Benjamin and Shakespeare symposium, April 6, 2019

Benjamin Shakespeare Collage

Walter Benjamin and Shakespeare symposium

Saturday April 6, 2019

Garrick’s Temple to Shakespeare, Hampton

David Garrick built his Shakespeare Temple beside the Thames at Hampton in 1755 as a place where ‘the thinkers of the world’ would meet to reflect on the plays. He hoped Voltaire would come. Now the Kingston Shakespeare Seminar is realising the great actor’s vision, with a series of symposia on Shakespeare in Philosophy.

The first of the 2019 symposia focuses on the German philosopher and cultural critic Walter Benjamin (1892-1940). Confirmed speakers are Howard Caygill, Hyowon Cho, Julia Ng and Bjorn Quiring.

This event, open to all, will include talks by leading philosophers and Shakespeare scholars, coffee and tea in the riverside garden designed by Capability Brown, and lunch at the historic Bell Inn. Tickets are £20, all profits go to supporting the Temple.

Book your tickets at:

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Shakespeare in Philosophy symposia at the Temple 2019

Shakespeare in Philosophy collage

After last’s summer’s series of days on French theorists, we turn this year to twentieth-century political theology, and to three thinkers whose work has powerfully shaped recent interpretations of Shakespearean theatre. This is our programme:

Saturday April 6: Walter Benjamin and Shakespeare

Saturday June 22: Ernst Kantorowicz and Shakespeare

Saturday September 7: Hannah Arendt and Shakespeare

On Friday June 21 we are also co-hosting with Historic Royal Palaces what we hope will be the first of an annual series of midsummer conferences at Hampton Court Palace: ‘The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare and Coronation’. With two sections, on ‘Crown’ and ‘Crowd’, this event has been planned to double with the Temple symposium on Kantorowicz the following day, to provide a focus for our discussion of current thinking about Shakespeare and Political Theology.

Mark your diaries and further details to follow!

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David Hawkes: ‘Marx and Shakespeare Today: Towards an Ethics of Representation’

Shakespeare and Marx

Richard Wilson introduces the Shakespeare and Marx symposium held Garrick’s Temple to Shakespeare on June 24, 2017. He also introduces the first speaker David Hawkes (Arizona State University) who discusses usury in his talk ‘Marx and Shakespeare Today: Towards an Ethics of Representation’.

David Hawkes is Professor of English at Arizona State University. His publications span a huge variety of fields, from Milton and Shakespeare to Diego Maradona, sodomy, Darwinism, zombies, torture, Chomsky, magic, McCarthyism, Islam and Satan. The theme uniting all of his work is the impact of capital on the psyche, and especially the pernicious influence of usury. He reviews regularly for the Times Literary Supplement and his work has appeared in The Nation and In These Times as well as in academic venues like the Journal of the History of Ideas, English Literary History and Studies in English Literature.

David Hawkes is the author of Idols of the Marketplace: Idolatry and Commodity Fetishism in English Literature, 1580-1680 (Palgrave, 2001), Ideology (Routledge, 1996, 2nd ed. 2003), The Faust Myth: Religion and the Rise of Representation (Palgrave, 2007), John Milton: A Hero of Our Time (Counterpoint, 2009) and The Culture of Usury in Renaissance England (Palgrave, 2010) and he has edited Milton’s Paradise Lost and Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. More recently, he has written Shakespeare and Economic Theory (Bloombury, 2015) and collaborated with Alan Rubin and the artist LG Williams on The Age Of The Image: LG Williams SoCal Mid-Rise Pictures 2015-16 (published in 2016). He is currently working on a book entitled The Death of the Soul. For more information, see

These are the recordings from the Shakespeare and Marx symposium organised by Kingston Shakespeare and held at Garrick’s Temple to Shakespeare (Hampton, UK) on June 24, 2017. Recorded and edited by Anna Rajala and Timo Uotinen.

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New issue of Etudes Epistémè

From our friends at Etudes Epistémè:
We are very pleased to announce the publication of Etudes Epistémè (33): “Profane Shakespeare – Perfection, Pollution and the Truth of Performance,” (

Edited by Anne-Marie Miller-Blaise, Karen Britland and Line Cottegnies, with contributions by Stella Achilleos, Sophie Emma Battell, Sophie Chiari, John Gillies, Sean H. McDowell, Clotilde Thouret and Harvey Wiltshire.

The focus in the present collection of articles was born from a double sense of urgency, one prompted by a global context marked by the resurgence of religious discourses on purity and condemnations of alleged impurity, and, on a smaller scale, by a critical context which has led to the polarization of the debate around Shakespeare’s religious beliefs. This collection argues that the playwright and poet situates his own truth elsewhere, in his art of poetry and drama, and in the time and act of performance, rather than in any sort of religious affiliation or eschatological horizon, which imply the notions of completion and perfection as well as a belief in unchanging truth. If Shakespeare so broadly and keenly “speaks to us” to this day, it is perhaps because of how profane his art is.

