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Showcasing Shakespeare: Celebration as Interpretation

Showcasing Shakespeare: Celebration as Interpretation

From David Garrick's Stratford celebrations in 1769 to the current year-long RSC Complete Works festival, public awareness and understanding of Shakespeare have been shaped in large measure by the dedication of time, space and cultural practices solely to him and his works. This seminar proposes a wide-ranging investigation of the forms and effects of these regular, multifarious and international stagings of the 'special' nature of Shakespeare. Topics for consideration might include why and how Shakespeare has been linked to distinct locations and artefacts, whether in the form of reconstructions of his theatres, the commissioning of commemorative artwork, or the creation of memorial gardens and other public spaces; Shakespeare anniversaries and celebrations, whether annual, centennial (as in 1864, 1916 or 1964) or millennial; Shakespeare exhibitions and festivals; theatre and media special seasons; Shakespeare prizes and competitions; special editions and publications; and even Shakespeare conferences. Interdisciplinary perspectives would be welcome, especially those engaging with the problematics of investigating events and visual and material culture. Approaches might range from historical contextualisation to theoretical considerations of the performativities and ideologies of different celebratory acts, and their role in influencing interpretations of plays and changing concepts of Shakespeare's meanings and significance over time.

This seminar was chaired by Susanne Greenhalgh ( s.greenhalgh@roehampton.ac.uk ). For more information about specific papers, please contact the participants individually. Contact details are listed at the bottom of each abstract.

Abstracts will be available here soon.