Up-coming events, Summer and Autumn 2017

KiSS-iT Summer Autumn 2017 EditHere are the up-coming seminars, playreadings, symposia and conferences.


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Playreading Pericles Prince of Tyre, Oct 19 (KiRSe)

220px-Pericles_1609Shipwreck, pirates, resurrection, a goddess, incest, plague, a brothel, riddling, knights in armour and a family dispersed across the Levant: in its day immensely popular, Shakespeare’s version of one of the great European stories (adapted in conjunction with George Wilkins) inaugurates the haunting last phase of his writing career.

We’ll be reading Pericles, Prince of Tyre at 6 pm on Thursday, October 19, in the usual KiSS venue, the Gallery at the Rose in Kingston. Just come along and choose a role to read. You don’t need to know the play, you don’t need any experience. Come and sample this later addition to Shakespeare canon–as is our theme this term.

There will be a very small number of copies available at each reading but it would help immeasurably if you can bring an edition with you. The Complete Oxford Shakespeare edited by Wells and Taylor in its second edition of 2005 includes all of the plays we’re reading this term.


Wayne T. Carr as Pericles in the Folger Theatre production (from Washington Post / Jenny Graham).

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‘TO LOSE NO DROP’: Retrieving the Shakespeare Canon

KiRSE 2017-18 collageEdit

There were thirty-six plays when Shakespeare’s colleagues collected them for the first time in 1623 in the Folio. In 2017 a new complete Shakespeare contains forty-one complete plays, and contributions to a couple more. In the four hundred years since the Folio, some half-a-dozen plays have been identified as partially Shakespearean. These aren’t wild or amateur suggestions, these are the plays for which strong arguments can be made that have convinced readers and editors and have been accepted into new editions. Sometimes he’s the senior partner, sometimes he’s just polishing a script, sometimes he’s the junior member of the team. But somewhere in each of the half-dozen there are ‘drops of that immortal man’, to adapt Garrick’s phrase, and we don’t want to lose any of them.

Mostly these plays are unknown territory to playgoers, playmakers and readers—or at least shadowy, dim territory. But all of them are good plays, some of them achieve greatness for a while, each of them enlarges our idea of who Shakespeare was and what he was about. Here’s your chance to meet them all.

Under the umbrella of the Kingston University Shakespeare Seminar series, there will be table readings of all six through autumn and spring (our third and fourth term of playreadings). Come along and choose a part, or just listen (reading’s more fun!). There will almost certainly be something here you don’t already know…….

All the readings will be in the gallery of the Rose Theatre in Kingston, starting at 6pm and reading straight through without cuts. The timetable for this term is

In the spring the programme will be Edward III, the additions to The Spanish Tragedy and the adaptation Double Falsehood, finishing with Arden of Faversham (dates to be announced).

There will be a very small number of copies available at each reading but it would help immeasurably if you can bring an edition with you. The Complete Oxford Shakespeare edited by Wells and Taylor in its second edition of 2005 includes all of the plays we’re reading this term.

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‘Fictionalising the Renaissance’ with Hermione Eyre, Emma Whipday and Richard O’Brien (KiSSiT WiP), Oct 12


The Upstart Crow © BBC 2017

In the last ten to fifteen years, popular centre has seen a wave of narratives – from Shakespeare in Love to Wolf Hall to Upstart Crow – which take as their setting a reconstructed version of early modern England. This panel session brings together two academics – both also creative writers – and an acclaimed historical novelist to discuss the kinds of choices authors make in presenting Shakespeare’s era to a modern audience, and the questions these projects raise about the cultural image, and the uses, of Renaissance history.

The KiSSiT Work-in-Progress seminar features Richard O’Brien leading a discussion with Hermione Eyre and Emma Whipday. We convene in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames, on Thursday October 12, 2017 starting at 6pm. This event is free and open to everyone!

About the speakers:

Hermione Eyre is a journalist (The Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, ES Magazine, Prospect, The Spectator, British Vogue) and former columnist for The Independent on Sunday. She read English Literature at Hertford College, Oxford, where her interest in the English Renaissance began. In 2014 Jonathan Cape published her historical novel Viper Wine, about the crypto-Catholic polymath Sir Kenelm Digby, and reconstructing the last months in the life of his wife Venetia Stanley, who was painted on her deathbed by Sir Antony Van Dyck on May 1st, 1632.

Emma Whipday is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at UCL, working on brothers and sisters on the early modern stage, and a Globe Education Lecturer at Shakespeare’s Globe. She is also a playwright: her play, Shakespeare’s Sister, is published by Samuel French, and was performed as part of the 2017 Actors’ Renaissance Season at the American Shakespeare Center. Her adaptation of Sense and Sensibility is on tour with the ASC and forthcoming from Samuel French. She’s an Associate Writer for Oxford theatre company Reverend Productions, and is currently working on a play on the Jacobean ‘Belvoir Castle witches’.

