KiSSiT: Shakespearean Thresholds, April 2

KiSSiT returns to with its third one-day event, entitled Shakespearean Thresholds. It will be held on April 2, 2016 at the Rose Theatre, Kingston. As always it is free and open to everyone. Don’t miss it!

The programme will be up soon, watch this space. See also the event page on Facebook. Here is a blurb for the event:


Thresholds banner

‘How fearful dizzy ’tis’:

Cliffs, balconies, windows, walls, battlements, frontiers, ports, shores. Stage, backstage, and auditorium: between waking and sleeping, the theatre and the play necessarily exist on an uncanny bord de mer. Here reality and representation ceaselessly overstep each other, and action is suspended in the ‘interim’ of indecision: ‘Between the acting of a thing and the first motion’. Yet if ‘All the world’s a stage’, and we are ‘merely’ players, then we all have our own ‘exits and entrances’.

The threshold marks both traversal and transition. So, when Romeo asks, ‘What light through yonder window breaks?’ his life opens up to Juliet’s. But the same casement marks a tragic change, when Romeo abandons Juliet: ‘Then, window, let day in and let life out.’ As light ushers in a new reality, it also batters on Macbeth’s door marking a point of no-return: ‘Wake Duncan with thy knocking: I would thou couldst.’

Physical and ritual thresholds delimit both actual spaces and spiritual states. A Shakespeare drama is itself a rite of passage where movement between exclusion and inclusion is negotiated: ‘Who’s in, who’s out’. Thus, from colonial to post-colonial, these works offer a gateway for modernity. Above all, Shakespeare is a privileged symbolic space for defining relations between the self and other, subject and object. For here, too, in the end, ‘The wall is down that parted the fathers’.

By examining such literal and virtual thresholds, this event in the Kingston Shakespeare Seminar in Theory (KiSSiT) series aims to engage with Shakespeare to explore what spaces theatre and literature can open up, and to consider how these works help us to position ourselves today in terms of our own barriers, walls and edges.

Kingston Shakespeare Seminar in Theory, part of the London Graduate School, is a forum for research by postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers 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.

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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1 Response to KiSSiT: Shakespearean Thresholds, April 2

  1. Pingback: Spring 2016 series of KiSS: Shakespeare and the Uncanny | Kingston Shakespeare Seminar

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