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Warwick support international Venetian literature festival

Carol in VeniceThe University of Warwick has once again sponsored Venice's annual international literary festival Incroci di Civiltà running from 29 March to 1 April 2017.

The Festival, now in its 10th edition, brought together 45 internationally renowned writers from almost twenty countries to publicly read and debate their works in a variety of venues across the city. The University of Warwick is particularly well placed to contribute to events in Venice, having had a dedicated teaching space in Venice for over forty years, housed in the fifteenth century Palazzo Pesaro-Papafava since 2007.

This year, for the first time, the festival programme included a panel of three authors who write for children and who specialise in adapting classical literature for young readers: Marcia Williams (UK) (Mr William Shakespeare's Plays, Bravo, Mr William Shakespeare), Mary Hoffman (UK) (Stravaganza, Shakespeare’s Ghost) and Luigi Dal Cin (Italy) (Il Canto delle Scogliere, Orlando Pazzo nel Magico Palazzo).

Warwick's Dr Carol Rutter, Professor of Shakespeare and Performance Studies, and Ca' Foscari's Dr Laura Tosi, Associate Professor of English Literature, discussed "Rewriting Classics for Children" with the authors.

Dr Carol Rutter Professor of Shakespeare and Performance Studies at the University of Warwick said,

“'It's so important to discuss introducing primary school readers to big writers like Shakespeare and Ariosto. To do so publicly in front of such an engaged audience was a unique opportunity.”

Watch some of the discussion from the night:

Shakespeare specialists, Carol Rutter (University of Warwick) and Laura Tosi (Ca’ Foscari) have particular interests in the roles Shakespeare wrote for children (see Rutter’s Shakespeare and Child’s Play: Performing Lost Boys on Stage and Screen) and Shakespeare adaptation.

Carol continued, “We discussed the responsibilities of ‘translating’ into words, pictures, and parallel stories so that children can manage the difficult concepts, the ‘hard words’, they find in their source writers. All of the panellists were interested in finding formal ways of negotiating adaptation.”

“The enthusiastic and attentive audience who filled the auditorium at Santa Margarita followed the authors out into the campo after the scheduled event to continue talking. Clearly, this programming experiment has worked: writing for children should certainly get a slot in future Incroci di Civiltà Literary Festivals."

Incroci di Civiltà is supported and sponsored by Warwick's GRP Connecting Cultures, Warwick in Venice, and the Department of English & Comparative Literature.

Incroci di Civiltà, translated as, ‘Crossroads of Civilizations’ is an international literature festival held in Venice in which award winning contemporary writers from around the world - including many winners of the Nobel Prize - meet the readers. They read and debate their works in a large number of events committed throughout the city for a week. This is preceded by a series of warm up events, ‘Towards Crossroads’, addressed to university students, the public library, the citizens of Venice, Italy and many international visitors. The event began in 2008 on the initiative of professors from ' Ca' Foscari University with support from the City of Venice, on the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Notes to editors:

Warwick has provided a dedicated teaching space in Venice for over forty years, housed in the fifteenth century Palazzo Pesaro-Papafava since 2007. This stunning building, in gothic style, belonged to a rich patrician family who exercised considerable power in political and economic spheres.

Since 1967 the Warwick History Department, joined later by the Warwick Art History Department, has sent a group of third-year undergraduates to Venice every autumn term.

Read more about Warwick in Venice.


Alex Buxton
Media Relations Manager
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