‘Idols of Nature: Causality of Fate, Baconian Philosophy and Shakespearean Tragedy’ with Timo Uotinen, Nov 2

Idols of nature bannerOn Thursday, November 2, the KiSSiT Work-in-Progress seminar features Timo Uotinen (Royal Holloway) giving a talk entitled ‘Idols of Nature: Causality of Fate, Baconian Philosophy and Shakespearean Tragedy’, where he links epistemology with ethics in discussing how the (self)destructive activity of Shakespeare’s tragic characters is enabled by the cognitive tendencies as described by Francis Bacon in his theory of the idols of the mind.

The seminar convenes at its usual place in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston starting at 6 pm. This talk is free and open to everyone and anyone interested.

Timo Uotinen is a PhD candidate at Royal Holloway, University of London working on the philosophy of Francis Bacon in relation to Shakespearean tragedy. He has an MA in English from the University of Tampere and an MA in Modern European Philosophy from CRMEP, situated then at Middlesex, now at Kingston University. He is also webmaster and a Fellow of the Kingston Shakespeare project and organises KiSS(iT) events.


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Conference: Other Shylocks, London Nov 4 – 5, 2017

“Other Shylocks”

Presented by the Centre for Global Shakespeare, Queen Mary University of London, as part of “Shylock in and Beyond the Ghetto” supported by the European Commission under the Creative Europe programme and sponsored by the Romanian Cultural Institute.


The Octagon, Queens Building, Queen Mary University of London,
327 Mile End Rd, London E1 4NS

Saturday 4 November

10.00–10.15 Opening remarks

10.15-11.15 Shaul Bassi, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice
“Shylock’s Others”

11.15-11.30 Coffee

11.30-12.30 Richard Wilson, Kingston University
“Shylock Reasons With Mr Chesterton: Fascists in Stratford”

12.30-2.00 Lunch

2.00-3.30 Elena Pellone, Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham
“Shylock’s Ghosts”

3.30-4.00 Julia Pascal, playwright and director
“Shylock through the Eyes of a Warsaw Ghetto Survivor”

4.00-4.15 Coffee

4.15-4.45 Jasmine Seymour, Queen Mary University of London
“Shylock on Armenian Stages in the 19th century”

4.45-5.30 David Schalkwyk, Queen Mary University of London
“Shylock in South Africa”

Sunday 5 November

10.00-11.00 Alfredo Modenessi, National Autonomous University of Mexico
“‘My bond to the Jew’: The miseries and joys of translating a ‘classic’”

11.00-11.15 Coffee

11.15-12.00 Allesandra Bassey, King’s College London
“Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and Shylock under the Nazis – continuation
or reinvention?”

12.00-1.00 Zeno Ackermann, Julius-Maximilians- Universität Würzburg
“‘Narrow Boxes’ –Memory Work, Gender and Identity Politics In Contemporary
German Productions of The Merchant of Venice”

1.00-2.30 Lunch

2.30-3.00 Calin Sabac and the VBC Association: Introduction to puppet show,
“Dreaming with The Merchant of Venice”

3.00-4.00 Puppet show: “Dreaming with The Merchant of Venice”

4.00-5.00 Panel discussion on “Dreaming with The Merchant of Venice”

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David Schalkwyk: ‘Unpacking the heart: Interiority, Theatricality and Love in Hamlet’, Oct 26

David SchalkwykOn Thursday Oct 26, Kingston Shakespeare is happy to host David Schalkwyk (Queen Mary), who is giving a talk entitled ‘Unpacking the heart: Interiority, Theatricality and Love in Hamlet‘. The paper approaches the problem of interiority in Hamlet by asking why it is impossible to say “I love you” in Claudius’s Denmark. We convene in Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston starting at 6pm. The talk is free and open to everyone!

David Schalkwyk is Professor of English and Director of Global Shakespeare Queen Mary University of London.  He was formerly Director of Research at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. and editor of the Shakespeare Quarterly. His books include Speech and Performance in Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Plays (Cambridge, 2002), Literature and the Touch of the Real (Delaware, 2004), Shakespeare, Love and Service (Cambridge, 2008), Hamlet’s Dreams: The Robben Island Shakespeare (Arden Shakespeare, 2013), The Word Against the World: The Bakhtin Circle (Skene, 2016). His latest monograph, Shakespeare, Love and Language is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in 2017.

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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

 Confirmed speakers: Craig Bourne (Hertfordshire), Emily Caddick Bourne (Hertfordshire) and Géza Kállay (ELTE, Hungary)

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 17 November, 2017 [EXTENDED].

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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