Katherine Gillen et al., "The Bard in the Borderlands: An Anthology of Shakespeare Appropriations en la Frontera" (ACMRS, 2023)


First performed in the Milagro Theater of Portland, Oregon in 2014, Olga Sanchez Saltveit’s ¡O Romeo! imagines William Shakespeare, late in his life, writing a play set in Mexico about a conquistador and his beloved, a woman from Tenochtitlán. Shakespeare tells Rifke, his Spanish housekeeper that his conquistador protagonist will “integrate” his beloved’s “life and faith with” his own. Rifke who has received letters from her missionary brother living in the Americas responds, “Los conquistadores no integran, imponen. ¿No has oído lo que escribe mi hermano?” (“The conquistadors do not integrate, they impose. Have you not heard what my brother writes?”)

Saltveit’s play has been published in the first volume of a new anthology titled The Bard in the Borderlands: An Anthology of Shakespeare Appropriations en La Frontera (ACMRS, 2023), with its editors, Katherine “Kate” Gillen, Adrianna M. Santos, and Kathryn “Katie” Vomero Santos.

Katherine Gillen is Professor of English at Texas A&M-San Antonio and is the author of the previous monograph Chaste Value: Economic Crisis, Female Chastity, and the Production of Social Difference on Shakespeare’s Stage (Edinburgh University Press, 2017). 

Kathryn Santos is Professor of English and co-director of the Humanities Collective at Trinity University and is author of the forthcoming 2024 monograph Shakespeare in Tongues from Routledge. 

Their co-editor, who was not able to join us for the conversation, is Adrianna M. Santos, Professor of English at Texas A&M-San Antonio and the author of Cicatrix Poetics, Trauma and Healing in the Literary Borderlands: Beyond Survival (Palgrave, 2023). 

Professors Gillen, Santos, and Santos are co-founders of the Borderlands Shakespeare Colectiva, which is a multi-institutional project designed to expand Shakespeare pedagogy and performance.

John Yargo is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Boston College. He earned a PhD in English literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, specializing in the environmental humanities and early modern culture. His peer-reviewed articles have been published or are forthcoming in the Journal for Early Modern Culture Studies, Early Theatre, Studies in Philology, and Shakespeare Studies.

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John Yargo

John Yargo is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities at Boston College. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His specializations are early modern literature, the environmental humanities, and critical race studies. His dissertation explores early modern representations of environmental catastrophe, including William Shakespeare's The Tempest, Aphra Behn's Oroonoko, and John Milton's Paradise Lost. He has published in Early Theatre, Studies in Philology, The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, and Shakespeare Studies.

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