The University of Warwick and Queen Mary University of London have launched a new research and teaching collaboration called Global Shakespeare.
Global Shakespeare officially launched with an event at the Barbican Theatre last week and aims to shape the future agenda in Shakespeare studies across criticism, performance, history, media and popular culture.
Global Shakespeare Director, Professor David Schalkwyk says that the partnership is fundamentally about challenging the notion that “Shakespeare belongs to a single language, culture or people”.
“Whether London or Lahore, we aim to shine a light on the truly global nature of Shakespeare’s work. It is our belief that there is no pure or true way to interpret or perform Shakespeare’s text. The meaning and understanding of his work is culturally specific, and Global Shakespeare seeks to understand and celebrate that reality,” said Professor Schalkwyk.
Current Global Shakespeare initiatives include a collaboration with the People’s Palace Projects on Shakespeare in Brazil; a partnership with Dash Arts on a multi-lingual production of King Lear; a celebration in 2016 of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth; and the 500th anniversary of the Venetian Ghetto.
Upcoming international activities include a 2016 conference on Global Shakespeare with the University of Cape Town, a 2015 exhibition and series of performances in London of the British Black and Asian Shakespeare’s Multi-Cultural Shakespeare: 1930-2010, and a 2015 symposium on Shakespeare in China.
Future research projects include the use of Shakespeare to investigate the history of the emotions; an extensive “connected communities” project to explore Shakespeare, human rights and areas of conflict; and a series of performance-based workshops with translators to forge closer links between translators, actors and scholars.