"Tudor Books and Readers" 2014 NEH Summer Seminar
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.070 Monday, 10 February 2014
From: Mark C Rankin <
Date: February 9, 2014 at 9:37:55 AM EST
Subject: "Tudor Books and Readers" 2014 NEH Summer Seminar
The application deadline for the 2014 “Tudor Books and Readers” NEH summer seminar for college teachers approaches (March 4). Please do consider applying, and please also suggest the seminar to any others who might be interested. Full application details are available at the seminar’s website (see below). There is an online cover sheet which accompanies the application.
Thanks very much,
Associate Professor of English
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
John N. King of The Ohio State University and Mark Rankin of James Madison University will direct a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers on the construction and dissemination of books and the nature of reading during the era of the Tudor monarchs (1485-1603). In particular, they plan to pose the governing question of whether the advent of printing was a necessary precondition for the emergence of new reading practices associated with the Renaissance and Reformation. Participants will consider ways in which readers responded to elements such as book layout, typography, illustration, and paratext (e.g., prefaces, glosses, and commentaries). Employing key methods of the history of the book and the history of reading, our investigation will consider how the physical nature of books affected ways in which readers understood and assimilated their intellectual contents. This program is geared to meet the needs of teacher-scholars interested in the literary, political, or cultural history of the English Renaissance and/or Reformation, the history of the book, the history of reading, art history, women’s studies, religious studies, bibliography, print culture, library science (including rare book librarians), mass communication, literacy studies, and more.
This seminar will meet from 23 June until 26 July 2014. During the first week of this program, we shall visit 1) Antwerp, Belgium, in order to draw on resources including the Plantin-Moretus Museum (the world’s only surviving Renaissance printing and publishing house) and 2) London, England, in order to attend a rare-book workshop and consider treasures at Senate House Library of the University of London. During four ensuing weeks at Oxford, participants will reside at St. Edmund Hall as they make use of rare book and manuscript holdings of the Bodleian Library and other institutions.
Those eligible to apply include citizens of USA who are engaged in teaching at the college or university level, graduate students, and independent scholars who have received the terminal degree in their field (usually the Ph.D.). In addition, non-US citizens who have taught and lived in the USA for at least three years prior to March 2014 are eligible to apply. NEH will provide participants with a stipend of $3,900.
Full details and application information are available at https://sites.jmu.edu/NEHtudorbooks2014. For further information, please contact Mark Rankin (
). Applications must be postmarked by March 4, 2014.
Ewan Fernie Inaugural Lecture
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.069 Thursday, 6 February 2014
From: Julia Crockett <
Date: February 5, 2014 at 4:34:09 PM EST
Subject: Ewan Fernie Inaugural Lecture
University of Birmingham 27/01/2014 ‘Freetown! Shakespeare and Social Flourishing’:
Freetown! Shakespeare and Social Flourishing
Posted on Wednesday 29th January 2014
Professor Ewan Fernie delivered his inaugural lecture at the University of Birmingham on Monday 27 January 2014. A full video recording is available below.
Ewan Fernie’s inaugural took a fresh look at freedom in Shakespeare. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare slipped the idea of ‘Freetown’ into his great play about the struggle for free love. Prior to 1769’s first ever big Shakespeare celebration, David Garrick was made Freeman of Stratford. Viva la libertà! James Boswell came to Garrick’s Jubilee in solidarity with the international liberation movement dressed in the costume of a Corsican chief. According to Hegel, Shakespeare’s characters are ‘free artificers of themselves’. But Tolstoy thought Shakespeare too free. And in our time the former Poet Laureate, Ted Hughes, and the philosopher John Moriarty have presented Shakespeare as struggling to redeem the dark freedoms of a human creature whose hand is structurally homologous with the fin of a shark.
In his anniversary year of 2014 - with an even bigger one approaching - many will contend that Shakespeare is good for us. Maybe, says Fernie, but in a way that really ought to shake us to the core.
