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James Shapiro, Harry Ransom Lecture Series

From the time of the American Revolution, Shakespeare has figured prominently in American literary and political culture. James Shapiro, Columbia University professor and noted Shakespearian, considers the alternative history of our nation contained in poems, speeches, parodies, essays, reviews, stories, and letters that respond to Shakespeare's work in a lecture on Thursday, May 1, at 7 p.m. A book signing and reception follow.

Shapiro is Larry Miller Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he has taught since 1985. His books include 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (2005), and Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? (2010). In 2012 he co-authored and presented a 3-part BBC documentary, Shakespeare: The King's Man. He is currently at work on Shakespeare in 1606: The Year of Lear.

The program is free and open to the public, but donations are welcome. Line forms upon arrival of the first person, and doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Attendees may enter to win copies of James Shapiro's 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare and From Gutenberg to Gone With The Wind: Treasures of the Ransom Center.