European Shakespeare Research Association (ESRA) Congress 27 – 30 July 2017, Gdansk, Poland

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European Shakespeare Research Association

Shakespeare and European Theatrical Cultures: AnAtomizing Text and Stage

27 – 30 July 2017

University of Gdańsk and The Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre, Poland

Conference announcement

This conference will convene Shakespeare scholars at a theatre that proudly stands in the place where English players regularly performed 400 years ago. This makes us ponder with renewed interest the relation between theatre and Shakespeare. The urge to do so may sound like a commonplace, but it comes to us enhanced by the fact that in the popular and learned imagination alike Shakespeare is inseparable from theatre while the theatre, for four centuries now, first in England, then on the continent (Europe) and eventually in the world, has been more and more strongly defined and shaped by Shakespeare. Shakespeare has become the theatrical icon, a constant point of reference, the litmus paper for the formal, technological and ideological development of the theatre, and for the impact of adaptation and appropriation on theatrical cultures. Shakespeare has served as one of the major sources for the development of European culture, both high and low. His presence permeates the fine shades and fissures of a multifarious European identity. His work has informed educational traditions, and, through forms of textual transmit such as translation and appropriation, has actively contributed to the process of building national distinctiveness. Shakespeare has been one of the master keys and, at the same time, a picklock granting easier access to the complex and challenging space of European and universal values.

We would like to invite papers and talks on the uses of Shakespeare in theatrical cultures across Europe and beyond, with a focus on textual/performative practices, on the educational dimension of Shakespeare in theatre, on the interface between text, film and stage productions, on his impact on popular culture, on Shakespearean traces in European collective and individual memory, and on his broader cultural legacy. We particularly welcome contributions to a debate about deploying Shakespeare in the local and more globally-oriented theatrical cultures, and in cross-cultural exchanges and negotiations.


Potential topics to be addressed:

  • theatre in education/education in theatre, teaching (drama/theatre) through Shakespeare
  • theatrical cultures across the centuries – from the Early Modern period till today
  • Shakespeare in translation (interlingual, intralingual and intersemiotic)
  • textual performances/performative texts
  • Shakespeare in performance in European cultures
  • re-defining identities through Shakespeare on stage/theatrical transits across borders
  • Shakespeare on European screens
  • theatrical culture Shakespearean screen and stage productions
  • (European) popular traditions and Shakespeare
  • Shakespeare in (European) Academia and beyond
  • European Shakespeare theatre networks
  • Shakespeare, theatre and the new media
  • commemorating Shakespeare in Europe
  • theorising (Shakespearean) theatre practice
  • performance theory in Shakespearean context
  • Shakespeare criticism in daily press and popular media
  • Shakespeare and the dramaturg in today’s theatre
  • digital Shakespeare in European theatre/performance databases


Members of ESRA are invited to propose a panel and/or a seminar that they would be interested in convening. Proposals of 300-500 words (stating topic, relevance and approach) should be submitted by a panel convenor (with the names of the panellists) and 2-3 potential seminar convenors from different countries who have agreed to work together.

Please submit your proposals by 31 May 2016 to: Dr. Aleksandra Sakowska, the Gdańsk conference secretary

Slow mail should be addressed to:

Prof. Jerzy Limon, University of Gdańsk, Institute of English and American Studies, ul. Wita Stwosza 51, 80-308 Gdańsk, Poland

The conference organisers and the Board of ESRA will confirm their final choice of panels and seminars at the beginning of July 2016. All convenors will be personally informed of the choices made and the list of seminars will be made available on the ESRA and the conference websites.

Organising committee, ESRA 2017:

Prof. Jerzy Limon (convenor) (University of Gdańsk and the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre)
Prof. Jacek Fabiszak (co-convenor) (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań and the Polish Shakespeare Society)
Prof. Olga Kubińska (University of Gdańsk and the Polish Shakespeare Society)
Dr. Aleksandra Sakowska (University of Worcester)


About kingstonshakespeareseminar

Kingston Shakespeare is the home of KiSS, and its offshoot KiSSiT. Both explore the world by thinking through Shakespeare.
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