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Global Shakespeare Seminar Series

This page is part of the Global Shakespeare archive. Find out more...

  • For more information on global Shakespeare studies at Queen Mary University of London, please contact Professor David Schalkwyk, Chair in Shakespeare Studies at QMUL.
  • For more information on global Shakespeare studies at the University of Warwick, please head to the Global Shakespeare Research Group.
The 2016/17 Seminar Series features actors, directors, and scholars from around the world. Keep checking back for new additions to the schedule!
Spring Semester - all Seminars take place at the University of Warwick

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Dr Anne Sophie Refskou, 'Times out of Joint: Hamlets in Elsinore 1816-2016'

Thursday 26 January, 17:00 - 19:00, H5.22 Humanities Building H2.44 Humanities Building

Kronborg Castle in Elsinore, nowadays often known as ‘Hamlet’s Castle’, has been an important Shakespearean location for centuries, boasting a rich international performance history. The first Hamlet at the castle was staged in 1816 in celebration of the bicentenary of Shakespeare’s death, and since then countless world-renowned actors have performed there, often against a backdrop of political tension and conflict. The Hamlets in Elsinore throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries provide a fascinating glimpse of Shakespearean cultural diplomacy at work in a Europe moving from nationalism and wars towards unity and open borders. In recent decades, the range of performers at the castle has become increasingly global, a development which seems as important as ever. This talk looks at a number of pivotal Hamlet productions in Elsinore and their historico-political contexts, and questions the ways in which Shakespeare has been - and is - appropriated by cultural diplomacy.

Dr Anne Sophie Refskou is a Lecturer in Theatre and Performance at GSA, Department of Acting and Performance, University of Surrey. She specializes in the study of Shakespeare in a global and intercultural context with an interest in new methodologies and practices, as well as political and diplomatic issues. She has recently curated an exhibition on 200 years of Shakespeare performances in Elsinore for ‘HamletScenen’, resident theatre at Kronborg Castle and host of the annual international ‘Shakespeare Festival at Hamlet’s Castle’. The exhibition was shown as part of the Shakespeare400 festival at King’s College, London, with support from the Danish Embassy in London, and at Marienlyst Castle in Denmark. It will also be part of the York Shakespeare Festival in May 2017.


Professor Alfredo Michel Modenessi,'Romeo and Juliet in Mexico City: Filming Shakespeare across urban divides'

Thursday 2 February, 17:00 - 19:00

Since the mid-2000s, one in every four gang-style executions in Mexico has involved a person under 29 years of age. In 2010, more than half of all violent crimes in Mexico were committed by youngsters, mostly between 18 and 24. In 2013, Mexico’s National Bureau of Statistics and Geography reported that nearly 35 thousand males between 15 and 29 had died violently – over 53% of the national sum total. In 2015, UNICEF published that 21 million Mexicans under 18 were living under violent circumstances, while the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights detected that Mexican youths aged 15 to 19 were in high risk of meeting a violent death.

Against this background, roughly a decade of each other, two Mexican filmmakers adapted Shakespeare’s most popular and trivialised but always useful play of young love, urban conflict and violent death, in highly contrasting ways. Amar te duele (‘Love Hurts’, Fernando Sariñana, 2002) opted for a high-tech but ultimately melodramatic treatment of the ‘star-crossed lovers’, while Besos de azúcar ('Sugar Kisses', Carlos Cuarón, 2013) took an unrefined, grimly comedic path. Both framed their conflicts within specific and specially significant areas and social environments of Mexico City, however. Thus, both also somehow followed in the tracks laid out a bit earlier, perhaps unwittingly – indeed naively – by William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (Baz Luhrmann, 1996), likewise shot in the ‘City of Palaces’. With passing reference to their common antecedent, I will discuss the two Mexican films, wondering if, as both seem to claim, love indeed dwells and even redeems among the actual and metaphoric ruins of my hometown.

Alfredo Michel Modenessi is Professor of Comparative Studies in English Literature, Drama and Translation at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) as well as a stage translator, translation studies scholar, and dramaturg.

