Symposium: Futures of Political Theology, June 2

Futures of Political Theology

Nomos / Demos / Pseudos

Political theology

An International Symposium

2 June 2017 – Room PRJG0003 (Kingston University)

Speakers: Arthur Bradley [Lancaster] | Ward Blanton [Kent] | Howard Caygill [Kingston] | Antonio Cerella [Kingston] | Mick Dillon [Lancaster] | Dario Gentili [Rome 3] | Yvonne Sherwood [Kent] | Elettra Stimilli [SNS] | Richard Wilson [Kingston]

Symposium Description

Upon the occasion of some strange or deformed birth, it shall not be decided by Aristotle, or the philosophers, whether the same be a man or no, but by the laws.
–Thomas Hobbes, The Elements of Law Natural and Politic

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?  –W.B. Yeats, ‘The Second Coming’

What – strange, deformed, beastly – species of political order is struggling to be born today? To be sure, political praxis and theory has sought to narrate the history of the contemporary from the financial crash of 2008 to the election of Donald Trump in 2016 in many different and competing ways. In the early 21st century, we are said to be witnessing everything from the death of liberalism, globalization and internationalism to the birth of a new extreme populism, protectionism and isolationism – all presided over by a new kind of Demogorgon (people-monster).

Yet, what arguably makes our current crisis so difficult to name is that it is not merely a political crisis but a crisis of the political – of the particular triangulation between truth, authority and representation that has dominated politics since the early modern period. If we are experiencing a new set of constitutional crises in Europe, America and elsewhere – between executive, legislature and judiciary, between national and transnational sovereignty and more widely between representative and direct democracy – it is perhaps because they reflect a larger and more profound political dissensus about who or what – if anyone – has the authority to decide upon truth. In this sense, contemporary media controversies – ‘truthiness’, ‘fake news’, ‘alternative facts’ – are merely a symptom of a much deeper political ontological pathology where nomos, demos and pseudos meet and clash.

This international symposium gathers together a group of distinguished interdisciplinary scholars – including philosophers, political theorists, theologians and cultural critics – to explore not simply the future of political theology but the political theology of the future. What can the conceptual resources of political theology – the messianic, the apocalyptic, the eschatological and so on – contribute to a re-thinking of the future? How might political theology intervene in, and re-imagine, our contemporary crises of truth, authority, representation, economy, populism and so on? What might a political theology of the 21stcentury look like?


Posted in News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Summer Workshop: Performing Restoration Shakespeare




The AHRC-funded project ‘Performing Restoration Shakespeare’ (2017-2020) invites applications from UK and EU researchers (including PhD students in their second year or beyond) to participate in a scholar-artist workshop at Shakespeare’s Globe in July 2017. For this collaborative and practice-based event, we seek to recruit 10 researchers drawn from the disciplines of theatre history, musicology and Shakespeare studies. Selected participants will receive accommodation in London for 3 nights, subsistence, and up to £120 for travel expenses.

The selected researchers will work with performing artists (actors, instrumentalists, singers) in a 4-day workshop on Restoration versions of The Tempest, to be held in the Globe’s rehearsal space and in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse from 10-13 July 2017. The sessions in the Wanamaker will be open to the public.

Through a combination of archival study and reflective creative practice, we will investigate how Restoration Shakespeare can be performed today in a way that understands the historical context of this distinctive performance genre and then uses that understanding to create meaningful performances for contemporary audiences. This workshop offers a unique opportunity for collaboration with researchers from cognate disciplines, performing artists in theatre and music, Globe staff, and the general public. Additionally, the workshop offers the potential for publication in an edited volume arising from the project as a whole.

‘Performing Restoration Shakespeare’ is jointly led by theatre historian Richard Schoch (Queen’s University Belfast) and musicologist Amanda Eubanks Winkler (Syracuse University). Our partners are Shakespeare’s Globe, the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

To apply for a place in the workshop, please email a brief CV (2-3pp) and a 500-word statement of interest to Dr Claude Fretz, Research Fellow (Queen’s University Belfast) by April 1st 2017. In your statement of interest please explain how you would contribute to the workshop and how participating in the workshop would benefit your research. For further information, please contact Dr Claude Fretz. We expect to notify all applicants of the outcome by April 15th 2017.

