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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Roy Eriksen (1948 – 2019)

Roy EriksenWe are deeply saddened to announce that Professor Roy Eriksen died last Monday, April 22. He had been a powerful supporter and a loyal contributor to the Kingston Shakespeare Seminar from its beginning, and the masterly lecture he gave in 2017 – on Marlowe’s Ovid – is remembered as one of the high points of the entire series. His presentation at our ‘Marlowe and Shakespeare’ conference was the definitive statement of a lifetime’s work on the authorship question, and the enthusiasm with which this was now received was a striking vindication of his pioneering research. Roy’s gift for conciliation was also in demand when he serenely chaired one of the most contentious debates of this conference, and it made him an ideal ambassador, as its international secretary, of the UK Marlowe Society.

Roy’s border-defying role was to be a courier, for a generation of scholars, between Britain and Norway, architecture and literature, the verbal and the visual, and ‘early modern’ and ‘Renaissance’ concepts of the Shakespearean world. This made him a true godfather to the Nordic Shakespeare Society, NORSS, which was launched in 2015 at the ‘Shakespeare and Scandinavia’ conference we hosted under his benign guidance and inspiration. Both the event and the new association grew out of the decade of peerless conferences he organised himself at Kristiansand, on ‘Toleration and the City’: another instance of how far his light shone into the future.

Late last autumn Roy Eriksen hosted one farewell symposium in Rome on crossing generic borders, where the wine flowed as generously as the conversation, and it is as a messenger bearing gifts from a better and brighter world that KiSS will celebrate and remember him.

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Walter Benjamin and Shakespeare symposium programme

Benjamin and Shakespeare symposium image

09.30: Coffee (Temple Pavilion)

10.00:  Chair: Richard Wilson (Kingston University)
Julia Ng (Goldsmiths, University of London):
As You Like It: Benjamin’s Comic Infinite’

11.00: Coffee (Temple Pavilion)

11.30 Chair: Richard Ashby (Royal Holloway)

Hyowon Cho (New York University):
‘Towards a “Critical” Historiosophy’

Jessica Chiba (Royal Holloway, University of London):
‘“From this day to the ending of the world”:
Messianic Time in Henry V

13.00 Lunch (Bell Inn, Hampton)

14.30:  Chair: Corin Depper (Kingston University)

Björn Quiring (Trinity College Dublin):
‘Hamlet’s Pregnant Silence’

Betty Schulz (Kingston University):
‘Hamlet, Baroque Sovereign? Walter Benjamin contra Carl Schmitt’

16.00: Tea (Temple Pavilion) 

16.30: Chair: John Joughin

Philip Lorenz (Cornell University):
‘Baroque Files: The Breakaway of Sovereignty in Late Shakespeare’

17.30: Round Table Discussion


To register for this event go to:

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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). Speakers are:

Howard Caygill (Kingston University)

Jessica Chiba (Royal Holloway University of London)

Hyowon Cho (New York University)

Philip Lorenz (Cornell University)

Julia Ng (Goldsmith’s University of London)

Bjorn Quiring (Trinity College Dublin)

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:

How to get to Garrick’s Temple.

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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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