Dr Margarida Rauen, 'Women’s and gender issues in the creative processes of Shadows of Sycorax, Ophelias A-VOID-ING, and the forum play Juliets'

Thursday 9 February Thursday 16 February, 17:00 - 19:00, H5.22 Humanities Building

Margarida is a Global Shakespeare Visiting Fellow for 2016/17; she'll be leading four sessions on Shakespeare in Brazil for the core module in the spring semester. She is a lecturer at Universidade Estadual do Centro-Oeste. Find out more about Margarida on her website.

Dr Jonathan Heron: 'Weirding Shakespeare: performance practice as research'

Thursday 23 February, 17:00 - 19:00, Humanities Building, H5.22

Jonny is a Principal Teaching Fellow and the Deputy Director of the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning at the University of Warwick. He works on the interplay between theatre and performance studies, critical and radical pedagogies and the interdisciplinary turn within higher education.

Giulia Champion, 'The Empire Bites Back: Literary Cannibalism in African, Caribbean and South American Postcolonial Rewritings of the 'Western Literary Canon'

This paper focuses, on the one hand, on questioning the notion of canonicity and how literature is taught in higher education, and on the other hand, how rewriting these 'classics' through the creative process of literary cannibalism aims to construct a proper identity for former colonies and insert it into the intellectual and cultural sphere.

Giulia is an alumna of Global Shakespeare, and is currently undertaking a PhD at Warwick.

Thursday 2 March, 17:00 - 19:00, H5.22, Humanities Building

Professor Adrian Howe, 'Performing (White) Othello on Trial – Cast and Audience Receptions'

Adrian is a senior research fellow in the School of Law at QMUL. She researches in the field of sexed violence, and has devised an interpretation of Othello in which intimate partner violence is explored.

Thursday 16 March Friday 7 April, 17:00 - 19:00, H5.22, Humanities Building

Autumn Semester
Nick Hutchison, ''Collaborative Plays: Working on Shakespeare and Fletcher in the theatre'

Thursday 6 October, 16:00 - 18:00, G.34 ArtsOne (Queen Mary University of London)

Nick Hutchison is a director, actor, and lecturer. Check out Nick's website for more information.

Dame Janet Suzman, 'Does Hamlet’s speech to the Players still ring bells?'

Thursday 20 October, 16:00 - 18:00, G.34 ArtsOne (Queen Mary University of London)

Professor Graham Holderness (University of Hertfordshire), 'The Arab Shakespeare Trilogy'

Thursday 3 November, 16:00 - 18:00, G.34 ArtsOne (Queen Mary University of London)

Tim Supple (Dash Arts), 'Shakespeare Beyond Context'

Thursday 17 November, 16:00 - 18:00, G.34 ArtsOne (Queen Mary University of London)


Dr Mercio Gomes (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro; QMUL Distinguished Visiting Fellow 2016/17), 'What did Shakespeare know about (Brazilian) Indians?'

Tuesday 22 November, 16:00 - 18:00, 1.30 Garrod Building (Whitechapel Campus, Queen Mary University of London)

Professor Douglas Lanier (GS Fulbright Distinguished Chair 2016/17), 'Globalizing Reception of Othello on film: the case of Anna's Sin'

Thursday 1 December, 16:00 - 18:00, G.34 ArtsOne (Queen Mary University of London)

Kelly Hunter (actor, director, writer, and Artistic Director of the Flute Theatre), 'Touring Hamlet around Europe in 2016'

Thursday 15 December, 16:00 - 18:00, G.34 ArtsOne (Queen Mary University of London)

Explore the 2015/16 Seminar Series (including talks from Professor Alfredo Modenessi, Professor Sheila Cavanagh, Professor Ewan Fernie, and Dr Sandra Young).

Check out the 2014/15 Seminar Series to see what you missed! Featuring talks from Professor Jose Roberto O'Shea, Professor Alexa Huang, and Dr Tom Cheesman.

For other Shakespeare related seminars at the University of Warwick please see Sidelights on Shakespeare.