Kingston Shakespeare Fall programme

Kingston Shakespeare has a new roundtable format featuring three different types of session: firstly, authors discussing their recent books; secondly, playreadings focusing on ‘Shakespeare, volume one’, three apocryphal texts; and thirdly, work-in-progress seminars with scholars discussing their recent work in and around all things Shakespeare.

Here is the programme for this Fall (with amendations forthcoming as soon as possible):

All sessions are free and open to the public. They take place at our usual spot (the Gallery) in the Rose Theatre, Kingston. The sessions start at 6.30 pm unless otherwise specified.

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WiP: ‘Reading for Error in The Winter’s Tale’ with Harry Newman, Oct 20

Our first Work-in-Progress session this term features Harry Newman (Royal Holloway). We will convene on October 20, 2016 at the Gallery in the Rose Theatre, Kingston. We start at 6.30pm. See also the event page! The event is free and open to the public. Below is an abstract for the session.

leslie_-_autolycusReading for Error in The Winter’s Tale

Although not available in print until more than twelve years after it was first performed, The Winter’s Tale is a play that concerns itself with the printed book trade, and in particular with print’s relationship to truth, accuracy and error. This paper explores the significance of literal and figurative references to print in The Winter’s Tale, but it also considers the impact of experiencing the play in print as a reader, especially as it was first published in the First Folio. This approach enables insights into the relationship between authorial, scribal and compositorial errors and the sexual, interpretive and psychological errors made and perceived by characters within the play. How do textual cruxes or errors inflect our understanding of the jealous Leontes’ hermeneutic inflexibility (surely Hermione is a ‘hobby-horse’, not a ‘Holy-Horse’)? Can the editorial imperative to identify and correct errors be related to the processes by which Time ‘makes and unfolds error’ (IV.i.2) in the play? In addressing such questions, I seek more broadly to investigate how dramatic metaphors are nuanced by their material forms, and to consider the role of error in the relationship between stage and page in early modern England.

Dr Harry Newman is a Lecturer in Shakespeare and Early Modern Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London. He publishes primarily on material culture, book history and rhetoric in early modern literature, and his first book, Impressive Shakespeare: Identity, Authority and the Imprint in Shakespearean Drama, will be out with Routledge in 2017. He also runs The Paper Stage, a public Renaissance play-reading series with branches in Surrey, Kent and Mantua (Italy).

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CFP: English: Shared Futures, Newcastle 5-7 July 2017

The major conference next year across the entire field of English studies (literature, language, creative writing), English: Shared Futures, will be held in Newcastle on 5-7 July, 2017. Although the organisers have had a lot of interest, there is an apparent gap in Early Modern/Renaissance and Shakespeare submissions.

Below is a CFP for the conference, check it out!



Dear Colleague,

You may already be aware of the very large English: Shared Futures conference to be held in Newcastle Civic Centre, 5-7th July, 2017

From the CFP, we have had over 120 panel submissions to date and we are especially encouraging further submissions from scholars of the Renaissance, Victorian and Romantic periods, and all areas of language.

This is the first ever conference for all of English language, literature and creative writing in the UK, and it will celebrate the discipline’s intellectual strength, diversity and creativity, and explore its futures in the nations of the UK and across the world.  We are keen to encourage diverse forms of presentation and scholarly engagement. English: Shared Futures is a pioneering event, which will have a festival feel as well as demonstrating leading research and pedagogy. There will also be a programme of cultural fringe events drawing on the literary strengths of the North-East and the UK more broadly.