Richard O’Brien is a Teaching Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham, where he recently completed his PhD on Shakespeare and the development of verse drama – a project incorporating elements of creative practice. His article on fictional representations of Ben Jonson won the 2016 Ben Jonson Journal Discoveries Award, and he has presented conference papers on Renaissance fictions including the Broadway musical Something Rotten, the film Bill and the TV series Upstart Crow. 

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Sir Peter Hall (1930 – 2017)

Sir Peter Hall RIP

Kingston Shakespeare Seminar mourns Sir Peter Hall, an irreplaceable Chancellor of Kingston University and the founding director and presiding genius of the Rose Theatre. Sir Peter’s vision of the Rose as a ‘teaching theatre’, where actors and academics would work side by side, has been the inspiration of all the activities of the seminar, since it was initiated in 2012 with his blessing. He was decisive in modeling the Rose on Shakespeare’s original Bankside playhouse. And he warmly endorsed the seminar as ‘a textual laboratory for Shakespeare’, of the kind he had experienced as a student of F.R. Leavis. In 2018 Kingston Shakespeare Seminar will host an international and multi-disciplinary conference at the Rose to celebrate Peter Hall’s many different achievements and enduring legacy.

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KiSSiT: Shakespeare and the Philosophical Turn CFP

KiSSiT: Shakespeare and
the Philosophical Turn

December 9, 2017

Rose Theatre Kingston-upon-Thames


Shax-and-Phil-Turn-Image-V2Over the last two decades there has been a turn away from theory to philosophy in Shakespeare studies. In 2000, the Philosophical Shakespeares collection, edited by John J. Joughin, appeared, which, in effect, gathered the philosophical strands of theory under its traditional name. Fittingly it was prefaced by the unapologetically philosophical Stanley Cavell, whose own updated edition of Disowning Knowledge appeared in 2003.

Since the dawn of the new millennium, there has been an increased interest by philosophers in Shakespeare, with books published by Agnes Heller, Colin McGinn, Tzachi Zamir, Jennifer Ann Bates, Raymond Angelo Belliotti, Andrew Cutrofello, Simon Critchley and Jamieson Webster; whereas Shakespeareans, like A. D. Nuttall, Richard Wilson, Hugh Grady, Stephen Greenblatt, Julia Lupton, and Andreas Höfele as well as Ewan Fernie, Paul A. Kottman, and Sam Gilchrist Hall, have mirrored the philosophers’ interest with monographs on topics from aesthetics to political theology.

However, this claim for a philosophical turn has been undercut particularly by two collections: in 2009, Paul A. Kottman edited a volume of philosophers discussing Shakespeare from Herder to Heller including writings of important 20th century figures such as Walter Benjamin, Georg Lukács, the Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt, and Jacques Derrida; in 2014, Jennifer Ann Bates and Richard Wilson edited Shakespeare and Continental Philosophy, which brought philosophers and Shakespeareans together. Both collections are steeped in the continental tradition of philosophy and, as Richard Wilson marks, have an ‘engagement with the works of Shakespeare sustained over three centuries’.

The latest philosophical turn seems more of a return as the theoretical boom of the 80s and 90s was itself steeped particularly in the French side of continental philosophy. Nearly a century before that, critics like R. G. Moulton and A. C. Bradley had a clear philosophical interest in Shakespeare, who were preceded by Coleridge’s Romantic criticism (influenced by German Idealism). Moreover, the writing of early literary critics, like Dryden, Addison and Steele, had a strongly philosophical tone.

Why does Shakespeare provoke philosophical reflection? Is there something distinct in the latest philosophical turn, or is it merely in a continuum of theory and earlier criticism? Does literary criticism itself have a philosophical mode of thought?

We invite abstracts for 20-minute presentations on philosophical aspects of Shakespeare and criticism. Please submit abstracts and brief CVs by emailing the organizers at kingstonshakespeareintheory@gmail.com before Friday 10 November, 2017.

Shakespeare and the Philosophical Turn CFP

 The conference is free and open to all!

Organised by Timo Uotinen, Paul Hamilton and Anna Ilona Rajala.

Kingston Shakespeare Seminar in Theory (KiSSiT) runs seminars and conferences for postgraduate students and early career scholars with an interest in Shakespeare, philosophy and theory. The program is committed to thinking through Shakespeare about urgent contemporary issues in dialogue with the work of past and present philosophers – from Aristotle to Žižek.

