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BSA Bulletin for July and August 2017


CALL FOR PAPERS: British Shakespeare Association annual conference: Shakespeare Studies Today, Queen’s University Belfast, 14-17 June 2018

Shakespeare Studies is one of the most rich and dynamic areas of interdisciplinary enquiry. It embraces historical explorations of Shakespeare’s canon, ranges across four hundred years of world theatre and performance history, and is continually renewed by Shakespeare’s iconic status in contemporary culture, film and media. Shakespeare draws together academics, teachers, theatre professionals, practitioners, readers and enthusiasts. At the same time, Shakespeare is a global commodity, reinvented in every culture and nation, meaning that his work prompts world-wide conversation. Following on from the 2016 celebrations, the 2018 BSA conference offers an opportunity for academics, practitioners enthusiasts and teachers (primary, secondary and sixth- form teachers and college lecturers) to reflect upon Shakespeare Studies today. Plenary Speakers include: Prof. Pascale Aebischer (University of Exeter), Prof. Clara Calvo (University of Murcia), Prof. Richard Dutton (Queen’s University Belfast), Prof. Courtney Lehmann (University of the Pacific) and Prof. Ayanna Thompson (George Washington University). UK Premieres include: Veeram (dir. Jayaraj, 2016), a South Indian film adaptation of Macbeth, and Hermia and Helena (dir. Matías Piñeiro, 2016), an Argentine adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. BSA 2018 also includes: Q+As with theatre director Andrea Montgomery (The Belfast Tempest, 2016) and film directors Jayaraj and Matías Piñeiro.

There are four ways to participate in BSA 2018:

  1. Submit an abstract for a 20-minute paper. Abstracts (100 words) and a short biography to be submitted by 1 October 2017 to
  2. Submit a proposal for a panel session consisting of three 20-minute papers. Abstracts for all three papers (100 words each), a rationale for the panel (100 words) and short speaker biographies to be submitted by 1 October 2017 to
  3. Submit a proposal for a performance / practice or education workshop or a teachers’ INSET session. For a workshop, submit a summary proposal outlining aims and activities and a biographical statement. For an INSET session (either a one-hour event or a twenty-minute slot), submit a summary proposal and biographical statement. All proposals to be submitted by 1 October 2017 to
  4. Submit an abstract to join a seminar. The seminar format involves circulating a short paper in advance of the conference and then meeting to discuss all of the papers in Belfast. Abstracts (100 words), a short biography and a statement of your seminar of preference to be submitted by 1 October 2017 to

For full details of the available seminars and all other information, please visit this link: http ://www . britishshakespeare . ws/bsa-news/call-for-papers-2018-bsa-conference/

BSA election of new Trustees

As several Trustees are now approaching the end of their terms of service, the Board of Trustees of the British Shakespeare Association wishes to appoint new Trustees to take up positions on the Board in September 2017. Nominations have been received and an election is now in progress. All current members of the BSA are entitled to vote. Details on how to do this will be circulated to current members today. The ballot will close on 31st August.

Nominations open for our Honorary Fellowships for 2018

This year, 2017, the BSA Honorary Fellowships are to be given to Sarah Stanton—formerly Publisher of Shakespeare and Early Modern Literature Studies at Cambridge University Press—and to the actor Adrian Lester. The BSA’s Fellowship Committee would like to invite all current Members of the BSA to offer nominations for next year’s award. The choice for nomination should fulfil the following criterion: ‘The title of ‘Honorary Fellow of the British Shakespeare Association’ should be reserved for those who, at whatever level, have made, or are making, over a significant period of time, a major contribution to the field of Shakespeare activities, whether it be in Scholarship, Education more generally, or in the Performance of the plays.’ All nominations, from whichever area or constituency, require the names of two nominators (a Proposer and a Seconder) and a formal written proposal, stating the case for nomination. This text should be at least 250 words in length. The closing date for nominations is 1st September 2017. Full information on how to submit nominations are available here: http ://www . britishshakespeare . ws/bsa-news/nominations-open-for-our-2018-fellowships/

Annual conferences for 2018, 2019, and 2020

The institutions that will host our three upcoming annual conferences and their titles are as follows. The BSA Annual Conference of 2018 will take place at Queen’s University Belfast on 14-17 June under the title Shakespeare Studies Today. Swansea University will host the conference in 2019 with the title Shakespeare: Race and Nation, while in 2020 it will take place at the University of Surrey and the theme will be Shakespeare in Action. We would like to thank all three institutions for the hard work they have invested in their applications, and we look forward to visiting Belfast, Swansea, and Surrey in due course. The Belfast and Swansea BSA conferences will be the first to take place in Northern Ireland and in Wales, respectively, which is enormously exciting, as the BSA would have visited all four constituent nations of the United Kingdom by the end of 2019.