The plenary speakers are:

Deborah Cameron on Language and the Problem of Female Authority
Lemn Sissay, poet and Chancellor of the University of Manchester
Hermione Lee, Kathryn Hughes and Andrew Hadfield, a panel on literary biography

Special University English Panel:
Amanda Anderson, Stefan Collini, Chris Newfield, Helen Small

Literary Salon, ‘Their lives in literature and the literature in their lives’:
Elleke Boehmer, Dinah Birch, Bernadine Evaristo, John Mullen, Marina Warner

  • The conference venue is the stunning Newcastle Civic Centre: if you don’t know it, you can find out more about it here: It’s a wonderfully preserved 1967 building with excellent facilities and beautiful, iconic spaces.
  • Learned societies from across the disciplines will run research-based panels and sessions.
  • We are encouraging papers and panels to experiment with new ways of presenting and engaging in conferences.
  • We have a strand on Politics and the Profession, with speakers from inside and outside the university sector, responding to government policy, Brexit and offering ‘horizon-scanning’.
  • We have a strand organised by and for Early Career Academics offering a Career Development Workshop, and sessions on the subjects affecting ECAs’ lives, including the REF for ECAs and PhDs, and roundtables on Careers Beyond Academia.
  • NAWE will host sessions on subjects including the Research Benchmark, CW in Schools, Contemporary Writing in Translation, Ethics in creative life writing and Diversity in publishing.
  • The HEA will be running sessions on the TEF and on the HEA Fellowship, and on approaches to teaching and on mentoring.
  • Major publishers will be attending, as well as many other organisations, small presses and groups invoked in English and Creative Writing.
  • Our salon events will feature leading figures in the literary landscape of Britain, speaking about their lives in literature, and the literature in their lives.

The conference was called and is run by the English Association, University English, and the National Association of Writers in Education with the support of the Institute of English Studies and the Higher Education Academy in order to bring together and strengthen our often fissiparous discipline.

We invite panels and papers on all areas and periods of English literary studies, language studies and creative writing; emerging, new or challenging research; pedagogy; aspects of professionalization; the challenges of funding, government, or institutional agendas to the shape and scope of English in Higher Education. In addition, as 2017 sees Newcastle commemorate Martin Luther King’s visit and the award of an honorary degree in 1967, we also welcome panels which discuss issues around civil rights; anniversaries and centenaries; regionality, migrancy and borders.

We are keen on experimenting with new ways of presenting and engaging in conferences. Each session will last 75 minutes. Your application must include contact details and a brief description of the panel/session’s focus and objectives. It must not exceed 600 words.

Submissions, by attached document or by pdf, to be sent as soon as possible to:

Gail Marshall (Leicester) (University English, co-organiser of E:SF)
Bob Eaglestone (RHUL) (English Association, co-organiser of E:SF)

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Lecture: ‘The Maiden’s Holiday: Marlowe’s Lost Play?’ by Matthew Steggle, Nov 26


The Annual Christopher Marlowe Lecture will be given by Matthew Steggle (Sheffield Hallam) on Nov 26, 2016 at Institute for Arts in Therapy & Education, Islington, London. The lecture is entitled ‘The Maiden’s Holiday: Marlowe’s Lost Play?’ and will start at 11.30 am.

Here is the abstract for the lecture:

In 1654, the publisher Humphrey Moseley secured the rights to print ‘A comedy called The Maiden’s Holiday, by Christopher Marlowe and John Day’. The same play, and possibly the same manuscript, was recorded in the eighteenth century, before – allegedly – falling into the hands of a cook who turned it into lining paper for pies. Nothing of the manuscript survived her recycling. This lecture asks: What can we say about the lost play? Was it by Marlowe? If it wasn’t – what does its attribution to Marlowe say about Marlowe’s early reception?

Matthew Steggle, Professor of English at Sheffield Hallam University, is the author of four books on early modern drama, and contributing editor to various other scholarly editions. Professor Steggle is co-editor, with Roslyn L. Knutson and David McInnis, of the Lost Plays Database, and co-editor of the ejournal Early Modern Literary Studies. In 2015 he won the Hoffman Prize for Distinguished Publications on Marlowe.

For tickets and more information see the Marlowe Society webpage!