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Programme for Shakespeare and Nietzsche

Shakespeare and Nietzsche poster v2

10.00: Chair: Richard Wilson (Kingston University)

Paul Kottman (New School, New York)
‘The Eternal Justification of the World’

Eric Heinze (Queen Mary University, London)
‘Nietzsche versus Machiavelli in Shakespeare’

11.30: Coffee

12.00: Chair: John Gillies (Essex University)

Bjorn Quiring (Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich)
‘Hamlet’s Silence in Nietzsche and Benjamin’

Katie Brennan (Temple University, Philadelphia)
‘Nietzsche’s Hamlet Puzzle: Life Affirmation in The Birth of Tragedy

13.30: Lunch (Bell Inn, Hampton)

14.30: Chair: Corin Depper (Kingston University)

 Scott Wilson (Kingston University)
‘Cracking nature’s moulds’

Patricia Gillies (Essex University)
‘Paths to Tragedy: Nietzsche, Shakespeare, World War I in the journal of Sophie Brzeska’

16.00: Tea

16.30: Chair: Richard Wilson (Kingston University)

Tracy Strong (Southampton University)
‘Folly as the mask of uncertain knowledge: Nietzsche’s Shakespeare’

17.30: Round Table Discussion

19.45: Chamber Concert: Bella Schütz and Chantal Schütz
‘From afar there came a song: Nietzsche’s music’

The concert will be a rare opportunity to hear compositions by Nietzsche himself, together with the music by Wagner and others that inspired him.

 Tickets are £20 (includes sandwich lunch, coffee and tea) and £10 for the concert

To book and register for the symposium and / or concert go to:

www.kingston.ac.uk/shakespeareandnietzsche or directly to Eventbrite

All proceeds go to supporting the Temple.

Getting to the Temple.

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Shakespeare and Nietzsche, Sept 2

On Saturday September 2, 2017 Shakespeare at the Temple -symposium returns to Garrick’s Temple with a fourth event, this time on Shakespeare and Nietzsche with talks by Katie Brennan, Paul KottmanBjorn Quiring, Tracy Strong and Scott Wilson.

There will be a concert following the event (optional) which will be a rare opportunity to hear compositions by Nietzsche himself, together with the music by Wagner and others that inspired him, performed under the direction of Chantal Schutz.

Tickets are £20 for the symposium (incl. lunch at the Bell Inn) and/or £10 for the concert. All proceeds go to supporting the Temple. Book at Eventbrite.

Shakespeare and Nietzsche poster v2

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

Each of these Saturday events will feature 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. An optional extra will be a professional concert of period music.

Getting to the Temple.

See also the Facebook event page.

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Saturday July 15: Old St Paul’s and Culture -symposium

The place to go in London on Saturday is St Paul’s! A great programme and line up of speakers: see their website if tickets are still available.

Old St Paul’s and Culture: A Symposium

Hosted by the University of Sussex Centre for Early Modern and Medieval Studies

St Paul’s Cathedral – Saturday 15th July 2017

The annual CEMMS symposium will be held on 15 July 2017, in the Wren Suite at St Paul’s Cathedral. The symposium offers an opportunity to think broadly about the significance of Old St Paul’s Cathedral and its surrounding area in medieval and early modern England. Speakers will cover a range of topics including sermons; drama and theatre companies; civic culture; ceremonies and ceremonial culture; theology; literature; and publishing and bookselling.

Organised by Shanyn Altman, Katrina Marchant-Stone and Nicole Mennell.

Supported by Sussex CEMMS and CHASE.

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Speaker biographies for Shakespeare and Marx + concert programme

See the programme for tomorrow’s conference – some tickets are still available!

Here are the speaker biographies followed by the concert programme. Booking for both at Eventbrite.


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 davidhawkes.net.


Chris Fitter is Professor of English at Rutgers University and has written about politics in Shakespeare and representations of the natural world in Greek and Roman antiquity, the medieval period, the Bible, and the English Renaissance.

His first book, Poetry, Space, Landscape: Toward a New Theory (Cambridge: 1995) discussed representations of the natural world from Homer to Milton in literature, art, and formal thought, and suggested some foundational sociological principles behind the conceptualization of nature as landscape. Radical Shakespeare: Politics and Stagecraft in the Early Career (Routledge: 2012) placed Shakespeare’s early plays within contexts of political opposition and debate normally overlooked in the field, arguing for the playwright’s alignment with popular sufferings and populist politics. His current book, nearly complete, is Activist Shakespeare: Politics and Stagecraft in the Second Tetralogy and King Lear, which examines these dramas as further examples of Shakespeare’s risk-taking involvement in hot political topics of those years. He has published nearly twenty essays and book chapters, along with many reviews.