Founded in 2002, Etudes Epistémè ( is an electronic, international, peer-reviewed, MLA-indexed, OpenEdition-distributed journal, devoted to the study of 16th to 18th century European literature and culture. It is bi-annual (Spring and Autumn) and publishes thematic issues with a stress on multidisciplinarity. The journal issues specific calls for contributions but also welcomes individual articles. It is an open-access and independently-managed journal.

The table of contents for this issue:
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Garrick and Hogarth Colloquium, Oct 13

Garrick Hogarth compilation w logosGARRICK AND HOGARTH:



Saturday October 13 2018: 09.30 – 13.30


09.30 Registration


Welcome: Richard Wilson (Kingston University)

Robin Simon (University College London): ‘Greasepaint and Oils: Garrick and the Artists’

11.00: Coffee (Rose Café)


Rupert Nichol (Garrick’s Temple): ‘Garrick’s Temple to Shakespeare’


Norma Clarke (Kingston University): ‘Garrick and the Macaronis’


Nick Dear: A conversation with the author about his Hogarth plays

14.30 and 19.30: Performances of ‘Hogarth’s Progress’ (Rose Auditorium)

Register for this free event at the Rose Theatre

24-26 High Street, Kingston-upon-Thames

Box Office (10.00 – 18.00) 0208 174 0090 /

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Barton, Hall and Shakespeare conference final programme

Barton Hall with logos FINAL


10.00:  Barton and Hall

Chair: Richard Wilson

Michael Cordner : John Barton

Stuart Hampton Reeves: Peter Hall

11.30: Coffee

12.00: Michael Pennington and Janet Suzman in conversation with Andrew Jarvis

13.00: Lunch

14.00: Trevor Nunn in conversation with Russell Jackson

15.00: The Wars of the Roses

Chair: Lois Potter

Michael Hattaway: ‘A Retrospect: The Wars of the Roses: the Original Performances and their Effects’

Dominique Goy-Blanquet: ‘Black Princes and Blood-Red Roses: Barton / Hall versus Shakespeare’

Gerald Baker: ‘An Age of Roses: Contending for The Contention

16.30: Tea

17:00: Shakespeare’s Advice to the Players

Chair: Michael Dobson

Ben Naylor: ‘Advice to the Players: Peter Hall and Antipathy to Stanislavsky and the Method’

Ildiko Solti: ‘Rocking the Boat: Peter Hall, the Kingston Rose, and the status of the Text’

Frank Whately: ‘Peter Hall at the Rose: An Indian Summer?’

18.30: Judi Dench in conversation with Stanley Wells

19.30: Drinks Reception hosted by Oberon Books

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Derrida and Shakespeare, 1 September


Derrida and Shakespeare w logos



09.30: Registration and coffee (Temple Pavilion) 

10.00:  Chair: Richard Wilson (Kingston University)

Nicholas Royle (Sussex University):
‘Shakespeare Dreaming’

11.00: Coffee (Temple Pavilion)

11.30:  Chair: Paul Kottman (New School, New York)

Tina Chanter (Kingston University):
‘What’s in a name? Death, anteriority, iterability’

Christopher Prendergast (University of Cambridge):
‘Derrida’s Hamlet: Ghosts, Being and Justice’

13.00 Lunch (Bell Inn, Hampton)

14.30 Chair: Oliver Harris (Manchester Metropolitan University)

John Joughin:
‘Derrida starting again with Garrick’

Andrew Cutrofello (Loyola University Chicago):
‘“Give Me Thy Hand”: Antinomianism and Countertime in Antony and Cleopatra.’

16.00: Tea (Temple Pavilion) 

16.30: Chair: Stuart Elden (Warwick University)

Howard Caygill (Kingston University):
‘“All the Grandfathers”: Derrida’s “Infinite Admiration” of Shakespeare’

17.30: Round Table Discussion

David Garrick built his Shakespeare Temple beside the Thames at Hampton in 1755 as a place where ‘the thinkers of the world’ would meet to reflect on the plays. He hoped Voltaire would come. Now the Kingston Shakespeare Seminar is realising the great actor’s vision, with a series of symposia on Shakespeare in Philosophy.

This event, open to all, will include talks by leading philosophers and Shakespeare scholars, coffee and tea in the riverside garden designed by Capability Brown, and lunch at the historic Bell Inn.

Tickets are £20. All proceeds go to support the Temple. Get tickets at:
Kingston Shakespeare Series Conference: Shakespeare and Derrida

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Shakespeare and Presentism -programme



Shax and Presentism website banner



9.30: Registration (Rose Foyer)

10.00 (Rose Gallery): Welcome: Richard Wilson (Kingston University)

Lecture: Evelyn Gajowski (University of Nevada Las Vegas)
‘The Shakespearean Future: A History’ 


11.00: Coffee (Rose Café)


11.30 (Rose Gallery): Seminar 1: Performance

Ildiko Solti (Kingston University):
‘Theorising the bear-pit: Terence Hawkes and the present of performance’

Sarah McCourt (Royal Holloway University London):
‘Baring the Bard: Brite Theatre’s Richard III: One-Woman Show’

Annalisa Palmer (University College London):
‘Something Rotten in the State of Denmark:
King Kendrick, Prince Hamlet, and Politicized Verse’

Zorica Jelic (University of Belgrade):
‘The Future of Presentism’


11.30 (David Jacobs Room): Seminar 2: Identity

Dorothy Vanderford (University of Nevada Las Vegas):
‘Presentist analysis of gender and race
in two modern adaptations of Antony and Cleopatra’. 

