Shakespeare and Marx -symposium, June 24




10.00: Chair: Richard Wilson (Kingston University)

 David Hawkes (Arizona State University)
‘Marx and Shakespeare Today: Towards an Ethics of Representation’

11.00: Coffee

11.30: Chair: Kiernan Ryan (Royal Holloway University)

Chris Fitter (Rutgers University)
‘Shakespeare and the Tudor Ferment: A Marxist Homecoming?’

Gabriel Egan (De Montfort University):
‘Shakespeare::Marx && community::writing’

13.00: Lunch (Bell Inn, Hampton)

14.00: Chair: David Schalkwyk (Queen Mary University)

 Christian Smith (Independent scholar, Berlin)
‘“Ay, his breast. So says the bond”:
Marx, Shakespeare and the Theory of Labour Power’

Martin McQuillan (Kingston University):
‘Marx’s Timon: Reading and Quantitative Easing’

15.30: Tea

16.00: Chair: Aaron Kitch (Bowdoin College)

Hugh Grady (Arcadia University):
‘Shakespeare and Marx:  A Select Genealogy’

17.00: Round Table Discussion

19.45: Chamber Concert: Marx’s Music (Lovekyn Consort)

Tickets are £20 (includes sandwich lunch, coffee and tea) and £12 for the concert.

All proceeds go to supporting the Temple.

Please register for the symposium and / or concert on Eventbrite

Getting to the Temple

See also the Facebook event page!

Shakespeare and Marx Programme V2

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Sir Stanley Wells: The Genius of Shakespeare -podcast

Stanley Wells Genius of Shakespeare background

Sir Stanley Wells delivers the 2017 Rose Theatre Shakespeare Birthday Lecture. The lecture is entitled ‘The Genius of Shakespeare’. The session is chaired by Richard Wilson.

The Shakespearean actor Andrew Jarvis receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Shakespeare Association on behalf of the great director John Barton.
Sir Stanley Wells is Britain’s preeminent Shakespeare scholar and one of the world’s leading experts on the Elizabethan theatre. 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 this recording of his 2017 Rose Theatre Birthday Lecture is a spell-binding display of all his talents as a Shakespeare interpreter, raconteur and performer.
Recorded on April 27, 2017 at the Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames. Audio recorded and edited by Anna Ilona Rajala; video recorded and edited by Timo Uotinen.
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Margaret Jones-Davies: Shakespeare, le « nid de cygnes » et le rêve d’Europe

Shakespeare, le « nid de cygnes » et le rêve d’Europe

Shax brexit peeking roundShakespeare, poète national, est le plus souvent cité pour ses tirades à la gloire d’une Angleterre insulaire, forte de son indépendance. La plus célèbre, dans Richard II (1595) chante l’invulnérabilité de l’île: « Cette forteresse bâtie par la Nature pour elle-même / Contre la contagion et la main de la guerre/… Cette pierre précieuse sertie dans une mer d’argent/ Qui fait pour elle office de rempart » (II, 1, 44-48 ; trad. J.-M.Déprats) est naturellement protégée contre tout envahisseur. Et le 20 août 1940, c’est à Shakespeare que se réfère Winston Churchill pour célébrer les pilotes de la Bataille d’Angleterre en empruntant au vainqueur d’Azincourt, le roi Henry V, de mémorables accents patriotiques (Henry V, (1599), IV, 3, 59). Continue reading

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Richard Wilson: The Bard on Brexit

From The New European April 21-April 27 2017





Shakespeare scholar RICHARD WILSON says the Bard’s work is one long battle between Brexit and Remain. And his vision of ‘this sceptered isle’ is not necessarily what the Little Englanders would have you believe

Brexit Shaxedit

Shakespeare lovers love the spring, ‘the only pretty ring-time’, according to his best-loved song, when the Bard’s Birthday and St George’s Day fall boisterously together. But this April 23 there will be a louder ‘ding-a-ding ding’ than ever to the ‘hey-nonny-no’ in the ballad of the Brexiteers, who will be caroling how in ‘the present time’ their love of Will ‘is crownèd with the prime’ of the first spring of UK independence.