Gabriel Egan is Professor of Shakespeare Studies at De Montfort University and one of the four General Editors (with Gary Taylor, Terri Bourus, and John Jowett) of the New Oxford Shakespeare Complete Works, of which the Modern Critical Edition appeared in October 2016 and the Critical Reference Edition and Authorship Companion will appear in early 2017. He co-edits the academic journals Theatre Notebook (for the Society for Theatre Research) and Shakespeare (for the British Shakespeare Association and Routledge).

He has written and edited several books: The Struggle for Shakespeare’s Text: Twentieth Century Editorial Theory and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2010), the Edinburgh Critical Guide to Shakespeare (2007), Green Shakespeare (2006), Shakespeare and Marx (2004), and an edition of Richard Brome and Thomas Heywood’s The Witches of Lancashire (2002). Most recently, he has written Shakespeare and Ecocritical Theory (Bloomsbury, 2015). Professor Egan is currently editing Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona for the New Variorum Shakespeare series. For more information, see gabrielegan.com.


Christian Smith received his PhD in 2013 in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick. From 2013 to 2016, he held a fixed-term post as a Teaching Fellow in this same department.  He is living in Berlin researching and writing his first monograph: Shakespeare’s Influence on Karl Marx: The Shakespearean Roots of Marxism. He has recently written articles on Shakespeare, Marx and exchange value, and has a forthcoming article on Dorothea Tieck’s translations of Shakespeare. Christian is currently co-editing the “Karl Marx” special edition of Shakespeare with Hugh Grady. See also his research page: christianasmith.com.


Martin McQuillan is Professor of Literary Theory and Cultural Analysis and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Kingston University, London. He is also Co-director of The London Graduate School.

His recent publications include Deconstruction After 9/11(London: Routledge, 2008) and Roland Barthes, or, The Profession of Cultural Studies (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). He is the editor of The Politics of Deconstruction: Jacques Derrida and the Other of Philosophy (London: Pluto Press, 2007), Deconstruction Reading Politics (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) and The Origins of Deconstruction (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), and is also series editor for ‘The Frontiers of Theory’ list published by Edinburgh University Press. He works in the spaces between literary theory, art theory, cultural studies and continental philosophy, and writes on the work of Jacques Derrida, Hélène Cixous and Paul de Man. He is also an award-winning filmmaker and a frequent contributor to the higher education press in the UK.


Hugh Grady is Professor Emeritus of English at Arcadia University, Pennsylvania. He has authored several important books on Shakespeare and philosophy: The Modernist Shakespeare: Critical texts in a Material World (1991), Shakespeare’s Universal Wolf: Studies in Early Modern Reification (1996), Shakespeare, Machiavelli and Montaigne: Power and Subjectivity from Richard II to Hamlet (2002), and Shakespeare and Impure Aesthetics (2009). He is also the editor of Shakespeare and Modernity: From Early Modern to Millennium (2000) and co-editor, with Terence Hawkes, of Presentist Shakespeares (2007).

Furthermore, he has published more than 30 articles in journals and anthologies, co-edited Shakespeare and the Urgency of Now: Criticism and Theory in the 21st Century (2013), and edited and contributed to Empson, Wilson Knight, Barber, Kott: Great Shakespeareans (2012), an anthology of critical essays focusing on Shakespeare’s reception by the major modern critics. Professor Grady is currently finishing a book (based on his 1978 dissertation) entitled John Donne and Baroque Allegory: The Aesthetics of Fragmentation forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.

‘Music from the salons of Europe’


The London Abel Quartet

William Summers – Flute
Diane Moore – Violin
Diane Terry – Viola
Ibrahim Aziz – Cello

All instruments used are transitional between the Baroque and Classical or early Romantic periods, typical of the late 18th and early 19th centuries


Francois Devienne [1759 – 1803] – quartet in C opus 66 no. 3  [Paris, 1786]

Allegro Risoluto – Adagio – Rondo Allegretto –

Ludwig Beethoven [1770 – 1827] – Serenade in D opus 25 [1795-6]

Entrata, Allegro – Tempo ordinarie d’un Menuetto – Allegro Molto – Andante con Variazioni – Allegro scherzando e vivace – Adagio; Allegro vivace e disinvolto


Jean-Baptiste Breval [1753 – 1823]  – Air varie opus 9 no. 5 [London, c. 1782]

Felix Mendelssohn [1809 – 1847] – Praeludium [1841]

Giovanni Battista Viotti [1755 – 1824] – quartet in C minor opus 22 no. 2 [Paris, 1808]

Moderato ed espressivo – Presto – Allegro agitato e con fuoco

For further information about The London Abel Quartet, please see www.abelquartet.com and for further information about concerts of early music in Garrick’s Temple and in other local historic venues, please see www.lokimusic.co.uk

Temple before Hegel Concert

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