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Shakespeare Volume One: Fair Em (KiSS Playreading), Oct 13

One of the new things Kingston Shakespeare is doing this semester is playreading in collaboration with our friend Gerald Baker. We are doing three plays from the Shakespeare apocrypha: Fair Em, Mucedorus, and The Merry Devil of Edmonton. There’s a connecting link this term and it’s called Shakespeare Volume One–three plays that were bound together in a book of that title in the King’s library before the Civil War.

This new thread in the KiSS programme begins by reading three plays which were ascribed to Shakespeare as early as the first half of the 17th century, without apparent commercial motivation.

Come along to the reading and choose a role (first come, first served). You don’t need to know the play in advance, and you don’t need performing experience. We’ll just sit down, start reading and go through to the end.


Fair Em is one of the earliest surviving commercial playhouse scripts. William the Conqueror goes a-wooing to Denmark but changes his mind when he gets there……Before the end, this personal emotion will lead to invasion and war. Meanwhile, the daughter of the Manchester miller is being courted by three of William’s lords: disguise, subterfuge, slander, are all part of this wooing process–which will also end only on the battlefield.

Moreover, our own Richard Wilson will talk about the play in relation to Shakespeare’s Lancashire connections.

We will convene on Thursday Oct 13 in our usual space (the Gallery) at the Rose Theatre, Kingston starting at 6.30 pm. See also the event page on Facebook!

Print out the script (fair-em-formatted-for-readingfair-em-formatted-for-reading-printer-friendly), or use one of the copies that will be available at the reading.

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KiSS: Shakespeare and New Historicist Theory with Neema Parvini, Oct 6


Our first session on Thursday October 6 features Dr Neema Parvini discussing his book Shakespeare and New Historicist Theory, published by Bloomsbury in Arden Shakespeare’s Shakespeare and Theory series, coming out in January 2017. In our new format, the session will be an informal roundtable discussion with the author, chaired by Richard Wilson. We will convene at 6.30 pm at the Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston. These sessions are free and open to everyone. See also the event page!

About Shakespeare and New Historicist Theory (from the publisher’s website):

Over the past three decades, no critical movement has been more prominent in Shakespeare Studies than new historicism. And yet, it remains notoriously difficult to pin down, define and explain, let alone analyze. Shakespeare and New Historicist Theory provides a comprehensive scholarly analysis of new historicism as a development in Shakespeare studies while asking fundamental questions about its status as literary theory and its continued usefulness as a method of approaching Shakespeare’s plays.

parvini_neema_thumbnailDr Neema Parvini is a Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Surrey. He is the author of three books alongside the aforementioned Shakespeare and New Historicist Theory: Shakespeare’s History Plays: Rethinking Historicism (Edinburgh University Press, 2012), Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory: New Historicism and Cultural Materialism (Bloomsbury, 2012), and Shakespeare and Cognition: Thinking Fast and Slow Through Character (Palgrave, 2015). Moreover, check out his fantastic podcast series on Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory. For more information see his staff page.

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Shakespeare and the Enlightenment -programme, Sept 3

 Below is the programme for our first Shakespeare at the Temple -event. Note that altough the event is nominally free, we wish for a £10 donation that will be used for catering and support for the Temple.

The conference is followed by a performance of The Lovekyn Renaissance Consort:

‘Pretty Ducks’ : The Lovekyn Renaissance Consort perform music from their new album, featuring unusual and familiar songs and ballads from early 17th.-century England – and pictures from Garrick’s Temple and gardens.
Patricia Hammond – Voice;
William Summers – Recorders, Renaissance Flute;
Stephen Carpenter – Lute, Vihuela, Guitar

More at: 






10.00 Welcome: Richard Wilson (Kingston University)

10.15: Paul Kottman (New School, New York): ‘Herder, Hegel and Shakespeare’

11.00: Coffee

11.30: Patricia Gillies (Essex University): ‘Shakespeare and Hobbes’

12.15: John Gillies (Essex University): ‘The Conversational Turn in Shakespeare’

