Sidelights on Shakespeare
Sidelights on Shakespeare - an Interdisciplinary Seminar Series.
Autumn Term 2014:
Tuesday 11th November, 4pm.
Wolfson Research Exchange, Room 1
Shakespeare On the Road: A Summer exploring the special relationship between the US and Shakespeare.
With Dr Paul Prescott
Coffee and cupcakes to follow.
In the summer of 2014, Dr Paul Prescott led a team that undertook an epic road trip, visiting fourteen Shakespeare festivals across the length and breadth of the US (with one notable Canadian incursion). The team conducted over 150 interviews with North Americans of all backgrounds and from all walks of life who – year in, year out – make Shakespeare happen across the continent.
“We touched down on the 4th July at the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival in Kansas City and ended in Washington DC in early September. In 63 days, we travelled over 10,000 miles (mostly by road) and saw 42 Shakespeare productions: a bluegrass As You Like It in Nashville, a reverse-gender King Lear in LA, a Native American Macbeth in Manhattan, Troilus and Cressida in a sweltering barn in rural Texas, Romeo and Juliet at altitude in Montana. Everywhere we visited we were welcomed warmly.”
In this our first seminar of the year 2014/15, Dr Paul Prescott will outline the Shakespeare On The Road project, which has raised vital and often emotive questions about the politics of race and gender, about community-formation and individual self-fashioning, about national and regional identity in twenty-first-century America. As a piece of oral history, it clearly captures the catalytic, therapeutic and often transformative role that Shakespeare plays in the lives of thousands of Americans. Dr Prescott’s illustrated talk will attempt to explain why the trip was undertaken and what the experience revealed about America’s ‘special relationship’ with Shakespeare.
Paul Prescott is Associate Professor of English at the University of Warwick, a Trustee of the British Shakespeare Association and a teaching associate of the Royal Shakespeare company. He has published widely on theatre history, contemporary performance and creative pedagogy and has recently completed a short biography of Sam Wanamaker, founder of Shakespeare's Globe. His work has appeared in publications including The New Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare, The Blackwell Companion to Shakespeare and Performance and Shakespeare Survey. He is the co-founder of www.yearofshakespeare.com and www.reviewing shakespeare.com
Exchanges, the Warwick University on-line journal:
Volumne 1 (2) of Exchanges featured a themed section dedicated to the research work of Sidelights on Shakespeare and is still available on-line. Follow the link below to find articles by past speakers John Curtis, Cath Alexander and co-organizer, Stephanie Tillotson.
'Sidelights on Shakespeare' has been running for over three years at Warwick University and its roll of excellent speakers is developing into a who's who of contemporary Shakespeare scholarship. Our objective: constantly to search out, and bring to wider attention, innovative and interesting perpectives on all things Shakespeare.
'Sidelights on Shakespeare' exists to embrace the plurality of Shakespeare(s), both historical and contemporary. Each year our aim is to offer unusual and thought-provoking approaches, presented by scholars working in a diverse range of faculties, disciplines and theoretical fields. Through sideways explorations of the ways in which aspects of Shakespeare are interpreted, packaged, enlisted and attacked, the series identifies what it is that continues to make Shakespeare culturally so important.
If you are interested in helping organize the future of Sidelights on Shakespeare, we would be delighted to hear from you.Contact:
S dot A dot Tillotson at warwick dot ac dot ukThomasin Bailey:
Thomasin dot Bailey at warwick dot ac dot uk