Ethics and Symbols in "Romeo and Juliet" (NDSF 2022: Beyond the Stage)


Location: Philbin Theatre, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

Company: Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival


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Moderated by Jesse Lander, Department of English, University of Notre Dame
Featuring Jennifer Birkett, Jingzhou Zhang, and Arnaud Zimmern

Date: Saturday, August 27, 2022
Time: 6:30-7:10pm 
Venue: Philbin Studio Theatre, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

Join us for an exclusive panel on Romeo and Juliet, featuring students and scholars discussing different aspects of Shakespeare's iconic tragedy. 


  • "What's in a Name?": Affectionate Address in Romeo and Juliet
  • The Reception of Romeo and Juliet in China: The Case of Chen Jia
  • Romeo and Juliet and Cryonics: Preserving Juliet

About the Moderator: 

Jesse M. Lander is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Inventing Polemic: Religion, Print, and Literary Culture in Early Modern England (Cambridge UP, 2006). In addition to editing Macbeth for the Barnes and Noble Shakespeare (2007), he served as the textual editor of 1 Henry IV for the Norton Shakespeare, 3rd ed. (2015). More recently he has edited the Arden 3 edition of King John (2018). His current project is titled Special Affects: Staging the Supernatural in Shakespeare’s England. It combines intellectual history and theater history to provide an account of the technologies used to stage supernatural phenomena in 2 Henry VI, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Macbeth, Cymbeline and The Tempest. In addition, he is researching a second book-length project on the history of Shakespeare quotation.

About the Presenters: 

Jennifer Birkett is a 5th year English PhD and Gender Studies minor here at Notre Dame. Jenny's work is driven by relationships, specifically the relationship between text and performance and the representation of interpersonal relationships. Her scholarship characteristically magnifies quirky details and contradictions in order to arrive at new affordances. Most recently, Jenny's work has appeared as a book chapter on henna and Bollywood adaptations of Shakespeare in the Arden Shakespeare series. Today, she'll be discussing the performative function of pet names in Romeo & Juliet. 

Jingzhou Zhang is a Ph.D. student from the Comparative Literature Institute at Peking University, China. She is currently a research visitor at the English Department of Notre Dame. She studies Shakespeare, especially the interactions and intersections between Shakespeare's plays and early modern nationalism. Currently, she is working on a project on Cymbeline and nationalism through explorations of the romance genre and motifs such as the translatio imperii. Also interested in Shakespeare's afterlife in China from the perspective of comparative literature, she both translates works on Shakespeare into Chinese and is interested in Shakespeare's reception in China. Recently, she has just completed a translation of Harold Goddard's The Meaning of Shakespeare (vol. 1) into simplified Chinese.

Dr. Arnaud Zimmern is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship. His research looks at the role of early modern literature in the history of medical progress. One of his current projects involves developing a virtual reality game where players explore the depths of medical ethics by immersing themselves in the life of Shakespeare’s minor characters like the apothecary in Romeo and Juliet. You can find his publications in venues like English Literary History, The John Donne Journal, The James Joyce Quarterly, and Women Writers Online.