13.00: Lunch (own arrangements: nearby Bell Inn and Stables Restaurant recommended)

14.00: Edward Chaney (Southampton Solent University): ‘Thy pyramids built up with newer might’: Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Obelisks’

14.45: Kate Felus (Historic Landscapes): ‘Garrick’s Temple Garden’

15.30: Tea

16.30: Kiernan Ryan (Royal Holloway) :‘The Empathetic Imagination and the Dream of Equality: Shakespeare’s “Poetical Justice”’

19.30: Concert: Lovekyn Renaissance Consort

Places are limited to 50. Reserve at

How to get to Garrick’s Temple

See also the Facebook event page!


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Exhibition: HamletScenen – Shakespeare Performing Arts at Hamlet’s Castle since 1816, Aug 5-9

King’s College will host an extraordinary exhibition by HamletScenen, the artistic institution at Kronborg Castle (the castle where most of Hamlet takes place) that upholds the Shakespearean theatrical tradition at Helsingør, or Elsinore. The exhibition, curated by our good old friend Anne Sophie Refskou, tells the story of Hamlet at Elsinore as 2016 marks – besides the fourth centennial of Shakespeare’s death – 200 years since the first performance of Hamlet at the castle.

The exhibition runs only from August 5-9,  (Friday to Tuesday) at the Anatomy Museum (Strand Campus), with opening hours of 10am to 8pm.

Don’t miss it!

HamletScenen also hosts the Shakespeare Festival at Kronborg in August with many interesting productions – including our friends from the Flute Theatre performing their brilliant ‘Hamlet, Who’s There?’ (watch/listen to Kelly Hunter discussing the adaptation process). Check out their programme! More at Continue reading

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Arrest, Imprisonment, And Bare Life In A State of Emergency

Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., he knew he had done nothing wrong but, one morning, he was arrested. (The Trial, Franz Kafka)

I’the last night’s storm I such a fellow saw
Which made me think a man a worm. (King Lear IV. i. 33-4)


Just before 8:00 am on January 17, 2016, four UK Home Office policemen entered my apartment, located in Stratford-upon-Avon, across the street from Trinity Church, where William Shakespeare is buried.

“You are under arrest. You will need to get dressed and pack your bags. Your application for leave to remain in the UK has been denied.”

As I stood in my living-room in my bathrobe, two of the officers patted me down “to make sure that I wasn’t armed.” The other two searched my house to make sure nobody else was home. Then, they asked me to get ready to leave.

Two police officers followed me into my bedroom, past the bookcase that contained the plays of Shakespeare and the criticism that had formed the work for the PhD, which I had been awarded in July of 2015. As I stood in front of those officers in my underwear, putting on my blue-jeans and a collared shirt, I began to realize that I was neither a “temporary resident of the UK”, nor a “citizen of the United States”, but something different: a “bare forked animal”.

When I arrived downstairs, dressed, and packed, the lead officer presented me with the order for my arrest. trial2On the order, titled “NOTICE TO DETAINEE”, he checked a box which stated, “The decision has been reached on the basis of the following: You do not have enough close ties (e.g. family or friends) to make it likely that you will stay in one place.” He underlined the word “family”.

As we prepared to go to the police station, the officers politely waited to make sure that none of my neighbors were entering or exiting my apartment gate, so they wouldn’t see me being arrested. Unfortunately, my neighbors’ living-room windows all face the front gate, a good security measure, but not ideal for privacy. It was a cloudless Sunday morning, so my neighbors were all privy to my forced march to the armored police van, where I was then locked up. I was then transported to Leamington Spa police station, where I was placed in a jail cell for twelve hours and, subsequently shipped to Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre in Lincolnshire.

