Postcolonialism and the teaching of Shakespeare in Morocco

Abdellatif Hakim (Dhar Mehraz, Fes University, Morocco)

My paper will evaluate the ways in which the appearance and introduction of postcolonial theory in the departments of English in Morocco have affected both the teaching approaches to, as well as the attitude towards, Shakespeare. Before postcolonial theory made its appearance in Morocco in the nineties, the dominant methods which were used to teach Shakespeare focused on theme and character studies. These studies aimed at showing Shakespeare as the great universal and human thinker as well as the special place that he occupies in world literature. The introduction of postcolonial theory has had a negative impact on this view of Shakespeare. Such theory attempts to argue that Shakespeare is an imperialist and that his works have contributed to the spread, enforcement and success of imperialism throughout the world. The paper will question this approach, showing how it does not do justice to Shakespeare. The argument is that his writings are outside the range of this approach as it is impossible to reconcile the image of Shakespeare as the universal and human artist with such an image of him as an imperialist.

Postcolonial OV discourseov Casablanca Conference

Last modified: 7 May 2001