Yu Jin Ko
B.A., Columbia University; M.A., Cambridge University (Clare College); Ph.D., Yale University
Professor of English
Shakespearean engaged in bringing theatre and academia into greater dialogue; can also be found at home with kids or on soccer field.
My publications have centered on Shakespeare, with an emphasis on performance. My first book, Mutability and Division on Shakespeare’s Stage, appeared in 2004. More recently (2012), I co-edited a book collection that brings together essays from scholars and theatre professionals: Shakespeare's Sense of Character: On the Page and From the Stage. My articles and reviews have continued to focus on Shakespeare in performance, both in the theatre and on film. They include pieces like a review of Twelfth Night in Central Park featuring Anne Hathaway as well as an essay on an Asian film adaptation of Hamlet (“Martial Arts and Masculine Identity in Feng Xiaogang's The Banquet”). I do confess that I enjoy reviewing live performances in particular, because they provide great reasons for traveling across America and the world to encounter the work of companies as diverse as the RSC, The African-American Shakespeare Company, The Utah Shakespearean Company, and Honolulu Theatre for Youth. A review of an adaptation by the last company can be found in multimedia form in an online journal called Borrowers and Lenders.
I teach Shakespeare at every level—an introductory survey for non-majors, 200-level required courses for majors, and 300-level seminars on Shakespeare in performance. In every class, I always try to involve some element of performance, whether it be attending a live performance, viewing recordings, or getting students on their feet to perform scenes. It is my belief that to bring Shakespeare's plays fully alive, we must bring literary and theatrical analysis together. I do teach authors other than Shakespeare, however. I enjoy teaching in particular an introductory lecture course called Studies in Fiction, which allows me and the students to read some wonderful novels for pure pleasure.
When I am not enjoying time with my family (wife and two boys), I tend to be either fiddling ineptly with a guitar or playing soccer (almost as ineptly). Sometimes I can be found reading trashy romances. When all else fails, however, I hit the remote to watch soccer on television, especially games from the Premier League and La Liga.