Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Riley's Annotated Bibliography (1)

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Working Title: Romeo and Juliet: Setting the Stage for Civil Disobedience

Working Thesis: The modern hip hop appropriation of Romeo and Juliet illimuniates the play's salient theme of civil disobedience and reaffirms that individual expression is a weapon against institutionalized hatred.

Scholarly Sources (4): 

1. Distiller, Natasha. "‘Petrarch's long-deceased woes’? Petrarchism and Hip-Hop." Scrutiny2 11.1 (2006): 46- .........  ........64.World Shakespeare Bibliography. Web. 14 Nov. 2016. 

This article illistrates the various similarities of petrarchan love and the unrequited love represented in modern hip-hop. While this article highlights various examples of renaissance litearture - he dedicates a page to which he discusses Romeo and Juliet and the play's petrarchan characteristics that make privvy to modern hip-hop appropriation. He argues that the shared similarities of gender, desire, and public displays/declarations that are exemplified within Romeo and Juliet make it comparable to "gangsta rap." 

2. Hulbert, Jennifer, Kevin J. Wetmore Jr, and Robert York. Shakespeare and youth culture. Palgrave Macmillan, .................2006.

Hulbert's book discusses the youth culture appropriation of Shakespeare and how it transforms Shakespeare from beyond "white old men" and gives it life within the present - literature applicable to all ages. Such an appropriation highlights the multiculturalism and contemporary nature of Shakespeare. Hulbert discusses this by elaborating on the appropriation of toys, film, rock music, and hip hop. I will focus my attention on the latter. 

3. Zaslove, Jerald. "Romeo and Juliet - and the Rites of Disciplined Youth." Paunch 23 (1965): 10-17. World .................Shakespeare Bibliography. Web. 14 Nov. 2016

Zaslove's article relates to my thesis in terms of Romeo and Juliet's disobedience. Although Zaslove does not associate their rebellious nature with civil disobedience he does, however, emphasize the rigid nature of the play's social constructs - constructs which make disobedience nearly impossible and which are only escapbale by death. Zaslove focuses on how the young lover's society seeks to repress their desires - which is a key element to my own arguement which attributes the play's hostility to institutionalized hatred. 

4. Janyes, Gregory. "The Bard in a World of Hip Hop" New York Times (1988): 9. World Shakespeare ................Bibliography. Web. 14 Nov. 2016. 

While this is a very simple article, it talks about the Royal Shakespeare Company's experience visiting 45 local London highschools and their discussions of Romeo and Juliet and hip hop. This source is valuable because it highlights student's responses to Shakespeare. 

Performances (2):

1. Honey 3: Dare to Dance. Dir. Billie Woodruff. Per. Cassie Ventura, and Kenny Wormwald. Capital Art ................Entertainment, 2016. Film. 

This movie is about a college hip hop adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. It highlights the multicultural aspect of hip hop culture and associates the rivalry of the Capulets and Montagues to racial issues in america. There are obvious parallels between the relationship of civil disobedience in the face of racism and prejudice and their appropriation of Romeo and Juliet. Furthermore, the medium itself reflects the modernity of Romeo and Juliet and it's capacity to address modern social issues. 

2. Rebellion and Johannesburg. Chor. Jessica Nupen. South African Dance Umbrella Festival, 2016. ................Performance. 

Choregrapher, Jessica Nupen, has transformed the brutal realities of social injustice and translated them into dance - in the form of Romeo and Juliet. The performance seeks to illistrate the challenges of a socio-politically changing society and the difficulty of finding a voice. The "lost generation" are young adults who feel as though they do not have a place in their communities or that they are unwelcome. This hip hop performance of Romeo and Juliet becomes an act of civil disobedience in itself. 


  1. I really like the part of your thesis "that individual expression is a weapon against institutionalized hatred." I feel that this is very applicable today and I'm interested to see where your paper goes.

  2. Your sources are very coherent around hip hop, and I wonder if your title needs to include that. This has the makings of some very strong connections to contemporary society and to social issues that go beyond popular music. However, be careful that this doesn't devolve into being a paper about hip hop with R&J as a pretext to discuss that. Keep Shakespeare central. (By the way, although not hip hop, the West Side Story musical as an adaptation may be relevant to your study because it made the R&J story current through popular music. Might check scholarship on that.)

  3. I love how you incorporate modern culture with Romeo and Juliet! I often like to belittle R&J for not being about true love and for the multiple follies of its protagonists, but this thesis gives me a reason to go back and reread the play with a different mindset.

  4. I really like the idea of civil disobedience! Will you be bringing any ideas in from modern displays of civil disobedience?

  5. I've never heard of a hip hop performance of Romeo and Juliet before, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised. A lot of old classics or even events in history seem to be garnering the interest of people who then seek to modernize them. I suppose that's where we got things like Hamilton, and "Yolo Juliet". (That last one is an adaptation of the play written in text message format....kind of weird if you ask me, but oh well.)

  6. I really love the rebellion aspect, it makes me think differently about the play because I could see them more as making a statement rather than a sappy pair of lovers as they might apppear. This also seems to explain more why they are so popular. Also, your sources look great.