Remedios Perni (University of Alicante):
‘Lucrece, Ophelia and all Women’s Bodies:
The Iconography of Violence in the #MeToo Era’

Will Stockton (Clemson University):
‘How Many Lovers Did Shakespeare Have?’

Kelsey Ridge (University of Birmingham):
‘Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war: Hotspur and PTSD’

13.30: Lunch

14:30 (Rose Studio): Lecture: Jyotsna Singh (Michigan State University)
‘Presentism and the Challenge of History:
Reading Race on the British Shakespearean stage’


15.30 (Rose Gallery): Seminar 3: Representation

Nigel Wood (Loughborough University):
‘The Dramatic Present of Twelfth Night

Caroline Lion (University of Birmingham):
‘Peace in an Age of Reproducibility’

Richard O’Brien (University of Birmingham):
‘A New Way to Get Old Plays, or,
An Apology for Live-tweeting Philip Massinger’

15.30 (David Jacobs Room): Seminar 4: Politics

Richard Ashby (Royal Holloway University London):
‘Retailed to all Posterity:
Post-Truth, Oral History and the Popular Voice in Richard III’

Miguel Ramalhete Gomes (University of Lisbon):
‘Learned Goths and Roman Exports:
Titus Andronicus and Presentism in the 2010s’

Christian Smith (Kingston University):
‘A New Imperative for Shakespeare Studies: From Presentism to Activism’

17.00: Tea (Rose Café)

17.30 (Rose Studio): Lecture: Avraham Oz (University of Haifa)
‘Nomadic Shylock: Nationhood and Its Subversion in The Merchant of Venice

18.30: Drinks reception (Rose Café) hosted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas



Register for this free event at the Rose Theatre Kingston

24-26 High Street, Kingston-upon-Thames, KT1 1HL

Box Office (10.00 – 18.00) 020 8174 0090 /

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CFP: Barton, Hall and Shakespeare, Sept 7-8, 2018

Barton Hall with logos


SEPTEMBER 7 / 8 2018


The Kingston Shakespeare Seminar and British Shakespeare Association announce a conference to celebrate and explore the work of John Barton and Peter Hall, focused on their productions of Shakespeare. The aim of this commemorative event will be to bring together theatre practitioners, scholars, critics and audience members from around the world, to reconsider the achievements of the two great Shakespeare directors. The venue will be the Shakespearean auditorium of the Rose Theatre that saw some of Peter Hall’s last productions, and John Barton’s final public appearance at Trevor Nunn’s restaging of their Wars of the Roses.

Proposals are invited for 25-minute presentations on all aspects of the lives and work of Barton and Hall, including work in film, TV and opera. Presentations will be particularly welcome on their productions in relation to the Cambridge intellectual background; Stratford institutional environment; British political context; international reception; performance practice; verse speaking; place of the text; impact on literary and theatre criticism; influence on drama teaching and training; input of composers and designers; role of the director; archival heritage; and conception of Shakespeare.

Proposals of up to 200 words, together with a brief cv., should be sent by July 31 to Professor Richard Wilson at

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Friday June 22 2018

Rose Theatre Kingston 

09.30 Registration 

10:00 Opening remarks: Christian Smith (Kingston University)

10:15 Desire
Nell McKeown (King’s College London)
‘Emilia’s Phoenix Love: Female Eroticism in The Two Noble Kinsmen

Elena Pellone (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham)
‘“How might one do, sir, to lose it to her own liking?”: Shakespeare and the female gaze.’

Phoebe Murphy-Brown (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham)
‘Queer Theory and Cross Gender Casting in Modern Adaptations of Shakespeare’

11:35 Coffee

Jonathan Dollimore
‘Shakespeare and Sex at Sussex University’

13:00 Lunch 

14:00 Language and Form
Jerzy Limon (University of Gdańsk)
Visiting Netherlands: verbal and visual sexual punning
in Shakespeare and contemporary art’

Richard O’Brien (University of Birmingham)
’“No gentle chase”: Venus and Adonis in a post-Weinstein world’

15:20 Theory
Christian Smith (Kingston University)
‘Dialectical Eros, or Do Bottom and Titania have sex?’

Paul Hamilton (Kingston University)
‘The perverse dynamic and state power’

16:30 Tea

David Schalkwyk (Queen Mary University London)
‘“Ever a merry war”: Love, sex and war in Shakespeare’ 

18.00 Closing remarks: Richard Wilson (Kingston University)


Register for this event at the Rose Theatre

24-26 High Street, Kingston-upon-Thames

Box Office (10.00-1800) 020 8174 0090

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