Pleasing Everyone: Mass Entertainment in Renaissance London and Golden-Age Hollywood

Jeffrey Knapp
Berkeley Book Chats
Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 | 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall
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United States

Shakespeare's plays were immensely popular in their own day yet history refuses to think of them as mass entertainment. In Pleasing Everyone, Professor of English Jeffrey Knapp highlights the uncanny resemblance between Renaissance drama and the incontrovertibly mass medium of Golden-Age Hollywood cinema. Through explorations of such famous plays as Hamlet, The Roaring Girl, and The Alchemist, and such celebrated films as Citizen Kane, The Jazz Singer, and City Lights, Knapp challenges some of our most basic assumptions about the relationship between art and mass audiences and encourages us to resist the prejudice that mass entertainment necessarily simplifies and cheapens.

After an introduction by Mark Goble (English), Knapp will speak briefly about his book and then open the floor for discussion.