My dilemma was richly ironic. Just a few weeks earlier, on December 19, 2015, I had delivered the introductory lecture at the Rose Theatre in Kingston for a conference on “Shakespeare and the state of exception”. In the “state of exception” (also called “the state of emergency”), the law is temporarily suspended ostensibly for the purpose of preserving public safety. As I stated in that lecture, far from being a mere technicality or footnote to legal history, “the state of exception” became the basis for the notorious Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, which Hitler used to authorize a twelve year state of emergency in Nazi Germany, starting on March 23, 1933. Over those twelve years, Hitler used article 48 to give his dictatorship a veneer of legal credibility. As Agamben writes, “from a juridical standpoint the entire Third Reich can be considered a state of exception that lasted twelve years” (Agamben, 2005).

What initially began as a “provisional” or “extraordinary” measure has now, in modern democracies, become a “technique of government” that, according to Agamben, “threatens radically to alter . . . the structure and meaning of the traditional distinction between constitutional forms” (Agamben, 2005).

In civics, I had been taught that all people are “endowed by their creator” with “inalienable rights”, but what I learned from my arrest is that the unitary self I imagined is a fiction. Far from being “inalienable”, the rights we associate with “citizenship” (in my case, “citizenship” of the United States and “legal residency” in the UK) are all contingent: dependent upon age, income, mental and physical health, and country of birth. Whenever we stray to the boundary of one of these categories, we are no longer “citizens”, but potentially reduced to being mere animals, subject to the absolute violence of the state.

And this is clearly how David Cameron regards immigrants. On July 30, 2015, when asked by reporters about what was called the “Calais crisis”, the attempt by desperate migrants to cross the channel from Calais to Britain, Cameron referred to “a swarm of people coming across the Mediterranean . . .”  What rights can a population of insects possibly aspire to? Such a population is only a threat to be exterminated.

I should know. Within minutes, on an ordinary Sunday morning, I became one of the swarm.

At around 5:30 am, after being driven for almost five hours in a prison transport van, I arrived at Morton Hall, one of twelve camps for refugees, deportees, illegal aliens, and foreign criminals, scattered across the UK. Most of my belongings were seized. I was allowed my clothing, my watch, my glasses, and I was given a £5 Nokia cell phone.

My room was about the size of a large closet, but it was private. I had a key — and the door locked automatically when I closed it. It had a cage-like steel mesh on the window. The walls were at least two feet thick with re-enforced concrete. The door had a slit on it, with a wooden cover that could open from the outside. The guards could peer into my cell at any time — and they did so at night, shining a flashlight on me while I slept. My bed was a wooden slab with a 1.5 inch foam mat. bhr_bpo_270116moreton

When I looked out my “window”, I could see reams of barbed wire hung over a series of vast fences. There were one or two trees outside, but they had been stripped of branches so prisoners couldn’t climb them. There was also what looked like a whirlwind of barbed wire on the roof of my cell block.

The order that resulted in my arrest and imprisonment at Morton Hall was, I learned, justified by a provision of the Immigration Act of 2014. Under the previous law, the more auspiciously titled “1999 Immigration and Asylum Act“, it was unlawful to arrest anyone who had “made an application for leave to remain” while they were waiting for a decision. That is logical because when you submit your application, you are required to stay in the country until a decision is made, or else your application will be destroyed.  Under the new Act, a person can be arrested if they “require[] leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom but do[] not have it.” In other words, it is perfectly legal for you to be arrested and imprisoned even if you have submitted an application to remain in the UK and have followed all the rules. More alarming still, the new law combines in one absolute “decision” the rejection of an application and the order to arrest, while, at the same time, removing judicial oversight.

So you will never know your application has been rejected until the police knock on your door.

