re: Showing Olivier’s “Othello” in class.
Posted by: BruceinIthaca 01:05 pm EDT 10/16/21
In reply to: Showing Olivier’s “Othello” in class. - kieran 12:47 pm EDT 10/16/21

I find this so sad. It seems obvious to me that the teacher was screening the film for the purposes of making points about the musical scoring of Shakespearean film. That he did not realize that Olivier's blackface is now viewed as deeply offensive (whatever arguable merits his performance otherwise may have--recall that he received an Oscar nomination for it) might very well be based on lack of cultural understanding of US racial relations at this moment rather than a kind of dismissal of what makes the film a difficult one to use. Surely there is a better solution to removing him from the classroom. It seems to me that his department may have done a poor job of mentoring him--yes, I get he's a major scholar and not a newbie in the academia, but shifting to the cultural politics of Ann Arbor may be a challenge his chair or others should have anticipated and at least invited him to discuss before he began teaching.

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