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.068 Thursday, 6 February 2014
From: Julia Crockett <
Date: February 5, 2014 at 4:27:57 PM EST
Subject: British Council Lecture
Speaking the Bright and Beautiful English of Shakespeare
Speaking the bright and beautiful English of Shakespeare
Ben Crystal (London, UK) + LIVE VIA WEBCAST
English Language Council Lecture
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 from 18:30 to 20:30 (GMT)
London, United Kingdom
Wednesday 12 February 2014, 1830 - 2030
British Council, 10 Spring Gardens, London, SW1A 2BN
+ LIVE VIA WEBCAST
The English Language Council Lecture
Shakespeare and the English language
Presented by Ben Crystal
The English-Speaking Union and the British Council are partnering to present the third English Language Council Lecture, which celebrates Shakespeare and the English language. The lecture marks the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare in 2014.
The guardian of English poetry, the inventor of over 1,000 words still in use today, and one of the greatest players with our language, Shakespeare has given us a treasure trove of English to read - funny how so much of it doesn't make sense until it's spoken out-loud.
Actor and author Ben Crystal explores the accent, the theatrical conventions, and the world of Shakespeare, to reveal a bright and beautiful English.
What is this event, and how can I join?
This free event will be held at the British Council's headquarters near Trafalgar Square in Central London, and includes a canapé reception. The lecture will also be streamed live online and available to watch globally.
Who is Ben Crystal?
Ben Crystal is an actor, producer, and writer. He studied English Language and Linguistics at Lancaster University before training at Drama Studio London. He has worked in TV, film and theatre, at the reconstructed Shakespeare’s Globe, London, and has been a narrator for RNIB Talking Books, Channel 4 and the BBC.
He co-wrote Shakespeare’s Words (Penguin 2002) and The Shakespeare Miscellany (Penguin 2005) with his father David Crystal, and his first solo book, Shakespeare on Toast – Getting a Taste for the Bard (Icon 2008) was shortlisted for the 2010 Educational Writer of the Year Award.
His productions of Simon Stephens’ One Minute in 2008 and Robin French’s Gilbert is Dead in 2009 were critically acclaimed.
In 2011, he played Hamlet in the first Original Pronunciation production of the play for 400 years with the Nevada Repertory Company.
In 2012 he was the curator for the first CD of extracts of Shakespeare recorded by professional actors in Original Pronunciation for the British Library, their best-selling CD to date, and his new series for Arden Shakespeare / Bloomsbury - Springboard Shakespeare was published in June 2013.
The event is free of charge. However, as places are limited, we advise booking early to avoid disappointment.
What was your first introduction to Britain's most famous playwright?
What is your favourite of Shakespearean words, puns, poems or quotes?
Join the conversation on Twitter #Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.067 Thursday, 6 February 2014
From: British Graduate Shakespeare Conference <
Date: February 5, 2014 at 10:44:08 AM EST
Subject: BritGrad 2014
The registration for BritGrad 2014 is now live!
Call for Papers
Sixteenth Annual British Graduate Shakespeare Conference
5th – 7th June 2014
The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham
We invite Graduate students with interests in Shakespeare and Renaissance Studies to join us in June for the Sixteenth Annual British Graduate Shakespeare Conference.
This interdisciplinary conference, celebrating its sixteenth anniversary in 2014, provides a friendly and stimulating academic forum in which Graduate students from all over the world can present their research and meet together in an active centre of Shakespeare scholarship in Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Undergraduate students in their final two years of study are also invited to attend the conference as auditors.
The conference will feature talks by David Crystal (University of Wales, Bangor), Ewan Fernie (Shakespeare Institute), Tony Howard (University of Warwick), Grace Ioppolo (University of Reading), and Simon Palfrey (University of Oxford), among other plenary speakers. A round table discussion about Shakespeare’s collaborative plays will be led by Peter Kirwan (University of Nottingham) and Will Sharpe (University of Birmingham).
Delegates will also have the opportunity to attend two RSC productions: Henry IV Part II, directed by Gregory Doran, and starring Antony Sher as Falstaff, and The Roaring Girl, part of the Roaring Girls season, both at a group-booking price. Lunch will be provided on each day, and we will be hosting a party and a reception for the delegates.
We invite abstracts of approximately 200 words for papers twenty minutes in length (3,000 words or less) on subjects relating to Shakespeare and/or Renaissance studies. Delegates wishing to give papers must register by Friday 25th April 2014; auditors by Friday 23rd May 2014. Due to the growing success of this annual conference, we strongly encourage early registration to ensure a place on the conference programme.
For more information on the conference and registration, visit: http://britgrad.wordpress.com
Find us on Facebook and on Twitter, Email:
The Sixteenth British Graduate Shakespeare Conference
The Shakespeare Institute
Mason Croft, Church Street
BritGrad 2014 CFP: Bitgrad_CFP
BritGrad 2014 Poster: Britgrad_Poster
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.062 Monday, 3 February 2014
From: Hardy M. Cook <
Date: Monday, February 3, 2014
Subject: Shakespeare’s the Thing
[Editor’s Note: The following is taken from the Fogler Library Web Site. –Hardy]
“My idea was that it ought to be fun. It’s like opening up the Folger vault, all of the weird, funny, wonderful stuff as to how people related to Shakespeare. You can open it like opening a birthday present. What’s inside?”
--Georgianna Ziegler, curator of Shakespeare’s the Thing, a new exhibition opening Jan. 28 at the Folger Shakespeare Library
Shakespeare’s the Thing
January 28 - June 15
Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm
Sunday, Noon to 5pm
Georgianna Ziegler, curator
Kick off William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday year with this wide-ranging, often unexpected display drawn from our unequalled Shakespeare holdings.
From Russian and Czech translations to a musical score by Felix Mendelssohn, from centuries-old printed editions to Salvador Dali set designs, Shakespeare’s the Thing offers a wealth of responses to Shakespeare’s genius. Join us in exploring four frequent ways of encountering the Bard: fixating on Shakespeare, printing his works, performing his plays, and depicting the man and his characters, from Falstaff to Cleopatra.
Georgianna Ziegler is the Louis B. Thalheimer Head of Reference at the Folger Shakespeare Library.
After receiving a doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania in early modern English and French literature, Georgianna taught at Davidson College and Wofford College in the Carolinas. She then returned to the University of Pennsylvania where she served as Curator of the Horace Howard Furness Shakespeare Library in the Rare Book Department, while also teaching classes in English literature and pursuing a library degree at Drexel University.
In 1992, Georgianna came to the Folger where, in addition to her reference and teaching work, she has curated several exhibitions, notably Shakespeare’s Unruly Women, Elizabeth I: Then and Now, and Shakespeare’s Sisters: Voices of English and European Women Writers, 1500-1700, as well as co-curating exhibitions on mapping, on Shakespeare in children’s literature, and on the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery.
Georgianna is an active member of the Renaissance Society of America and the Shakespeare Association of America where she served as president. She has published on Shakespeare’s heroines, on Elizabeth I and Elizabeth of Bohemia, and on the calligrapher Esther Inglis. She has recently finished a book manuscript, Domesticating the Bard: Women and Shakespeare 1790-1890.
“We wanted to do something special for 2014 to celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday,” says Georgianna Ziegler, curator of Shakespeare’s the Thing and the Louis B. Thalheimer head of reference at the Folger Shakespeare Library. “My idea was that it ought to be fun. It’s like opening up the Folger vault, all of the weird, funny, wonderful stuff as to how people related to Shakespeare. You can open it like opening a birthday present. What’s inside?” The exhibition, she says, is also a look at “Shakespeare through things—the things that people have created about him and their ideas of him.”
Those things, of course, are wide-ranging. Among other examples, Ziegler points to the forger William Henry Ireland’s faked love letter from Shakespeare to Anne Hathaway, complete with a lock of real hair; a Shakespeare-themed Barbie; the Seven Ages of Man cards once given out by a soap company; early Shakespeare editions, beginning in 1709; and several translations, including Hamlet in Sanskrit and "beautifully illustrated" Shakespeare plays in Russian and Czech.
