Help Richard Wilson Get Home

Richard Wilson, Paul Hamilton, Timo Uotinen and Mark Wheeler in Iceland (2017)

I’m raising funds to get my friend and mentor Richard Wilson home and help his partner Mark Wheeler with the medical expenses and travel.

While Richard and Mark were visiting friends in Peru, Richard suffered a serious stroke that left him in a coma for two weeks. He is currently receiving treatment in a clinic in Cusco, Peru. Mark needs help bringing him back to England so he can get the further medical attention he needs to recover. Medical transport is very expensive, however. In addition, medical bills are mounting with no insurance coverage. An air ambulance is approximately £150 000 and the hospital bill so far is £70 000. Together, we can help.

Here is a link to the campaign:

I first met Richard in the end of 2014 at this seminar he was running at the Rose theatre Kingston. At that time I was struggling with my doctoral research and mental health but Richard took an interest in me and my work—this would prove to be crucial for my well-being. Soon we started organizing events together and he introduced me to not only Mark but the wider Shakespeare community. He and Mark have become dear friends and valued colleagues, as they are for so many of you.

As most of you know, Richard is a Shakespeare scholar and the Sir Peter Hall Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Kingston University. There he convened this, the Kingston Shakespeare Seminar series. His publications include Will Power, Secret Shakespeare, Shakespeare in French Theory, Free Will and Worldly Shakespeare. He is on the editorial board of the journals Shakespeare and Marlowe Studies, and has published over one hundred chapters and articles in scholarly journals. He has also been involved since 1999 in the plan to build a Shakespeare North theatre, serving as a Trustee and an Academic Advisor on the project. He was Academic Advisor to and appears in the BBC series In Search of Shakespeare. Although retired, Richard has many ongoing projects, with a new book ready for publication.

Mark Wheeler is a master “maker” who has specialized in accessories and millinery for the theater. He got his training at Croyden and then the Slade. In an article in the Costume Society Journal, Rebecca Morrison wrote, “From theatre royalty to well, royalty, Mark Wheeler has accessorized them all. When first introduced to his work I was struck by his incredible craftsmanship, something he would probably describe as ‘rougher magic in the Messel tradition.’ Then when working at Kensington Palace, I discovered that he had made a copy of the Poltimore tiara for Princess Margaret, and of course I was intrigued by this royal connection. So hurrying past dozens of tourists I headed towards Mark’s workshop hidden in the shadow of St Paul’s to find out more…”

The situation is critical. Please be generous.

Yours kindly,

-Timo Uotinen

NOTE: Amid this distressing event a communication mishap led to both Mark and I creating separate campaigns.

We will be using that going forward and all the donations will be transferred securely to Mark’s campaign. I am in communication with GoFundMe to facilitate this.

Apologies for this bump in the road to getting Richard home

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Christian Smith

We have been shocked and saddened to learn that our colleague Christian Smith died suddenly in Berlin last Saturday. Christian was a dynamic and highly valued contributor to the Shakespeare in Philosophy programme at both the Temple and the Rose Theatre, and as a Shakespeare Research Fellow of Kingston University from 2017 to 2020, he played a leading part in the momentous 2018 Rose conference on ‘Shakespeare and Presentism’. The title of his lecture at this event – ‘From Presentism to Activism’ – encapsulated his own engaged involvement in Shakespeare Studies, an approach that is on powerful display in his magnum opus, his just-published book Shakespeare’s Influence on Karl Marx: The Shakespearean Roots of Marxism (Routledge).

The video of Christian’s participation in the 2016 Rose conference on ‘Shakespearean Thresholds’ provides a lasting record of his force and presence []. He later organised another provocative conference at the theatre, ‘Little Stars and Galloping Steeds: Sex in Shakespeare’, and spoke eloquently at the Temple on ‘Marx, Shakespeare, and the Theory of Labour Power’. Most recently, he had been planning a Temple conference in celebration of Hugh Grady, adopting his great mentor’s title, ‘Dialectic of Hope’. If two words can summarise his own unique perspective on academic life they are surely ‘Activism’ and ‘Hope’. Christian Smith was a lone star extinguished too soon, but the light he shone for us, as a chair, presenter and convenor, will guide us for years to come.

On behalf of Shakespeare in Philosophy and Kingston Shakespeare,

Richard Wilson
Timo Uotinen

Please consider donating to Annie Barker, the widow of Christian Smith, who is continuing their work:

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Caroline Lion: Hannah Arendt’s Worst Nightmare

Caroline Lion investigates Hannah Arendt’s moral philosophy in the light of rabbinic teachings and Shakespeare’s drama, especially The Merchant of Venice.

