The April 2014 edition of Exchanges, the Warwick University on-line research journal, featured a themed section dedicated to the work of Sidelights on Shakespeare. Included were reports by John Curtis and Dr Catherine Alexander discussing the work they had presented in their seminars (see below), and an article by Sidelights on Shakespeare co-ordinator, Stephanie Tillotson.
This Year's Seminars:
‘King Lear, Twitter, and The Da Vinci Code’
John Curtis, Barrister MA (The Shakespeare Institute)
29th November 2013
In the first seminar of the academic year 2013/14, John Curtis, practising barrister and member of the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, asked us to consider what was the connection between Dan Brown, Twitter and a 400 year-old Shakespearian text. His paper considered the advantages and disadvantages of literary allusions within legal proceedings, contrasting the reception given to the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, who quoted King Lear following his judgment in 'The Twitter Joke Trial' and that given to Mr Justice Peter when he incorporated ideas from the bestseller, The Da Vinci Code. John argued that the use of Shakespeare in negotiating modern legal principles is of considerable cultural significance within the powerful social mechanism of the law courts.
Shakespeare and War: Some Aspects of Appropriation
Dr Catherine M.S. Alexander, Fellow of The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham
5th February 2014
The two anniversaries marked in 2014 - the birth of Shakespeare in 1564 and the start of the First World 'War in 1914 - prompted the research for Dr Alexander’s paper, presented in the second seminar in this year's Sidelights on Shakespeare programme. In it Dr Alexander considered the reception, appropriation and context of Shakespeare's work where she uncovered a tale in which nationhood and patriotism feature strongly, with the dramatist as contested cultural property.
Worlds Elsewhere: Journeys around Shakespeare’s Globe.
Andrew Dickson, Visiting Fellow, University of Warwick and Theatre Editor, Guardian News and Media.
18th February 2014
For the last two years, Guardian journalist and writer Andrew Dickson has been travelling the world, researching a new book on global Shakespeare to be published in 2016. Sidelights on Shakespeare was delighted to host Andrew Dickson's third lecture in the Worlds Elsewhere Tour: Deutschland ist Hamlet, Germany's Shakespeare.
Down Shakespeare Road: Mapping Race, Theatre and Politics
Professor Tony Howard
13th May 2014
In the final seminar of the year, Professor Tony Howard discussed Shakespeare as the symbolic heart of British culture. Who plays Shakespespeare, where and how, helps define our sense of national and community identity. With this in mind, Professor Howard outlined his research undertaken in his role as the lead investigator of the Multicultural Shakespeare project at Warwick University: a fascinating project which explores the history of Black and Asian artists' contribution to the staging of Shakespeare in Britian.