Posted in News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Stuart Elden: Shakespeare and Philosophy, March 16

Big BackgroundWe are delighted to have Professor Stuart Elden give a talk at KiSS. His talk is on the central topic of Kingston Shakespeare, namely Shakespeare and philosophy, with a lecture entitled ‘Measuring Territories: The Techniques of Rule’. This session convenes on March 16, at our usual space in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston. We begin at 6.30 pm. It is free and open to everyone. See also the Facebook event page!

Stuart Elden FBA is one of the foremost contemporary thinkers working at the intersection of politics, philosophy and geography. He is also an acute reader of Shakespeare, who brings brilliant analytic skills to the interpretation of the plays.

A Professor of Political Theory and Geography at the University of Warwick, in addition he holds an adjunct appointment as a Monash Warwick Professor in the Faculty of Arts at Monash University, Australia.

Stuart Elden profileIn 2014 Elden’s The Birth of Territory was awarded the Association of American Geographers Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography, and was joint winner of the inaugural Global Discourse book award. In 2011 he received the Royal Geographical Society Murchison Award for work judged to contribute most to geographical science in preceding years for ‘publications in political geography’. In 2010 his book Terror and Territory: The Spatial Extent of Sovereignty won the Association of American Geographers Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography and the Political Geography Specialty Group Julian Minghi Outstanding Research Award. He has just published an extraordinary duo of volumes on Michel Foucault’s years at Collège de France: Foucault’s Last Decade and Foucault: The Birth of Power. He is now beginning work on the very early Foucault of the 1950s. You can read more about these books and Stuart Elden’s research on his blog Progressive Geographies and on

Posted in KiSS, News | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Shakespeare and Hegel (Kingston Shakespeare at the Temple), Apr 1

Shax and Hegel poster simple

10.00: Jennifer Bates (Duquesne University):
‘Hegel and Shakespeare on the Measure for Measure: The Hangman’s Mystery’

11.00: Coffee

11.30: Simon Haines (Chinese University of Hong Kong):
‘Hegel and The Merchant of Venice

12.15: Joe Moshenska (University of Cambridge):
King Lear and Hegel’s “Unlimited Monarchy”’

13.00: Lunch (Bell Inn, Hampton)

14.00: Paul Kottman (New School, New York):
‘Hegel and Shakespeare on the Pastness of Art’

14.45: Erik Roraback (Charles University, Prague):
‘Hegel, Shakespeare, and Forms of the World Spirit’

15.30: Tea

16.00: Ewan Fernie (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham):
‘Shakespeare, Hegel – and Garrick?’

17.00: Round Table Discussion

19.30: Chamber Concert: ‘The Music of the World Spirit’ – The Abel Quartet play Haydn, Mozart and Devienne

The registration fee is £20, which covers a sandwich lunch at the Bell Inn, plus coffee and tea. The charge for the concert will be an additional £12. All proceeds go to support the Temple. See here for directions to the Temple. Places are limited. See also Facebook page.

Book tickets here at Eventbrite!

Posted in KiSS, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Stanley Wells: Genius of Shakespeare, April 27



Thursday April 27: 19.00 Rose Theatre Gallery




Sir Stanley Wells is Britain’s preeminent Shakespeare scholar and one of the world’s leading experts on the Elizabethan stage. His many bestselling books on the Bard include Shakespeare, Sex and Love, Shakespeare & Co. and Shakespeare For All Time. He is the General Editor of both the Oxford and the Penguin Shakespeare editions, and President of Stratford’s Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Sir Stanley is also one of the best-loved lecturers on TV and radio and at literary festivals, and his 2017 Rose Theatre Birthday Lecture is certain to be a spell-binding display of all his talents as a Shakespeare interpreter, raconteur and performer.


This event is free and open to all, but seats are limited.

Register at:

Posted in KiSS, News | Tagged , | 1 Comment

KiSSiT WiP: Verse Drama with Irene Morra, Peter Oswald & Richard O’Brien

chandos-editThe first KiSSiT Work-in-Progress session of this Spring features three great speakers – Irene Morra, Peter Oswald and Richard O’Brien – who will be discussing Shakespeare and Verse Drama. The session will be held on March 9 in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston. We will begin at 6.30 pm. The seminar is free and open to everyone!

