Dr Jakub Boguszak is a Lecturer in Shakespeare and Early Modern Theatre at the University of Southampton. He is the right person to talk to about Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, early modern actors and seventeenth-century attitudes to the human body (on stage and off), film adaptations of Shakespeare's works, and modern casting practices. He has been involved in several projects exploring the original staging conventions in early modern theatres and he is always happy to advance the case of performance studies in general.
- casting practices in Shakespearean productions
- actors' parts and documents of performance in the early modern period
- the rise of theatre broadcasts and recorded performances
- critical editions of Shakespeare's works in the twenty-first century
- the history and theory of animation
Dr Boguszak's new monograph, The Self-Centred Art: Ben Jonson’s Parts in Performance, continues the work undertaken in recent years by James J. Marino, Paul Menzer, Simon Palfrey, Tiffany Stern, Evelyn Tribble, and others to put to use what is now known about the purpose, distribution, and usage of early modern actors’ parts. The book applies the new methodology of reading ‘in parts’, or reconstituting early modern plays ‘in parts’, to the body of plays written by Ben Jonson. The aim is to offer a reconsideration of Jonson as a man of theatre, interested not only in the presentation of his works in print, but also in their production at the Globe and at Blackfriars.
Dr Boguszak's current research project explores of casting in modern productions of Shakespeare’s plays. The work intends to show how the aesthetic preferences as well as practical, political, and economic considerations that inform casting decisions in Shakespearean productions have changed over the last eighty years, and how the politics of casting—and act of representation as well as interpretation—has become one of the great points of contention in studies of Shakespeare in performance in the twenty-first century.
Current PhD Students
- Elizabethan and early Stuart drama, the works of William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson in particular
- seventeenth-century cookbooks, sermons, essays, allegorical poems, conduct literature and other texts preoccupied with the appearance and the inner workings of the human body
- the works of John Milton
- modern British drama
- theatre on film
Dr Jakub Boguszak joined English at Southampton in 2016 after receiving his doctoral degree from the University of Oxford. He completed his undergraduate studies at Charles University in Prague and moved to the UK shortly thereafter, pursuing a Master’s degree at Oxford and, following that, his AHRC-funded doctoral research on the works of the early modern playwright Ben Jonson. Before taking up the Lectureship at Southampton he worked as a research assistant at Shakespeare’s Globe in London.