The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.178  Monday, 7 May 2012

From:        British Shakespeare Association <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 30, 2012 6:16:39 AM EDT

Subject:     Year of Shakespeare


Dear friends,


We’d like to invite you to visit our new interactive website, which launched last week: www.yearofshakespeare.com.


As some of you may know, this summer the UK is staging a six-month celebration of Shakespeare called the World Shakespeare Festival. Produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, developed by major institutional partners such as Shakespeare’s Globe and the British Museum, and funded through public and private initiatives related to the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the WSF announces itself as ‘a celebration of Shakespeare as the world’s playwright’ and brings together work from over 50 arts organizations from across the globe.


In an attempt to document and discuss the performances and ideas emerging from the WSF, the Shakespeare Institute, the University of Warwick, and The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust have created www.yearofshakespeare.com, which is an interactive, digital project that will include reviews of each of the productions; special features from academics, artists, and educators involved in the festivities; and space for interested readers from across the world to comment on and discuss ideas arising from the WSF. The central aims of our project, which is funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, are to open up debate about the role of Shakespeare in global culture and to broaden the discussion about what constitutes a ‘successful’ intercultural performance.


We’d like to invite you to participate in our project by visiting www.yearofshakespeare.com and reading more about what’s happening in the WSF and what our team of researchers is making of it. You’ll already find reviews of the Globe’s South African Venus and Adonis, Russian Measure for Measure, and Kenyan Merry Wives, as well as the RSC's Comedy of Errors and Tempest. New reviews are coming in almost everyday, so it's worth checking in frequently.

We’d also like to invite you to contribute some of your own thoughts about global Shakespeare, whether in response to a WSF performance you’ve seen or more broadly in response to some of the issues arising in the discussion forum and on Twitter (#WSF2012 and #G2G). There’s space following every review for comments and discussion, so please do get involved! The project aims to gather thoughts from those outside of the UK as well as inside it, so please let us know what you think about the idea of a Hip Hop Othello, of Romeo and Juliet in Baghdad, or a Shakespeare-inspired Aztec history cycle.

Finally, please also share our website with any friends, colleagues, students, or listserv members that you think might also be interested – as mentioned, we’re aiming for as broad a discussion as possible, so all opinions and perspectives are heartily welcomed!

Looking forward to continuing the discussion online…


All the best,
Erin Sullivan, Paul Prescott, and Paul Edmondson (Project Leaders)


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