Irene Morra is currently Reader in English Literature at Cardiff University. She is co-editor of The New Elizabethan Age: Culture, Society and National Identity after World War II (2016) and author of Twentieth-Century British Authors and the Rise of Opera in Britain (2007); Britishness, Popular Music and National Identity: The Making of Modern Britain (2014)and Verse Drama in England, 1900-2015: Art, Modernity, and the National Stage (2016).

Peter Oswald is a poet, playwright and performer. He was Writer in Residence at Shakespeare’s Globe from 1998 to 2009. His plays, in verse, have been performed there, at the National Theatre, the Almeida, Birmingham Rep, in the West End, on Broadway and around the world. THE GOLDEN ASS, at the Globe (2002) starring Mark Rylance, formed part of the season that won the Evening Standard Award for Best Season. Phyllida Lloyd’s production of his version of Schiller’s MARY STUART won the South Bank Award. His plays are published by Oberon Books. They also publish his long poem WEYLAND, which he has performed at the Ledbury Festival. Peter received a Society of Authors travelling scholarship in 2016, and lives with his wife Alice and three children in Devon.

Richard O’Brien is a third-year PhD candidate at the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute, working towards a thesis on Shakespeare and the development of verse drama which incorporates elements of creative practice. He is the co-author, with Hester Bradley, of a chapter in the forthcoming Arden Shakespeare volume New Places: Shakespeare and Civic Creativity, and a winner of the Ben Jonson Journal’s 2016 ‘Discoveries’ award for an article on fictional representations of Jonson. In 2015, he chaired the British Graduate Shakespeare Conference. His verse play, Free for All, debuted in 2015 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and went on to tour the Midlands. His first play for children, an adaptation of The Selfish Giant, was performed at the Arcola Theatre in 2016.

Posted in KiSSiT, News | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Thomas Middleton: A Trick To Catch The Old One (KiSS Playreading)

tcoo2Shakespeare’s Writing Partners: A Trick To Catch The Old One is the second in this series. It’s from the very varied and successful work of Thomas Middleton, who’s been dubbed ‘our other Shakespeare.’ It’s a comedy, but not of the romantic kind: rather, a sharp-edged brittle comedy pitting young against old, a cash-strapped nephew against a money-laden uncle while at the same time young Witgood is trying to find his former lover a proper place in the world. There’s disguise, there’s fraud, there’s chasing, all in the coolly-observed streets and taverns of London at the beginning of the 1600s.

Middleton is now recognized as Shakespeare’s partner in writing Timon of Athens, and Trick shows why he was brought on board. There’s the same light, fluent, rapid satire of the urban moneyed that you get with Timon’s creditors and false friends. A Trick To Catch The Old One is one of our greatest playmakers emerging into his full strength.

As always, the reading is a cold table reading. You just turn up, choose a role or have one handed to you, and then we read through from start to finish. You don’t need any experience or prior knowledge.

Here’s a link to a prepared reading script: a-trick-to-catch-the-old-one

If you can’t print it yourself, there will be a few copies at the reading.

If you have an e-reader you might like to read the play in the Delphi Classics Middleton e-book—–all 32 of his plays in one package for £2.41. There are a couple of good selections of his work in Oxford World’s Classics (Trick is in A Mad World My Masters and Other Plays) and Penguin includes Trick in Five Plays by Middleton. And if you go on a real Middleton jag, the Oxford Collected Works remarkable for content, presentation and level of support it gives someone beginning Middleton.

The KiSS reading of A Trick To Catch The Old One is on Thursday, 2nd March at 6.30pm in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre at Kingston.

Posted in KiSS, News | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Per Sivefors:’Come, for England’: Politics, Cultural Exchange and the First Swedish Hamlet (1787), Feb 23


Gustav III

We are happy to welcome back our good friend Per Sivefors (Linnæus University) to share his work on Swedish Shakespeare under Gustavus III in the 18th century. His talk is entitled “‘Come, for England’: Politics, Cultural Exchange and the First Swedish Hamlet (1787)”. We are convening in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston starting at 6.30pm on Thursday Feb 23. See also the event page on Facebook. The talk is free and open to everyone.


Per Sivefors

Per Sivefors is Associate Professor of English at Linnaeus University, Sweden, and currently a visiting scholar at the University of Sussex. He works on representations of manliness in Elizabethan satire, dream narratives, city culture and authorship. His latest book publication is the edited volume Urban Encounters: Experience and Representation in the Early Modern City (Pisa, 2013).

