Welcome Reception – Stratford-upon-Avon

A welcome from Gregory Doran (Artistic Director, Royal Shakespeare Company) followed by welcome speeches from the World Shakespeare Congress Local Organising Committee.


Adrian Lester in Conversation with Professor Ayanna Thompson

This session brings together internationally renowned actor Adrian Lester and Professor Ayanna Thompson of the George Washington University, to discuss Lester’s approach to performing Shakespeare. The son of Jamaican immigrants to the UK, Lester discusses his early exposure to Shakespeare, his recent performance as Othello at the National, and his ability to move between big-budget films to small-scale live performances.


Panel sessions

Cut Him Up in Little Stars: Romeo and Juliet Among the Arts

This panel addresses the themes of adaptation, transformation, and curation in the playworld and compositional motifs of Romeo and Juliet and in the play’s afterlife.

Panel members are: Julia Reinhard Lupton, Joseph Campana, Viola Timm. Chaired by Ewan Fernie.


‘The actors are come hither’: Shakespearean Productions by Travelling Companies in the British Empire and Asia

This panel focuses on the itineraries of Western travelling companies and the impact that they had on Shakespearean productions in the East and the Empire, spanning the period from the turn of the twentieth century to the present.

Panel members are: Nurul Farhana Low bt Abdullah, Michiko Suematsu, Yong Li Lan, Andrew Jarvis. Chaired by Michael Dobson.


Shakespeare and the Costume Archives

This panel focuses on the ‘material memories’ made available through significant use of archive collections in two museums and one working theatre: in England, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and in France, the Centre National du Costume de Scène (CNCS).

Panel members are: Kate Dorney, Carol Rutter, Delphine Pinasa. Chaired by Patricia Lennox.


When Shakespeare Met Cervantes: Cardenio and Beyond

This panel aims to show novel aspects not only of Shakespeare’s and Cervantes’ works, but also of their lives, which can help us explain their being set apart as writers and how they managed to give stories like Cardenio a sense of life with its contingencies and frustrations.

Panel members are: Jose Manuel-Gonzalez, Roger Chartier, Stephen Greenblatt. Chaired by Dominique Goy-Blanquet.


Shakespeare and Traditional Stories

Dozens of early modern writers testify, usually with disapproval, to the abundance of traditional stories, ballads, and romances current in Elizabethan England, and especially to their influence on children. This panel attempts to recover some sense of how such material might have helped to shape Shakespeare’s imagination.

Panel members are: Helen Cooper, Hester Lees-Jeffries, Andrew King. Chaired by Jacek Fabiszak.


‘I’ll put a girdle round about the earth’: Interrogating ‘Global’ Shakespeare

Puck’s assurance to Oberon is not needed today: Shakespeare is a widely acknowledged world author transcending time and cultural space. The panel will debate key aspects of this trajectory, vis. the politics (who speaks for the global, and how?) and the pedagogy (provincializing or shoring up?) of the “globalisation” of Shakespeare in translation, performance, and criticism.

Panel members are: Poonam Trivedi, Christie Carson, Judy Celine Ick. Chaired by Susan Bennett.


Recreating Shakespeare on the Latin American Screen

This session explores and complicates Latin America’s engagement with Shakespeare by focusing on particular regional sites of adaptation and generic forms. It considers the cultural presence of Shakespeare in films, television productions, and documentaries, and it explores Argentina, Brazil, and Havana as key sites of Shakespearean Production.

Panel members are: Mark Thornton Burnett, Julie Sanders, Alfredo Michel Modenessi. Chaired by Sarah Hatchuel.


Feminist Criticism: Remaking Shakespeare Studies and Performance

What difference has feminist criticism made to the study and performance of Shakespeare? And where should feminist Shakespeare criticism go next? Among the topics of this panel are: female autonomy, intersectionality with race, theatre across national borders, gender fluidity, and the merits of and limits of approaches such as Actor-Network Theory, Big Data, and Affect Theory.

Panel members are: Catherine Belsey, Pamela Allen Brown, Sujata Iyengar, Jessica Slights, Kirilka Stavreva.



Shakespeare and Translation

The aim of this roundtable is not to “bring together” Shakespeare and translation but to highlight the intrinsic links connecting them from the beginning. There never was, or can be, a Shakespeare outside a world of linguistic, cultural and political change and difference, whether such interactions are framed in dialogical or more confrontational terms.

Roundtable members are: Kazuko Matsuoka, Rui Carvalho Homem, Liz Oakley Brown. Chaired by Dirk Delabastita.


Shakespeare and Biography: Writing and Re-Writing Shakespeare’s Life

Shakespearean biography is recreated through time as new directions and interests spring up, and long-established tropes dismissed, re-cycled, or given fresh life. This roundtable discussion will hear from some of the leading voices in the field and draw out their thoughts about recent biographical approaches and studies.

Roundtable members are: Margreta de Grazia, Katherine Scheil, James Shapiro, Stanley Wells. Chaired by Paul Edmondson.