What, then, is the “state of emergency” that caused parliament to authorize such an extreme measure that converts all foreigners living in the UK, who are required to pay a hefty fee (more than £500) to submit an application to remain in the country, into “bare life”, subject to arrest and imprisonment? And why is it that international students, specifically, have been targeted? It is precisely the de facto “state of emergency” that prompted David Cameron to include the Brexit referendum in his campaign promises when he sought re-election. In 2011, Cameron promised to alleviate the “discomfort and disjointedness” in neighborhoods supposedly caused by immigration by reducing it to “100,000” per year. By 2014, immigration was still above 300,000 per year. 100857841_epa05368892_Nigel-Farage-poster-NEWS-large_trans++qVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8During 2014, as Cameron was preparing for re-election, he attempted to quell a revolt within his own party by introducing a stern new anti-immigration law and by promising to give the country a referendum that would determine whether or not the UK would exit the EU. Under any objective view, the situation did not approach an “emergency”. It was an attempt by the Conservative government to retain power, which is precisely what Agamben predicts: the “state of exception”, simply put, is no longer “exceptional”. It is a normal “technique” of government. International students are targeted – though they are by no means the only group – simply because they are not protected by affiliation with influential companies, are well-monitored by universities, and so easy to locate. In fact, Theresa May is preparing now to further intensify pressure on international students.

During my imprisonment at Morton Hall, I was never accused of committing any crime or breaking any rule. kafka26I was neither a “criminal” nor innocent. I was merely one of the “swarm” kept in a prison cell until such time as I could be taken to a secure location near Heathrow Airport under guard, forced to purchase a return ticket home (I already had purchased one six months previously, at a cost of £850), and forcibly placed on an airplane home. Nothing I had done in my previous life, my work for half a decade as a school teacher, my unimpeachable reputation as a resident in the UK, my successful completion of a PhD in Shakespeare Studies at one of the top universities in the country, made any difference.

It was only when more than two hundred members of the academic community and the general public around the world signed a petition uploaded to the Kingston Shakespeare website by my friend and colleague, Timo Uotinen, that my situation began to change. I started to receive phone calls from journalists from The Times Higher Education Supplement and; then Buzzfeed, The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Times, etc. started asking for interviews. After days of silence, the Home Office issued a statement, quoted by the Daily Mail, defending my arrest by citing the 2014 Immigration Act: “The Immigration Act 2014 clearly states that a person who does not have leave to remain in the UK is liable for removal. Enforcement action may be taken to remove these individuals.” Chillingly, they were absolutely right.

When Roger Mullin, the Scottish National Party MP, asked in parliament for a statement about my case from the Home Office, the former secretary of state for justice, Chris Grayling replied: “Students are only ever going to be arrested if they are in the United Kingdom without a visa. We have rules. We may agree or disagree about them, but there is no excuse for anybody to break them.” Grayling was dead wrong. You can follow all the rules, but still be arrested. 

The truth is that the lawless violence of my arrest and imprisonment, my treatment as one of a “swarm”, was enshrined in a law that had the approval of both major parties in parliament. I believed that I was entitled to rights under the law, but I was wrong. I had no rights at all. I was “homo sacer”, bare life, one of the insects that existed merely to consolidate the power of the Cameron administration, so long as that power lasted.

In fact, on the day that the Home Office made the decision to release me, due to the overwhelming pressure from the academy and the international press, it faxed a separate order to my attorney’s office: that order stated that my request for bail (£6000, which my friends had collected on my behalf) had been rejected, that I would have to purchase a new plane ticket, and would be accompanied, according to the usual procedure, by armed guard to Heathrow until I boarded my flight to the US, at a date of the government’s choosing. I was given a document detailing this procedure, and explaining the method I would be required to use to pay (again) for my plane ticket. This second order was clearly issued by an official who wasn’t aware of the publicity of my case, but it demonstrates clearly what would have happened had my colleagues in academia, the public, and the international press not intervened.

After I arrived back in the United States, I was contacted by a generous and talented immigrant rights advocate and a number of well-meaning attorneys regarding the prospect of suing the government. But to sue the government would be fundamentally to misunderstand what happened to me. An assertion of “rights”, which are, in law, abrogated for the “swarm” of innocent people occupying twelve detention camps in the UK right now, does nothing to help those people. By attempting to sue, as a US citizen and a person of mostly Caucasian ancestry, I assert my distinction from those people regarded, right now, by the law as insects. It would be to disavow the common experience of subjection that we shared.