Posted in KiSS, News | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gary Taylor’s Cardenio: the UK premiere

Our collaborator Gerald Baker has been busy with an interesting production: Cardenio. Don’t miss it!

For more information on the play and Richmond Shakespeare Society see their webpages.

cardenio_imageGary Taylor’s reconstruction of Fletcher and Shakespeare’s lost play, The History of Cardenio, receives its first full staging in the UK next month, in a week-long run from 18th to 25th March at the Mary Wallace Theatre in Twickenham.

Taylor has worked on the script for many years, constantly honing and refining it in the light of new scholarly research as well as feedback from practical experience in readings and productions. Unlike other attempts to reconstruct the play, Taylor does not merely extend Double Falsehood, he has fully and imaginatively engaged with deep questions of the styles, themes and dramaturgy of both the original writers. His reconstruction has been built within very strict parameters. The result is a play that is passionate, romantic, challenging and comic. It invites the same kind of attention and questioning as an early modern play. It is without doubt both the most credible vision of the lost play and a lively theatrical experience.

The History of Cardenio has had no exposure in the UK, apart from a reading in 2011 in Globe Education’s Read Not Dead project and publication of a version of the script in 2013. That changes in March when the Richmond Shakespeare Society in association with Cutpurse presents the latest iteration of Gary Taylor’s work, with revisions made specially for this production taking into account very recent work (to be published in the NOS Critical Reference Edition) on the play’s linguistic strata.

Richmond Shakespeare Society has mounted at least two Shakespeare productions every year for over eight decades, both indoors and open air. It is the only non-professional group specializing in Shakespeare to have its own venue, the Mary Wallace Theatre by the Thames in central Twickenham. The play’s director, Gerald Baker, has staged many productions and readings of Shakespeare and early modern plays as well as work by Brenton, Marber and other contemporary writers. As both director and independent scholar he has been in dialogue for the last five years with Gary Taylor on the Cardenio project.

In addition to the run of the play, Taylor will participate in two events associated with it. On Wednesday, 15th March he will give a talk “Why Does Cardenio Matter?” at the Mary Wallace: it will be free but ticketed. Details are in the News section of the RSS website, And after the performance on Sunday 19th he will be taking a Q and A session with the Sunday audience—-tickets for Sunday cover this session too.

All the booking information is also in this PDF flyer: thoc-flyer

Posted in News | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

KiSSiT: Shakespearean Anachronism programme (Feb 18)

shakespeare-and-anachronism-banner-editSHAKESPEAREAN ANACHRONISM

Saturday February 18, 2017

Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames


10.15 Welcome: Ildiko Solti

10.30 Plenary: Dr Erik Roraback (Charles University):
‘An Anachronistic Figure of Redemption: Modernity, Rhetoric, and Self-Identity of Shakespeare’s King Richard II

11.30: Coffee break

12.00: Stefanie Bauerochse: ‘“400 Jahre sterben. (d)over. //”: Directing as Research in Performance’

12.30: Dr Jessica Chiba (Royal Holloway):
‘“Eyes not yet created”: Shakespeare and the view from the future’

13.00: Sara Reimers (Royal Holloway):
‘“In time I may believe”: Gender politics, Anachronism, and Genre in contemporary stagings of The Taming of the Shrew

13.30: Lunch break

14.30: Prof Margaret Jones Davies (Sorbonne):
‘”0ne two three: time, time”: Anachronism in Cymbeline

15.00: Prof Per Sivefors (Linnæus University):
‘Anachronism as Aesthetic Device in Elizabethan Satire’

15.30: Prof Ken Pickering (Kent) and Dr Ildiko Solti (Kingston):
‘Stepping in the same river twice?:
Reproduction Elizabethan Playhouses: Gdansk and Staunton’

16:00: Pepe Pryke: ‘The Rose Playhouse, Bankside – The Past Present and Future’

16.30: Tea break

17.00 Plenary: Professor Tiffany Stern (Royal Holloway):
‘Performing at the Globe – in Shakespeare’s Time and Our Own’

18.00 – 18.30

Stefanie Bauerochse: V&A IX: as of today // working through the conference in real time

The whole day takes place in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre. No reservation required.

The conference is free and open to everyone!

Facebook event page

Posted in KiSSiT, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments