2022 Waller Lectureship Highlighting Musicals

   Campus News | Posted on October 17, 2022

The annual John O. Waller Lectureship for the Arts will take place Monday, Oct. 17, with featured speaker Louise Geddes, PhD, professor of English at Adelphi University. Geddes’ presentation, “How the Musical Became Meta,” is based on her current book-length project of the same title. The talk will take place at 7 p.m. in the Biology Amphitheater of Price Hall in the Science Complex.

Geddes’ career as a dramaturg for off-Broadway’s Rattlestick Theater has been influential in her research on Shakespeare in performance, and she has published extensively about staging Shakespeare in such journals as “Shakespeare Bulletin” and “Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England.” Some of her research interests include digital media, performance theory, Shakespeare in performance, and theater and popular culture. She currently serves as general editor of “Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation” and acts as chair of the English department at Adelphi University. 

Her first book, “Appropriating Shakespeare: A Cultural History of Pyramus and Thisbe,” tracks the stage history of A Midsummer Night’s Dream’s playlet from 17th-century Germany to the contemporary stage. She has co-published two other books, “Variable Objects: Speculative Shakespeare Appropriation” and “The Shakespeare User: Cultural and Critical Appropriation in the Twenty-First Century” with Valerie Fazel, PhD, instructor of English at Arizona State University. Geddes has also published book chapters in “Geek Shakespeare,” “The Routledge Handbook of Shakespeare Global Appropriation” and “The Arden Companion to Shakespeare and Adaptation.” Her current projects include the formal aesthetics of camp on the contemporary stage and her research on “How the Musical Became Meta.” 

The Waller Lectureship was created in 2008 in honor of late English professor John O. Waller. Waller taught at Andrews University from 1960–1987, serving 16 of those years as chair of the Department of English. In addition to his specialization in the Victorian era, Waller was involved in important research about Seventh-day Adventist attitudes toward fiction. His book, “Circle of Friends: The Tennysons and the Washingtons of Park House,” was published by the Ohio University Press in 1986. Previous lectureship presentations have included Allyson Jule’s “Speaking in Silences: Why Saying Nothing Can Ruin a Perfectly Good Education” in 2015, “Speaking Peace in a Climate of Conflict” by Marilyn McEntyre in 2020, and Carissa Harris’ “Maternal Fury: Women’s Collective Rage at State Violence, from the Middle Ages to the Movements for Black Lives” in 2021. 

This lecture is the first event in the 2022 Andrews University Research Week. On Thursday, Oct. 20, Congressman Fred Upton and professor Sung Kwon, PhD, will speak at the Celebration of Community Engagement to be held in Newbold Auditorium in Buller Hall at 6 p.m. On Friday, Oct. 21, Jay Johnson, PhD, and Petr Cincala, PhD, will give plenary presentations at the Celebration of Creative Scholarship, which will take place in Newbold Auditorium at 12:30 p.m. All 2022 Research Week events are free and open to the public.

   Jeff Boyd