The iconic 1623 First Folio appears here, too, with a focus on the title-page portrait of Shakespeare. While the First Folio was being printed, the engraving was repeatedly adjusted, creating four distinct variations, or states. “In all the time I’ve been here,” says Ziegler, “we’ve never shown all four states before. We used two First Folios and two single leafs for the exhibition, all originals.”
To assemble and shape this diverse mix, Ziegler and exhibitions manager Caryn Lazzuri began with suggestions from the Folger staff. “It was crowd-sourced,” Ziegler says. “We asked what items they were fascinated by in the collection.” Replies came from the specialists who work with the collection every day, and from other staff members as well. Their proposed selections inspired the exhibition’s four themes: fixating on, printing, performing, and depicting Shakespeare. Each is identified with a banner in the exhibition hall. “You can do them in any order,” says Ziegler, “or wander at will.”
Where possible, Ziegler favored “things that were eye-catching,” she explains, including designs by Salvador Dali for As You Like It and works by Wyndham Lewis for Timon of Athens, a suggestion by Folger development director Essence Newhoff. “We paired that one with Frank Mowery’s book binding for the Folger 60th anniversary in 1992, which is also in a geometric, modernist style. They seemed to go together, and they look well.”
Folger Theatre artistic director Janet Griffin proposed “the Jean Hugo designs for a French production of Romeo and Juliet in the 1920s,” Ziegler says. “I had shown that book when Janet had visitors to the library.” In the exhibition audio tour, Griffin describes the stunning 1924 Paris production, “just eight years before the Folger opened,” in which costumes with “iridescent linear designs glowed under what I suspect was the equivalent of black light—quite a psychedelic experience.”
Ziegler also notes the special appeal of a copy of an 1886 Paris edition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in which watercolors cover the text. “It’s an amazing book; every page is painted. It’s really quite beautiful.” The artist Pinckney Marcius-Simons “was fascinated by Wagner’s idea of uniting music, literature, and the arts,” she explains, so he painted directly on the printed play. The art book has been fully digitized for the exhibition, so that visitors can explore the pages through an on-site display. “We wanted to look at the whole book. I think ‘luscious’ is the word for it,” Ziegler says. “It’s really a luscious book.”
Spring 2014 Hudson Strode Lectures at U. Alabama
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.060 Saturday, 1 February 2014
From: Jennifer Drouin <
Date: January 31, 2014 at 12:41:21 PM EST
Subject: Spring 2014 Hudson Strode Lectures at U. Alabama
Hello all, and Happy New Year,
I hope this message finds you easing rather than bolting into the New Year! A consummation devoutly . . .
At 5 pm, on Tuesday, February 4th, 2014, in 301 Morgan Hall on the University of Alabama campus, Professor Jason Powell, of Saint Joseph’s University, will present a lecture entitled, “Rediscovering Thomas Wyatt: the Perils and Problems of a New Scholarly Edition.”
We will also be live video-streaming this talk at 5 pm Central via this link: http://meet23179793.adobeconnect.com/powell
Jason Powell is Assistant Professor of English and Co-Director of Medieval, Renaissance, and Reformation Studies at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. The first of two volumes in his edition of Thomas Wyatt’s complete works will be published by Oxford University Press in summer 2015. He is also contracted by Oxford to edit the poetry of Henry Howard, earl of Surrey. A recipient of one-year fellowships from the NEH and the Harrington Faculty Fellows Program at the University of Texas, he has recently co-edited Authority and Diplomacy from Dante to Shakespeare (Ashgate, 2013), with William T. Rossiter, and his essays have appeared in Huntington Library Quarterly, Sixteenth Century Journal, English Manuscript Studies and Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, among other venues.
As part of the Hudson Strode Lecture Series in Theory and Criticism: On Thursday, February 13th, a lecture by Professor Kevin Gilmartin, of the California Institute of Technology, entitled, “William Hazlitt’s Dissenting Memory: Criticism, History, Revolution”
As part of a series of talks and readings by women who have written novels to rewrite Shakespeare: On Monday, February 17th, a lecture/reading by Professor Grace Tiffany, of Western Michigan University, entitled, “Shakespeare Adapted: A reading of Paint and The Turquoise Ring."