Caroline Lion is a PhD research student at the Shakespeare Institute under the supervision of Ewan Fernie. Conferences at which she has participated include Shakespeare and Presentism (Kingston and UNLV, 2018), Shakespeare and Philosophy (Royal Holloway, 2018) and soon (October 2019) the Blackfriar’s Conference at the American Shakespeare Center. Her rabbinic training includes the Academy of the Jewish Religion/Los Angeles as well as the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem and her rabbinic teachings have been published in the weekly online journal DovrayTorah. She has been an instructor at the University of Birmingham and at Southern Oregon University. Once the literary manager of the award-winning Magic Theater in San Francisco, Caroline’s fiction and plays have received notable endorsements. She lives in Stratford upon Avon and flies to Ashland, Oregon in the fall to teach classes, do research and to be with family and friends. Her thesis is titled Beyond Violence: “The Merchant of Venice”.

Recorded on September 7, 2019 by Anna Ilona Rajala and Timo Uotinen. Edited by Timo Uotinen.

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Jerzy Limon (1950 – 2021)

We have been shocked and deeply saddened by the news of the loss of Jerzy Limon. Jerzy helped organise the conference we hosted at the Rose Theatre in 2015 on ‘Jan Kott: Our Contemporary’; and he co-chaired ‘New Old Spaces’, the conference that launched ARTS, the Association of Replica Theatres, at the Rose on 8 December 2018. There he delivered an inspirational talk about the development of the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre that is his lasting memorial. We are attaching the recording of this presentation as a tribute to our friend.

Jerzy Limon was a man of invincible enthusiasm, and this was on abundant display in the lecture he gave to the conference on ‘Sex in Shakespeare’ at the Rose Theatre on 22 June 2018. His title, ‘Visiting Netherlands’, alluded to his surprise ongoing project on sexual imagery in European art and drama. We are sure you will appreciate the joie de vivre Jerzy shows in the video of this presentation, which is also in evidence in his farewell picture above: leaving El Vino, close to the site of Shakespeare’s Mermaid Tavern, en route to Gdansk, on 24 January 2020.

Timo Uotinen
Richard Wilson
Kingston Shakespeare Seminar

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Catherine Belsey (1940-2021)

It is with deep sadness that we received the news that Catherine Belsey died on 14 February. Kate was an enthusiastic supporter of our ‘Shakespeare in Philosophy’ project, and gave two important and inspiring lectures in the programme. On 15 October 2013 she spoke at the Rose Theatre on ‘Shakespeare, the Uncanny, and the Cartesian Cogito’, and on 7 April 2018 she gave a lecture to conclude our symposium on ‘Shakespeare and Lacan’ at Garrick’s Temple. Both of these talks displayed her unique combination of wit and humanity with Olympian intellectual altitude. We will always be grateful to Kate for the comradeship and commitment she brought to these occasions. As a tribute to this ‘lass unparalleled’, we are proud to send the link for her magnificent Temple lecture on ‘Shakespeare and the Real’. We believe you will find her words on the work of mourning particularly apt:

We are sure you would also like to know that an obituary for Catherine Belsey has been published by her former colleagues at Cardiff University:


Timo Uotinen
Richard Wilson

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Peter Brook and Shakespeare, Oct 26, 2019

Peter Brook and Shakespeare promo pic

To mark the fiftieth anniversary of Peter Brook’s seminal A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the founding of his International Centre for Theatre Research, the Institut Français and Kingston Shakespeare Seminar are honoured to co-host a conference on the director’s productions of Shakespeare. This event will celebrate one of the greatest Anglo-French cultural projects of our time, and reflect on the original impact and lasting influence of Brook’s Shakespeare, with contributions by distinguished actors, critics, directors and scholars from both sides of the Channel.

Brook, Peter_credit Régis d'AudevillePeter Brook will himself discuss his interpretation and staging with Sir Trevor Nunn, and Frances de la Tour, Sara Kestelman, Sir Ben Kingsley and Adrian Lester will look back on their experience of working with him on the plays, in a session chaired by Dame Janet Suzman. A panel from Paris will include François Marthouret and William Nadylam: Timon and Hamlet in Brook’s productions at the Bouffes du Nord; and Stephen Unwin will lead a discussion by directors Robert Icke, David Thacker and Deborah Warner. Other panels will consider critical responses to Brook’s Shakespeare, and its enduring worldwide significance.

During the conference Peter Brook will be signing latest book: Playing By Ear: Reflections on Music and Sound published by Nick Hern Books.