Let me explain. On my first day in prison, I was in such a state of shock that I forgot to eat all day and arrived late to dinner. Two Pakistani prisoners, who served the food that night, were well within their rights – after a long day of work – to deny me dinner. Instead, they opened the locked door to the cafeteria, invited me in, and handed me a full platter of lentil dahl – and even gave me a small scoop of ice-cream. As I sat down in my cell with that food, I wept.

Over my ten days of imprisonment, I heard innumerable stories of unlawful arrest: most powerfully, from a Nigerian man married to a British woman and denied citizenship because she was sterile and could not have a British child. I also witnessed profound and haunting suffering. Day and night, a frail man from Afghanistan wandered the hall of my prison ward, hugging himself and moaning “what do I do?” rene-as-edgar-in-king-lear-1974-rene-auberjonois-11718537-919-632Those words still ring in my mind: now what do I do? The condition of “bare life” that we were reduced to is not something that a lawsuit can redress. It is an open wound whose significance must be read by those who have the compassion to understand it and the will to change the law.

Now that the UK has voted to leave the EU, many imagine that the immigration problem has been solved. Indeed, hate crimes and racial abuse have become common, as “citizens” take the law – as they see it – into their own hands, seeking to speed up the exit of foreigners. But the UK will not actually leave the EU until two years after Brexit has been officially initiated by Article 50 – and even that may take years. Now, what was perceived to be a crisis by the Cameron administration may, indeed, become a real crisis, as the promise by the “leave” campaign to “control” immigration confronts the reality of statistics.

What will happen then?

The twelve “detention” camps that are scattered throughout the UK are largely hidden to those who live there. In 1999, when due process existed – at least in name – for foreign residents living in the UK, they might well have served an important purpose. Now, they are a stain on the country, the physical evidence of the despotic “state of emergency” that inheres within the ostensibly democratic UK. And such camps exist not in spite of the public, but because it demands the expulsion of “the swarm”. Whether or not, in a post-Brexit world, the public support for unlawful arrest metastasizes into overt authoritarianism, not only in the UK, but across Europe and the United States (with Trump’s threat to build “a wall” on the Mexican border and order the mass arrest of eleven million undocumented Mexicans), is still an open question. For me, though, and for all those imprisoned now in those twelve camps, it is not just an open question, but an open wound.


I want to take the opportunity here to thank all those who contacted their MP’s on my behalf, signed the Kingston Shakespeare petition, contacted the press, and inquired after my well-being. Also, thank you to my friends who brought me books and attempted (though, sadly, unsuccessfully) to bring me a mattress, who visited me, who consoled me by calling, courageously published articles defending me, and were there to pick me up from Morton Hall when I was released. I am deeply grateful to you all!

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Shakespeare and the Enlightenment – Shakespeare at Garrick’s Temple, Sept 3

Garrick's TempleKingston Shakespeare is proud to announce a collaboration with Garrick’s Temple at Hampton in organising Shakespeare and philosophy events. It was David Garrick’s dream to host Enlightenment luminaries, like Voltaire, at the shrine he built to Shakespeare in 1756.

Unlike regular Kingston Shakespeare events, these events at the Temple will have an admittance donation of £10. All the money will be used for the event catering and to support  the Temple. But the event will be nominally free.

The first event will be on September 3, 2016 and is entitled ‘Shakespeare and the Enlightenment’. Confirmed speakers are  Paul Kottman (New School), Edward Chaney (Southampton Solent), and Kiernan Ryan (Royal Holloway).

Mark your diaries, more information will follow soon. See the event page on Facebook!

If you are wanting to talk or present at this event on Shakespeare and on aspects of the Enlightenment, we welcome suggestions for contributions. Please contact Richard Wilson ( or

See also other events at the Temple.

Garrick's Temple banner

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