All lectures are free and open to the public.
For more information, please visit our homepage at http://english.ua.edu/grad/strode or join our Facebook group for the latest live streaming links at https://www.facebook.com/groups/hudsonstrode/ .
Sharon O’Dair, Director
Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies
University of Alabama
Freedom, Freetown and Fernie’s Fiery Feast
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.059 Friday, 31 January 2014
From: Jeannette Webber <
Date: January 30, 2014 at 9:14:38 AM EST
Subject: Freedom, Freetown and Fernie’s Fiery Feast
[Editor’s Note: The following appeared in the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Blogging Shakespeare site. The author is Annie Martirosyan, a SHAKSPER Member. –Hardy]
You do not expect a critic of Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard and other geniuses of human depth and intellect to be as good as Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky or Kierkegaard. Fair enough. But not when the critic’s name is Ewan Fernie. I had never before heard the author of what I consider to be one of the most terrific books ever written, live. So his inaugural lecture entitled “Freetown! Shakespeare and Social Flourishing” at the Barber Institute of the University of Birmingham on 27 January was something to look forward to.
Fernie started his talk with a rhetorically powerful interpretation of the concept of Freetown in Romeo and Juliet. From a more immediate expression of Freetown in the “fair assembly” in Capulet’s household ball towards a broader prospect of freedom and liberty, Fernie invited us to ruminate about the double-edgedness of these concepts: how the universal as well as social understanding of freedom can stem from an individual’s excessive possession of it. Fernie implied that by amplifying the youthful love of Romeo and Juliet into an “oceanic feeling”, Shakespeare reveals, breaks through and redefines the boundaries of a single person’s human capacities as “a teenage girl’s amorous enthusiasm becomes universal”.
“Romeo and Juliet attain their tragedy”… “We pity them but they make it that far.”
Following up on the idea of an individual’s ability to embrace universal and social freedom, Fernie moved from Shakespeare’s characters to Shakespeare enthusiasts and ultimately to Shakespeare as a universal incentive for freedom and reform on individual, emotional, social, political, historical and cultural levels. Fernie expanded on the unprecedented effect that David Garrick’s initiation of the Stratford Jubilee had on our conception, perception and observation of Shakespeare as “Garrick took Shakespeare out of the institutions literally to the streets”. The phenomenon of global and local Shakespeares is not as new as we think: the binarity of Shakespeare’s Britishness and universality dates back to 1769… for as Garrick’s own song line goes:
“the lad of all lads was a Warwickshire lad”.
Fernie showed that Shakespeare’s influence on individual fighters for freedom has not always been necessarily straightforward or even exactly positive. From Boswell’s costume of a Corsican chief at the Stratford Jubilee to Booth’s almost aesthetic assassination of Lincoln from the stage, the infective mind of the Elizabeth playwright reached far and beyond to interfere with the American struggle for independence, Garibaldi’s (ad)ventures and Wilkes’ radical acts for liberty.
When formally introducing Ewan Fernie to the audience, Michael Dobson joked about Fernie “writing The Demonic and growing a beard to match”. The grain of truth in this humorous metaphorical parallel is in fact transparent. With looks that would make him an ideal cover photo for a Roman Gods’ magazine, Fernie’s protruding individuality and phenomenal intellectual depth threaten to smash our outworn stereotypes of a thinker, academic, writer, lecturer, orator and author and make him a new blueprint for a socially and academically productive intellectual. He sang, he shouted, he used rhetoric and put on accents – it was an inaugural lecture that forever set the spirits of at least one audience member on fire…!
If you could not get enough of Fernie or missed his inaugural lecture, you should be looking forward to his plenary talk “Lighten our Darkness” at British Graduate Shakespeare Conference 2014.
You can view the whole of Ewan’s inaugural lecture clicking here.
