Professor discusses politics of romance

Keith Harrison looks at elements of Deepa Mehta’s film Water

Keith Harrison, a professor of literature, film and writing at Vancouver Island University, draws on two interests to discuss elements of Deepa Mehta’s film Water.

Harrison published research on Shakespeare and has worked for the National Film Board of Canada – two interests that will converge in his presentation on the use of Shakespeare’s tragedy in the Indo-Canadian director’s 2005 film.

In Water, set in 1938 during the Raj, Mehta fuses Shakespearean romantic loss with the historical narrative of India’s journey towards Independence. Because the experience of romantic love activates a broader resistance to intolerance and oppression, the Shakespearean references in Water take on a political definition and, ultimately, act as a liberating force.

Harrison’s presentation is Friday (Oct. 14), 10-11:30 a.m. at the Malaspina Theatre. It is open to the public and free of charge. For more information, please e-mail