Already, the traditionalist quarterly This England has credited the joy that ‘The battle’s now won / Our day’s work is done,’ to the inspiration of Shakespeare’s poetry about ‘This sceptered isle’.

But in its next poetic breath this ‘unashamedly patriotic magazine for those who love our green and pleasant land’ is also resolved to ‘fight on’ under its Shakespearean banner: ‘Our enemy shall know fear / This battle cry to hear: / St George for England!Continue reading

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Michael Bogdanov

Kingston Shakespeare Seminar mourns the death of the inspirational theatre director Michael Bogdanov. He was a dynamic contributor to our programme and valiant friend of the Rose Theatre. The text of Michael’s stirring KiSS lecture, ‘The Readiness is All’, given on October 24 2013, is accessible on our website, and makes for timely reading.

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Michael Bogdanov: ‘The Readiness is All: Existential Shakespeare’

[This paper was given on October 24, 2013 as part of the series on Shakespeare and Philosophy]

Michael Bogdanov at KiSS 2
The Readiness Is All

Good evening. For the purposes of this lecture,  I am going to concern myself with six plays – Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Henry IVth, more particularly the character of Hal/Henry Vth, Richard III, Macbeth and The Tempest.

The world of Shakespeare is one of a continual power struggle – the power of the imagination versus real-politik.  The pragmatic versus the creative.  Greed, avarice, war, aggression, slaughter in God’s name.  Richmond in Richard III – God give me strength  to kill as many of my enemies as possible. Macbeth – bathed in reeking wounds, memorizinig another Golgotha.   Bolingbroke’s dying advice to Hal – “Busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels”.  Get out there, son, and deflect the country’s attention away from the problems of unemployment, taxation, homelessness, with a “just” war, trumped up by the Church against the French.  Nearly six hundred years later Thatcher triumphed domestically the same way, the Archbishop blessing the troops at Plymouth as they left for the Falklands.  Richard III, the man who says, “This is what I’m going to do”, and does it.  Hamlet and Claudius, two men caught midway between the thought of action and the act itself. the one starting as man of action, the other finishing.  In the middle, meeting in indeterminate indecision.  Prospero, the man for whom it all happens in his head.  He may conceive of overturning the natural order, reversing the laws of the universe, plan revolutionary systems, humble and humiliate his enemies, but at the end of it all, he will wake up, get up from his café table, pay for his croissant and his coffee and wander off down the street, exactly the same as when he started.

Continue reading

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Tomorrow: Shakespeare and Hegel / Speaker biographies

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.
Yet tomorrow is also the Shakespeare and Hegel symposium!
To go or not to go:
That is the question..
For more information on the speakers
Look below..

Continue reading

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CFP: Karl Marx 200th anniversary – Shakespeare special issue

Call for Papers

For a special issue of Shakespeare: A Journal marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, we are inviting submissions of papers, related to the issue’s central topic of investigating Marx’s impact, in a broad sense, on Shakespeare studies, either by exemplifying it in your own way or by commenting directly on it. Reference to the situation in our contemporary world as part of the overall argument would be welcome as well. We are also looking for papers that investigate Shakespeare’s influence on Karl Marx and the development of his writings.

The proposed length for this is 6000 words, and the journal requires double-blind peer evaluation. We expect a strong issue.

Send abstracts or proposals by May 1, 2017 to and Final versions will be due at the end of summer 2017.

Karl Marx Sketch

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Chantal Schütz & Anne-Marie Miller-Blaise: “Early Modern Chalices and Inkpots: Materializing the Powers of Commixture” (KiSSiT WiP), March 30

Mosaic chalice inwellThe final KiSSiT Work-in-Progress session for this term is entitled “Early Modern Chalices and Inkpots: Materializing the Powers of Commixture” and features Chantal Schütz (École Polytechnique) and Anne-Marie Miller-Blaise (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3). We convene at the Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston on March 30, 2017 starting at 6.30pm. This event is free and open to everyone!

