plays, including the comedies and histories. Race is presented through an intersectional approach with chapters that focus on the concepts of sexuality, lineage, nationality and globalization. The collection helps students to grapple with the unique role that performance plays in constructions of race by Shakespeare (and in Shakespearean performances), considering both historical and contemporary actors and directors. "The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Race" will be the first book that truly frames Shakespeare studies and early modern race studies for a non-specialist, student audience.


Ayanna Thompson is Regents Professor of English at ASU, where she also directs the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Praise for this book

class="paragraph_01 no-margin-bottom">"This is the book that will inspire the next generation of Shakespeare scholars.

Ruben Espinosa

class="paragraph_01 no-margin-bottom">"To say this much-needed volume initiates a political, humanist and intellectual shift in the study of Shakespeare is an understatement. 'The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Race' is a theoretical gift to teachers, stage and performance practitioners, students and scholars across the humanities. In essence, it is a scholarly and pedagogical must-have on library shelves and in classrooms. A truly transformative collection of essays.

Margo Hendricks, professor emerita Department of Literature, University of California–Santa Cruz