‘Peter Brook and Shakespeare’ gratefully acknowledges the support of
Kent University, Kingston University, Nick Hern Books and the Rose Theatre.

The conference will run from 10am to 6pm.
Tickets are £25 (£12 with concessions).
Book them at the Institut Français website.

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Hannah Arendt and Shakespeare programme, Sept 7, 2019



Arendt and Shakespeare symposium image


09.30: Coffee (Temple Pavilion) 

10.00:  Chair: Richard Wilson (Kingston University)

Avraham Oz (University of Haifa):
‘Arendt, Shakespeare and the Banality of Nationhood’

11.00: Coffee (Temple Pavilion) 

11.30: Chair: Hannah Crawforth (King’s College University of London) 

Cecilia Sjöholm (Södertörn University):
‘Arendt and Shakespeare: Voices in the Belly’

Paul Kottman (New School, New York):
‘On Sea-Changes and Metamorphoses’

13.00 Lunch (Bell Inn, Hampton)

14.30: Chair: Detlef Wagenaar (Saxion University, Netherlands)   

Paul Dahlgren (Georgia Southwestern State University):
‘Arendt’s Shakespeare Revisited’ 

Caroline Lion (University of Birmingham):
‘Hannah Arendt’s Worst Nightmare’

16.00: Tea (Temple Pavilion) 

16.30: Chair: Richard Burt (University of Florida)

Howard Caygill (Kingston University):
‘Shakespeare in Dark Times’

17.15: Round Table Discussion


Tickets are £20 (includes tea, coffee and sandwich lunch at the Bell Inn).

To register for this event go to:

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CFP: Shakespeare and European Romanticism, Oct 24-25 2019

Workshop CFP:

Shakespeare and European Romanticism

24-25 October 2019
Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church

Once I had read an entire play, I stood there like a blind man given the gift of
sight by some miraculous healing touch

Edward Pechter’s 2011 monograph Shakespeare Studies Today bore the subtitle Romanticism Lost. But is Romanticism (still) “lost” for today’s Shakespeare studies? And, conversely, can Shakespeare in any sense be “lost” for Romantic studies? Shakespeare scholars are certainly showing a revived interest in Romantic concepts and phenomena, while a range of important studies have examined Shakespeare’s remarkable influence in Britain and Europe from the late 18th to the early 19th centuries (Bate 1986, 1989; Delabastita and D’hulst 1993; Dávidházi 1998; Han 2001; Ortiz 2013; O’Neill 2013; Ryan 2015, 2019). This workshop is organised with the aim of finding out what Shakespeare and the European Romantics have to say to each other in the critical context of Europe today.

Romantic interpretations of Shakespeare range from Herder’s historicised playwright to
Blake’s visionary, and seem to offer writers and readers of the period not simply entertainment or insight into their own circumstances and societies, but a way of understanding the world. The playwright’s ghostly presence is equally apparent in the works of contemporaneous philosophers, especially those influenced by German Idealism, while his role in the nascent nationalisms of the period testifies to the peculiar power of his fiction to shape social and political realities.

This workshop hopes to forge new ground in this field by bringing together literary scholars, philosophers, theologians, art historians, and historians to better understand how and why such diverse thinkers and artists thought through Shakespeare. We invite contributions of 20- minute presentations (followed by a 5-minute response and 10 minutes of questions) from Romanticists working on Shakespeare and Shakespeareans working on Romantic poets, novelists, painters, composers and/or Idealist philosophy. Because of the workshop format, we can accept only a handful of proposals, but scholars are also welcome to attend as participants and contribute to the discussion. Confirmed speakers include Kiernan Ryan (Royal Holloway, London), Ágnes Péter (ELTE, Budapest), and David Jasper (University of Glasgow).

In particular, we aim to approach three main topics:
1. What functions did Shakespeare serve for thinkers of the romantic period?
2. How do Romantic/Idealist understandings of Shakespeare aid interpretation of
Shakespeare and his age?
3. What is the relevance of such understandings of Shakespeare for current
methodologies in literary studies?

Please send an abstract of 300 words and a brief biography to by 22 August 2019.

Organising committee:
Chairman: Tibor Fabiny
Members: Sam Gilchrist Hall
Veronika Ruttkay
Student helper: Gyöngyi Matus-Kassai (PhD student, ELTE)
Registration fee (covers lunch and coffee breaks):
Normal: 60 EUR
Student: 30 EUR
Partial fee waivers are available to participants from low and middle income countries.