Chantal Schütz : “The smell of the inkhorn”

Since the use of Pen, Ink, and Paper, or Parchment, the Inkhorn hath not been uninvented: and that the first making of them was of Horn, is evident from its name; for let it be for Gallantry, made of Gold, Silver, Pewter, Lead, or Tin; yet it is but an Inkhorn (Randle Holme  Academy of Armory, 1688)

The inkwell (or standish) and its associated implements remind us that early modern writing was seeped in intensely material concerns: the quality of the pen and ink, the reliability of the container, the smell of the inkhorn. That it became an object of beauty to be treasured by its owners is testament to a shift from mostly professional applications to uses that were both more private and more socially diverse.

This paper discusses the use of the term as well as the object in Early Modern texts and visual representations and explores some of its symbolic associations.

Chantal Schütz, associate professor of English at the École Polytechnique, Head of the English and  Deputy-Head of Languages and Communication. Ph.D. supervised by François Laroque, on Thomas Middleton’s A Mad World, my Masters. Bilingual edition of the play published by Garnier in 2013. Financial officer of the French Shakespeare Society. Was a Leverhulme scholar at Reading University seconded to the Globe 1996-2000.

Recent work includes papers on Shakespeare and music; Middleton’s Black Book, A Mad World, my Masters, Microcynicon; Shakespeare and opera; Shakespeare in performance at the Globe.

Anne-Marie Miller-Blaise: “The Cup of Alteration”

In this paper, I look at the material history of chalices and communion cups in early modern England as well as the significance of drinking rituals and the implications of literary appropriations or transformations of the physical object. I explore cups as a privileged site of “commixture” and “alteration,” in a variety of senses. Not only does the changing material aspect of recycled chalices mirror and materialize the broader history of the English Reformation but it also offers an epistemological metaphor that sheds light upon the value and function of early modern poetry and drama.

Anne-Marie Miller-Blaise is Associate Professor of Early Modern English Literature and Cultural History at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3. She has published a monograph on George Herbert’s poetry, Le Verbe fait image (i.e. The Word Made Image, Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle 2010), and has worked extensively on religious poetry. She is completing a book project on “The Objects of the Early Modern Lyric,” which includes a chapter on Shakespeare’s sonnets. She is currently launching a new collaborative project for the Institut Universitaire de France on “Material Europe” in the early modern period that is geared at re-writing the history of the “Republic of Letters” through a “Republic of Things”.

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Richard Wilson on Cardenio at the RSS

The History of Cardenio

Richmond Shakespeare Society at the Mary Wallace Theatre, March 18 2017

Shakespeare and Cervantes both died on April 23 1616, and Borges was not the only other writer to fantasize that the dramatist and novelist were one and the same person… So, the scholar Gary Taylor has had the madcap conceit of reuniting the surviving bits of Shakespeare’s lost play Cardenio with Cervantes’s tale of Don Quixote, from which its plot is lifted. Putting the demented Knight of the Doleful Countenance into the play, as an academic driven bonkers by his theories, makes complete sense of its love-mad hero, and highlights the similarities with the stories of Falstaff, Hotspur, Hamlet and King Lear. In the manic new production by the Richmond Shakespeare Society, directed by Gerald Baker, this beguiling flight of fancy becomes a truly Quixotic extravaganza, where the performers are themselves so touched by their lunatic adventures that Cardenio can be indulged in his frenzy, the Don can be forgiven his delusion, and even Taylor’s scholarly hallucination can be humoured.

Richard Wilson
Sir Peter Hall Professor of Shakespeare Studies
Kingston University

Gerald Baker and Gary Taylor

Gerald Baker and Gary Taylor at the Mary Wallace Theatre. Taken by Richard Wilson at the opening night of The History of Cardenio, a Richmond Shakespeare Society production of Gary Taylor’s reconstruction of the 1612 play by Shakespeare and Fletcher directed by Gerald Baker.

Gerald Baker and the Bard

Gerald Baker pensively looking at the Bard.

The play is on until March 25. For booking see here. See also the KiSS excursion to the play on March 23.


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