Oasis Talks 2018-2019: 1.5 hour talks with slideshows. Some of these have been presented multiple times (library talks plus Oasis at Grossmont Center location):
- “The Soap Opera of the Middle Ages: The War of the Roses”
- “Richard III: Guilty or Not?”
- “Murder Mysteries: All About the Genres”
- “What is Steampunk?”
- “Goal Setting for the New Year”
- “Who Really Wrote Shakespeare’s Plays?”
- “Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew“
- “Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing“
“National Novel Writing Month: How to Write a Book in 30 Days.” Library talk given annually (usually late October) to various libraries. La Mesa, Point Loma, etc. 2017-2019.
Open Readings for the San Diego Shakespeare Society. Twice a year (sometimes 2 plays stretched over 4 months). “Direct” a reading for monthly group. Introduce play, cast from audience for each scene, and help people understand play. 2016-2019.
“The Commodification of Shakespeare.” Talk on Shakespeariana. Zamorano Book Club of Southern California. May 2014.
“Celebrity Sonnets.” Interview on KPBS radio, Midday Edition. October 2012. Listen to Interview and Read About the Event
“Shakespeare and His Theatre.” 45 minute talk with slideshow. Retirement Home. April 2012.
“Did Shakespeare Actually Write Shakespeare’s Plays? Review of the Movie Anonymous.” 20 Minute interview for KPBS Midday Edition with Maureen Cavanaugh. November 1, 2011. Listen to Interview and Read About the Movie
“‘Determined to Prove a Villain’: Richard III–Guilty or Not?” Speaking of Shakespeare Lecture Series. San Diego Shakespeare Society. Mission Valley Library. 1 hour multimedia presentation. January 8, 2011.
“The War of the Roses: History’s Greatest Soap Opera.” 30 minute talk. David Winter Club. 1994.
SEE ALSO: Press (for more interviews)
I love making my favorite topics come alive for an audience. Please contact me if you are interested in having me speak for a small honorarium.
I am available for general interest talks/presentations (1-1.5 hrs usually but other timing can be arranged if needed) on the following topics (includes computer slideshow):
Who Really Wrote Shakespeare?
Learn about the various theories which have been given for how someone other than the man from Stratford-Upon-Avon might be responsible for some of the most famous plays in English Literature, from Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, Queen Elizabeth the First, and the most recent popular contender, the 16th Earl of Oxford. Professor Kim Keeline will also explain the evidence supporting the authorship of William Shakespeare of Stratford-Upon-Avon and how all of this confusion might have come about.
Collecting Shakespeare: How An Industry of Knickknacks Grew Out of Stratford-Upon-Avon’s Author
Starting about a hundred years after his death, a small but growing industry began of making collectible items related to Shakespeare. Professor Kim Keeline will trace the history of these Shakespeariana and how it shows not only the popularity of William Shakespeare and his plays but also how he’s come to stand in as a marker for literature, education, theatre, lowbrow/high brow culture, and literacy. The Shakespeare industry is so huge now that there is quite a bit at stake over the “Authorship Question” of whether the man actually wrote his plays. Take a look at the sublime, the weird and wacky, and the things you could have in your home today (some of which I, in fact, do own) with this survey of Shakespeariana—which covers books, statues, artwork, bandaids, bubble gum, and so much more.
Shakespearean Stagecraft: A Survey of Theatrical History Covering Fires, Riots, and More
We’ll cover what we know about how Shakespeare’s plays were staged during his lifetime, including the incident with the Essex Rebellion, the burning of the theatre from a stray cannon firing during the play Henry VIII, and more. Then we’ll take a look at some of the more interesting moments in Shakespearean theatre, including major actors of the 17th-20th century, notorious performances, and riots, assassinations, and other interesting historical incidents. If you thought the plays had all the drama, you’ll find the theatrical performances had plenty of drama going on by themselves.
The Boy Who Forged Shakespeare: William Henry Ireland
In December 1794, William told his father that he had discovered a cache of old documents and one of them had a signature of Shakespeare in it. He gave the document—which he had made himself—to his overjoyed father, who had been looking for just that kind of signature for years. This started William down a road of forgery and deceit that would fool Boswell and other famous people of the time. Learn about this fascinating bit of history and how one man tried to please his father by writing new Shakespeare pieces in “Shakespeare’s own hand.”