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Hannah Arendt and Shakespeare, September 7, 2019

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

Each of these Saturday events features 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.

Arendt and Shakespeare

On Saturday September 7 2019 the Temple symposium will be on


with contributions from

Richard Burt, Howard Caygill, Paul Kottman,

Caroline Lion, Avraham Oz, Björn Quiring, Cecilia Sjöholm

To register for the event go to

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The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare and Political Theology, Hampton Court/Garrick’s Temple, June 21-22 2019


The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare and Political Theology event consists of two related events, both of which highlight current thought on political theology in Shakespeare.

The first day, held in the Jane Seymour Room at Hampton Court Palace, dovetails into two themes: Crown and Crowd. The Crown section begins at 10 am and features talks on coronation rituals and absent kings by Charles Farris, Helen Phillips, Anthony Musson and Michael Hattaway. The crowd section begins at 2 pm with talks by Sam Gilchrist Hall, Edel Lamb, Sally Barnden and Yan Brailowsky. The day also features musical interludes by ARCHIcantiores performing ‘royal’ and ‘crowd’ music as well as ballads. Ticket price includes tea, coffee and a packed lunch.

The second day at Garrick’s Temple (a short walk from Hampton Court and Hampton Station) continues the symposia on Shakespeare in philosophy with a day on the seminal political theologian Ernst Kantorowicz (1895-1963). Speakers include Jennifer Rust, Lynsey McCulloch, Guillaume Foulquié, Adam Sitze, Stuart Elden, António Bento and Rachel Eisendrath. Tea, coffee and lunch are included in the ticket price.

Ticket prices are £20 for one day or £30 for both days.This event is organised by Kingston Shakespeare together with Historic Royal Palaces, Garrick’s Temple to Shakespeare, the Shakespeare and Philosophy project.

Book tickets at

Here is the provisional programme:


Friday June 21:


Hampton Court Palace: Jane Seymour Room


10.00: Charles Farris (Historic Royal Palaces):
‘“Well worth the seeing’: The Ritual and Material Culture
of Medieval and Tudor Coronations’

Helen Phillips (Cardiff University):
‘Chaucer, King Richard, Queen Anne and Crown Images’

11.00: Coffee

11.30: Anthony Musson (Historic Royal Palaces):
‘The Hollow Crown and the Empty Throne:
Absent kings and absence of kingship in Shakespeare’s historical plays’

12.00: Musical Interlude: ARCHIcantiores

12.15: Michael Hattaway (University of Sheffield):
‘Ritual and Reification: Crowning in Richard II and Henry VIII

13.00: Lunch


14.00: Sam Gilchrist Hall (Károli Gáspár University/ Kingston University):
‘”But I doubt not the people”: Shakespeare and Thomas Müntzer’

14.45: Musical Interlude: ARCHIcantiores

15.00: Edel Lamb (Queen’s University Belfast):
‘Shakespeare and the Crowd at Astor Place, 1849’

15.45: Tea

16.15: Sally Barnden (King’s College London):
‘Staging Shakespeare’s histories for Adelaide and Victoria’

17.00: Musical Interlude: ARCHIcantiores

17.15: Yan Brailowsky (Université Paris Nanterre):
‘Crowds and authority in Coriolanus


Saturday June 22:


Garrick’s Temple to Shakespeare: Hampton

10.00: Jennifer Rust (Saint Louis University):
‘Kantorowicz’s Mystical Body and Bottom’s Dream:
Political Theology to Political Aesthetics in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

11.00: Coffee

11.30: Lynsey McCulloch (Coventry University):
‘Effigial Bodies: Dignitas and the Death of Shakespeare’s Kings’

12.15: Guillaume Foulquié (Worcester University):
‘Towards the Decapitation of the King’s Two Biopolitical Bodies:
Performing Richard II in 2019 England’

13.00: Lunch 

14.00: Filippos Tsitsopoulos:
‘Talking to Shakespeare as Cardinal Wolsey’ (Performance)

14.30: Adam Sitze (Amherst College):
‘Conscience is the Essence of the Scholar’s “Office”’

15.15: Stuart Elden (Warwick University):
‘Kantorowicz, Shakespeare and the Oath’

16.00: Tea

16.30: António Bento (University of Beira Interior):
‘From the Late Medieval Church as a Mystical Body to
the Early Modern State as a Mystical Person: Ernst Kantorowicz and Carl Schmitt’

17.15: Rachel Eisendrath (Barnard College):
‘The Idea’s Two Bodies:
Kantorowicz’s meta-reflection on intellectual history in crisis’

18.00: Round Table Discussion

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