Author: Annie Martirosyan has recently completed her Ph.D. in Philology at Yerevan State Linguistic University after V. Brusov in Armenia and is currently doing M.A. in Shakespeare Studies at the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham. Annie has contributed to various linguistic/literary magazines and also writes at the Huffington Post UK. She credits Professor David Crystal as a life-long inspiration for all her linguistic, philological and Shakespearean interests.
British Council Literature Seminar Webcast
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.056 Thursday, 30 January 2014
From: Julia Crockett <
Date: January 30, 2014 at 6:31:57 AM EST
Subject: British Council Literature Seminar Webcast
‘Shakespeare Our Contemporary?’
“Shakespeare – Our Contemporary?” 30 January to 1 February 2014
Watch our live webcast from the British Council Literature Seminar in Berlin.
Live readings and discussions with authors Naomi Alderman, A S Byatt, Howard Jacobson, Tom McCarthy, Alice Oswald, Mark Ravenhill and Polly Stenham to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare. Chair of the seminar is Professor John Mullan (Guardian Book Club).
Thursday, 30 January 2014
- from 19.30 CET: Welcome speeches by Dr Helen Müller (Bertelsmann) and John Whitehead (Director British Council Germany); Keynote: Dame Gail Rebuck, CBE (Chair Penguin Random House UK Board); Graham Sheffield (Director Arts British Council)
- followed by Howard Jacobson reading and discussion with John Mullan
Friday, 31 January 2014
- 10.00 – 11.15 CET: Alice Oswald, reading and discussion with John Mullan; followed by a Q&A session
- 11.45 – 13.00 CET: Polly Stenham, reading and discussion with John Mullan; followed by a Q&A session
- 14.30 – 15.45 CET: Panel discussion with Naomi Alderman, A S Byatt, Howard Jacobson, Alice Oswald, Mark Ravenhill, and Polly Stenham, Chaired by John Mullan
- 20.00 – 21.30 CET: A S Byatt, reading and discussion with Tobias Döring (Chairman of Germany’s Shakespeare Society)
Saturday, 1 February 2014
- 10.00 – 11.15 CET: Naomi Alderman, reading and discussion with Tobias Döring; followed by a Q&A session
- 11.45 – 13.00 CET: Tom McCarthy, reading and discussion with John Mullan; followed by a Q&A session
- 16.15 – 17.30 CET: Mark Ravenhill, reading/ talk and discussion with John Mullan; followed by a Q&A session
- 17.30 – 18.00 CET: closing speeches by John Whitehead (Director British Council Germany), Cortina Butler (Director Literature British Council); John Mullan (chairman of the seminar)
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.053 Wednesday, 29 January 2014
From: John Drakakis <
Date: January 28, 2014 at 10:48:43 AM EST
Subject: Terry Hawkes
You might like to announce over the SHAKSPER network the sad death of Terry Hawkes. Here is a form of words:
Terence Hawkes was emeritus professor of English at the University of Cardiff, and for some 50 years he was a leading world expert on Shakespeare. Between 1959 and 2007 he produced a series of books and collections of essays on Shakespeare, and from 1977 he was the general editor (and contributor to) The Methuen/Routledge New Accents series, that was instrumental in changing the direction of English Studies in British universities. He was also the founding editor of the influential journal 'Textual Practice', and the general editor and contributor to the 'Accents on Shakespeare' series. He broadcast on BBC radio in Wales and was a formative influence on a radical theoretical turn in Shakespeare scholarship that has now come to be regarded as central. He was also an inspirational lecturer and many of his former students now occupy chairs in universities across the world. He was a proficient jazz drummer who had played with musicians such as Acker Bilk and Digby Fairweather, he was a keen football supporter, and he was also active in local politics. The legacy of his scholarly work continues to be felt across the world, and his witty, perceptive, and erudite contributions will be sorely missed on the SHAKSPER network.