Name Your Shakespearean Play: A Reading and Talk (prearrange which play)
Bring your text of the play and Professor Kim Keeline will not only give you background and information about this Shakespeare play but we’ll read scenes from the play together with audience members cast in some of the roles.
Writing and/or Goal Setting:
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo): Learn How to Survive the Fun of Trying to Write 50,000 words in 30 days
NaNoWriMo is a national movement to write a first draft of a novel in November. It’s an online community of writers who annually write whatever novel they have in their head very quickly. It’s great for getting a project started and it’s also a supportive online (and local/in person) writing community. Learn the ins and outs of this fun challenge and also writing tips for starting a novel and how to keep going on your writing every day.
Bust Through Writer’s Block and Get Writing Now
This class will be filled with writing exercises designed to get you writing. Learn brainstorming techniques and other tools to help you stop writers block and also learn how fear and procrastination keep you from succeeding and what to do about it.
Break Through in the New Year: Goal Setting and Fighting Procrastination
Learn techniques for setting goals and keeping to them. This talk will include worksheets to help you establish what you want to accomplish and anti-procrastination techniques to help you actually start on your goals. Come get inspired for 2019.
Letterpress Printing: A Survey of the Technology That Changed the World
From Gutenburg and moveable type to modern day fine letterpress printing, learn about the changes in the printing press and technology, how it worked and why it mattered. We’ll look at videos and photos of printing presses from different ages and how the Linotype and other press improvements ended the age of hand setting type except for a small number of modern practitioners.
The Soap Opera of the Middle Ages: The War of the Roses
There’s a reason why George R.R. Martin’s story of the Game of Thrones is based on England’s War of the Roses. It really was a brutal and colorful time, where the battle for the throne split apart families and the betrayals, weddings, and beheadings will make your head spin. Come learn about some of the more colorful parts of history in the English middle ages.
The Six Wives of Henry VIII
Learn about the women who married one of Britain’s most notorious monarchs and how the “divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived” rhyme is just the tip of the iceberg with these strong willed and interesting women. Learn about the Tudors—From Henry VII to Elizabeth I—in relation to the six women that Henry VIII married. It’s a time of jousts, the song Greensleeves, and a King who once dressed himself as a Robin Hood to surprise the ladies with a party.
Richard III: Guilty or Not?
Did Richard III, King of England, murder his nephews to take the throne? Certainly Shakespeare wrote the play that way because the history books of the time said so. What’s the evidence? Come hear a murder mystery for the ages and see if you would vote him guilty after you hear the true facts of the case. Was he guilty of multiple murders? Was he a hunchback with a terrible deformity? Learn more about the last king of England to be killed in war.
The Trial of the Century: Henry Thaw, Stanford White, the Girl on the Red Velvet Swing and the Brainstorm Defense
In 1906, famed architect Stanford White was shot and killed by the mentally unstable millionaire Harry Kendall Thaw, who had become obsessed about White’s previous relationship with Thaw’s wife, actress Evelyn Nesbit. This led to a court case which was dubbed “The Trial of the Century” by contemporary reporters. Learn about this true crime thriller with adultery, drugs, jail breaks, and the first mental insanity plea (or “brainstorm”) and how Thaw eventually was acquitted despite having killed White in front of hundreds of witnesses. The murder was the scandal that captivated everyone— partly because of the beautiful Nesbit, the girl in the red velvet swing.
Women’s Suffrage: A Look Back on the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment which Gave Women the Right to Vote
In August of 1920 the U.S. passed the 19th amendment to the Constitution which stated: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” While this was not the first time women were granted the right to vote (some colonies, states and territories had allowed it earlier) nor did it bring the right to vote to all women (many African- Americans were continued to be denied voting rights and some Native Americans did not receive the right to vote until the 1950s), the 19th amendment is an historically important step in the crusade for equal rights. This talk will look at the movement leading up to the amendment and the continued efforts afterwards.
What is Steampunk?
Maybe you’ve heard about Steampunk, which looks like something Victorian mixed with science-fiction. Learn the history of it, see examples of its literature, influence on film, and examples of the costuming trend. On the way, you’ll learn a little about Jules Verne, time travel, cosplay, and popular films.
