Folger and the Community

Engaging with the District

Posts Categorized: Crosstalk-dc/crosstalk-dc-essay

A Debt to Shylock

Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice is a deeply disturbing play and its greatest disturbance is a Jew. Shylock is the play’s money-lending villain who insists in open court that he’s entitled to a pound of Christian flesh. He even packs a knife to help himself to it. His very name is synonymous with ‘loan shark,’… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare’s “Other” Washington

Washington, D.C. is a city of wonder and one of contradictions. In the late 18th century, enslaved Africans were brought to this city—with force—to serve white owners. The marble federal city was built with the labor of enslaved Africans. Yet as the slave population in DC grew into the mid-nineteenth century, so did the number… Continue Reading »


An Invitation from a Black Shakespearean

People are always surprised to learn what I do when I meet them outside of George Washington University, where I teach. You see, I am a black woman who teaches and writes about William Shakespeare, and I am also someone who teaches and writes about issues of race. In the current climate, these topics—Shakespeare and… Continue Reading »


CrossTalk DC: What’s All This About?

  CrossTalk DC is an experiment and an adventure. Seven DC institutions have linked arms, and together we invite community members from across the city to come together and to spend several months taking a closer look at the hot topics that can both divide and unite us: race, religion, identity, and difference. Starting with scenes from Shakespeare’s… Continue Reading »