Invitation to AKU-ISMC Public Lectures
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.049 Tuesday, 28 January 2014
From: Matt Brewer <
Date: January 27, 2014 at 8:57:55 AM EST
Subject: Invitation to AKU-ISMC Public Lectures
The AKU-ISMC’s Public Lecture programme will recommence on Thursday 30th January at 5.00pm with a talk by Edward Wilson-Lee, Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge, on ‘Shakespeare and the Zanj’ . On Thursday 6th February at 5.00pm, Mohammad Fadel, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, will present on ‘The Representational Ideal and the Sunni Conception of Public Law’. Details of both of these events can be found below (including how to register to attend).
Please feel free to pass this email on to anyone you feel may also be interested in attending.
Thursday, 30th January 2014. 5.00-6.30pm.
'Shakespeare and the Zanj'
The reception, translation, and performance of Shakespeare in East Africa from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day
By Dr Edward Wilson-Lee
Abstract: This lecture – which draws on a larger project charting the reception, translation, and performance of Shakespeare in East Africa from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day – will use the widespread idolization of Shakespeare (by British travellers, the Arab elite, native Africans, and Indian settlers) to examine cultural relations on the Swahili Coast (the Zanj) in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. From the use of Shakespeare in Anglo-Omani diplomacy on Zanzibar to the rich history of performance in Mombasa of translations by Aga Hashr Kashmiri (the ‘Indian Shakespeare’), this hidden history provides rich and instructive examples of how art connects and divides cultures.
Chair: Dr Philip Wood
Biography: Dr Edward Wilson-Lee teaches early modern literature, Shakespeare, and medieval literature Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge; his research looks broadly at literature and the history of the book in the early modern period, and he is currently working on the history of Shakespeare reading/performance/translation in East Africa, as well as on the ways in which collections were organized in the early ages of print.
Thursday, 6th February 2014. 5.00-6.30pm.
‘The Representational Ideal and the Sunni Conception of Public Law’
By Professor Mohammad Fadel
Abstract: The Sunni response to the crisis of post-prophetic authority was the concept of the caliphate. In contrast to the Shi'a concept of divine election (nass), Sunni theologians maintained that succession to positions of public leadership of the community were a matter of the community's choice (ikhtiyar). Yet, this was not an unbounded choice: through the rules set out in the theological and juridical discussions on the caliphate, Sunni scholars made clear that the community's choice was to be guided by certain rules, standards and procedures. Dogmatic works of theology, and even juridical works such as al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyya of al-Mawardi, however, were interested more in the notion of how a legitimate post-Prophetic order is established rather than the details of how, once it comes into existence, its ongoing legitimacy, or the legitimacy of its actions, is to be measured. To find an answer to this question this paper argues that Sunni jurists adopted a theory of public life that assumed public officials obtained their authority exclusively as agents of the Muslim public. Accordingly, the representational ideal of agency provided the moral basis for determining the legitimacy -- or lack thereof -- of the actions of public officials from the perspective of Sunni jurists. The existence of this ideal is documented not in an explicit discussion of the nature of public offices in the fashion of political philosophy, but as befits jurists, manifests itself interstitially in the operation of numerous rules and doctrines in various chapters (abwab), jurisdictional and substantive, of the jurists' positive law (fiqh). This paper outlines the source of the representational ideal of public offices, beginning with Sunni juridical discussions of the contract of the caliphate, and its operation as the crucial enabling and limiting principle on the powers of public officials through various examples from positive law.
Chair: Dr David Taylor
Biography: Mohammad H. Fadel is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, which he joined in January 2006. Professor Fadel wrote his PhD. dissertation on legal process in medieval Islamic law while at the University of Chicago. Professor Fadel was admitted to the Bar of New York in 2000 and practiced law with the firm of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York, New York, where he worked on a wide variety of corporate finance transactions and securities-related regulatory investigations. Professor Fadel also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul V. Niemeyer of the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and the Honorable Anthony A. Alaimo of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. Professor Fadel has published numerous articles in Islamic legal history and Islam and liberalism.
If you would like to unsubscribe from our mailing list please email
Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations
The Aga Khan University (International) in the United Kingdom
210 Euston Road
London NW1 2DA
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7380 3856
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7380 3830
Incorporated in England as a company limited by guarantee no. 4448389