Murder Mysteries: All about the Genres
Do you read mysteries? Then you may know that the books and films are often classified by different genres including traditional, cozy, procedural, noir or hard-boiled, etc. Then there is the distinction between mysteries, thrillers, suspense, crime, and caper. We’ll examine the different types of books, what goes into them, and why certain types appeal more to some people then others. Do you like the feeling that justice is served and the world can return to normal? Then you’ll like cozies, traditional or procedural more than noir. Is the world a dark and dangerous place and the idea of justice an ideal more than reality? Then noir and the hard-boiled detective is for you. We’ll discuss classic examples of the genres and hopefully you’ll come away inspired to read or write more mysteries.
Other possible topics:
- Shakespeare and his Theatre
- Elizabethan Drama
- Women’s Working Life in the Renaissance
- London Guilds: History from 1500 to 1600
- Flowers of Shakespeare
- Thomas Deloney and the Literature of the Working Man
- Shoemaker’s Holiday
- Lord Mayor’s Pageants of London
- Masques of the Court of James I
- Amelia Lanyer, Poet
- The Image of Rings in Renaissance Literature
- The Country House Poem
- The Printing Revolution and England’s Renaissance
- Louisa May Alcott and a Female Pilgrim’s Progress
- How to be a Steam Locomotive Engineer
- Early Women Printers
“‘You are in an ill name’: Elynour Rummyng, Mistress Quickly, and Other Fictional Tavern Women.” Brawls, Bawds, and Beer: The Early Modern Alehouse and Tavern panel. Renaissance Society of America National Conference. San Diego, CA. April 2013.
“Before Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, or Even the Rovers: Edward Stratemeyer’s Early Writings.” Dime Novels, Pulps and Series Books panel. Popular Culture Association National Convention. Boston, MA. April 2013.
“Who Reads the Readers? Booksellers, Librarians, Writers and Readers in Children’s Series Books.” Dime Novels, Pulps and Series Books panel. Popular Culture Association National Convention. San Antonio, TX. April 2011.
“‘Go to, you thing, go’: Shakespeare’s Mistress Quickly and the Working Woman’s Dilemma.” Women and Work section of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association Conference. Pomona College, Claremont, CA. November 2008.
“Women in and on the Market: Mistress Quickly, Sexuality and Retail in Early Modern London.” Shakespeare, the Elizabethans, and the Early Modern World II: Identity panel. Popular Culture Association. San Francisco, CA. March 2008.
“‘Penelope Spins Apace’: Deloney’s Jack of Newbury and Women’s Work.” Women and Work section of the PAMLA conference. Bellingham, WA. November 2007.
“Sexualized Economies and Working Women of Early Modern London.” Shakespeare, the Elizabethans, and the Early Modern World II. Popular Culture Association. Boston, MA. April 2007.
“Sex and the City (of London): Representations of Occupations.” Popular Culture Association. Atlanta, GA. April 2006.
“Legibility and Sexuality: Working Spaces for London Women.” Popular Culture Association. San Diego, CA. March 2005.
“‘Penelope Spins Apace’ and Weaving Women Disappear: Deloney and the Clothing Industry.” Renaissance Popular Culture section. Popular Culture Association. San Antonio, TX. April 2004.
“London Working Women of the Renaissance.” Renaissance Popular Culture section. PCA. New Orleans, LA. April 2003.
“Mercantile Community: Anthony Munday’s Lord Mayor’s Shows.” Constructing Textual Communities section. Renaissance Society of America and Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Scottsdale, AZ. April 2002.
“Women’s Work in Thomas Deloney Texts.” Renaissance Popular Culture section. PCA. Toronto, Canada. March 2002.
“Writing Work: Definitions of Self and Nationalism Through Occupations.” Renaissance Popular Culture section. PCA. Philadelphia, PA. April 2001.
“Making a Woman: Elizabeth and Shakespeare in Love.” Shakespeare in Popular Culture section. PCA. New Orleans, LA. April 2000.
“The Fall and the Country House Poem: Female Virtue and the Bounty of the Estate.” Renaissance Popular Culture section. PCA. San Diego, CA. April 1999.
“With This Ring: Sexuality and Anxiety in Elizabethan Drama.” Renaissance Popular Culture section. PCA. Orlando, FL. April 1998.
“Writing the Sin and Sinful Writing: Masques and Female Community in Lanyer’s Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum.” The Renaissance Conference of Southern California, Southwest Regional Renaissance Conference at the Huntington Library. May 13, 1994.