A pedagogy of beauty: Caliban in the desert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


When called to write about Shakespeares beautiful characters, this immigrant educator and scholar, hailing from tropical isles, is inexorably drawn to the ugliness of Caliban. This chapter starts with this personal resonance to explore Caliban's complicated beauty; a beauty, this chapter will establish, is discernible in his loving attachment to place. This chapter proposes that what Caliban (and Shakespeare via Caliban) might teach readers is that beauty does not always inhere in persons, but in places-and more specifically-to a close attachment to one's environment. In this sense, the logics of colonial racism that underwrite his representation might be engaged, even challenged. The chapter will turn to two examples where this has been foregrounded- the first in a dance theatrical adaptation of The Tempest by CONTRA-TIEMPO, an L.A.-based urban-Latin dance company, "Agua Furiosa," whose depiction of Caliban foregrounds participatory contributions from community choreographic labs around Los Angeles (in which the writer and her students took part), and, in a more generalized way, in the writer's imagined pedagogical collaboration with Caliban-in her position as a displaced islander-immigrant teacher of European canonical texts, with a career-long practice of embedding this literature in the specificities and beauties of the places its readers call "home.".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPlaying Shakespeare's Beautiful People
PublisherPeter Lang AG
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781433190360
ISBN (Print)9781433190353
StatePublished - Oct 30 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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