BSA funding available for conference, events, and other activities

The BSA is able to award small amounts of money to Shakespeare-related education events, academic conferences and other activities taking place in the UK. For more information or to apply for funding, please email the Chair of the Events Committee, Susan Anderson ( or the Chair of the Education Committee, Sarah Olive (

LAST DAY: £10 Amazon voucher offered in return for your participation in a study of Teaching Shakespeare’s impact

We are currently carrying out an evaluation of the impact of Teaching Shakespeare, the British Shakespeare Association magazine, which aims to provide support for Shakespeare educators across sectors. This evaluation is being carried out by the editor and founder of the magazine Dr Sarah Olive and research assistant at the University of York, Dr Chelsea Swift. The British Shakespeare Association are also a named project partner. The aim of this evaluation is to evidence the impact of the magazine on its non-academic readership (and those who hold roles in other sectors as well as academia). This is with a view to gaining a better understanding of how it is read and used by practitioners, and how its relevance to educators and usefulness for practitioners might be strengthened. We are interested in how and why you read the magazine and whether and how the magazine has influenced or changed your thinking about, attitudes towards and practices when teaching Shakespeare.

As a ‘thank you’ for participating in a short telephone or Skype interview with a researcher, each interviewee will receive a £10 Amazon voucher. If you are willing and able to participate, would like further information or have any further questions, please contact Dr Chelsea Swift ( today, July 24th, giving your name and the address to which you would like your Amazon voucher posted. We will ensure you receive it ASAP.

Your participation would be much appreciated, we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Dr Sarah Olive and Dr Chelsea Swift


 Teachers’ Conference: Shakespeare and Creativity, The Shakespeare Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 3-5 August 2017 POSTPONED

Please note that the first Teachers’ Conference organised by the BSA and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has now been postponed until further notice. We will keep members informed of future updates.


The new film of Macbeth, directed by Kit Monkman (2017), reviewed by Alison Findlay and Ramona Wray

Our Chair, Professor Alison Findlay, and our trustee Dr Ramona Wray review Kit Monkman’s new film of Macbethhttp ://www . britishshakespeare . ws/bsa-news/a-review-of-macbeth-dir-kit-monkman-2017/

Report from the Living and Dying Well in the Early Modern World Conference,  University of Exeter, 15-16 June 2017

The BSA is proud to have sponsored the Living and Dying Well in the Early Modern World conference at the University of Exeter on 15th and 16th June 2017. The following report is by Bailey Sincox, a PhD student at Harvard University: http ://www . britishshakespeare . ws/bsa-news/report-from-the-living-and-dying-well-in-the-early-modern-world-conference/

Reports from the Offensive Shakespeare Conference, Northumbria University, 23-24 May 2017

The BSA is proud to have sponsored the Offensive Shakespeare Conference at Northumbria University on 23rd and 24th May 2017. Our website includes reports written by those who received BSA bursaries for the event: John Rowell and Shauna O’Brien. They are available here: http ://www . britishshakespeare . ws/bsa-news/reports-from-the-offensive-shakespeare-conference/

New Editors for the Education Network Blog

As of February 2017, following on from the excellent work of Dr Sarah Olive, our Education Network blog will be jointly edited by the BSA’s two Teaching Trustees: Chris Green and Karen Eckersall. Chris and Karen will welcome any contributions to the education network blog. You can contact them with articles, ideas or questions at the following email addresses: Chris Green – Karen Eckersall – More information on: http ://www . britishshakespeare . ws/bsa-news/new-editors-of-the-education-network-blog/ 


Teaching Shakespeare 12 is out!

We are pleased to announce that the twelfth issue of Teaching Shakespeare and the first ever summer issue of the magazine, with articles on Shakespeare in Hanoi, on Shakespeare and autistic students, on young offenders and Othello, and on digitized promptbooks, is now available for free download. You can download your free copy here: http ://www  .  britishshakespeare  .  ws/bsa-news/teaching-shakespeare-12-is-out/


We are pleased to advertise news and activities by our members and other Shakespeare associations. If you would like to advertise a Shakespeare-related activity, please email our Membership Officer, José A. Pérez Díez, at Items below are not affiliated with or endorsed by the BSA – please use individual contact details for more information.

The Story of the Shakespeare Club of Stratford-upon-Avon 1824-2016, Susan Brock and Sylvia Morris, available now.

In their new book, The Story of the Shakespeare Club of Stratford-upon-Avon 1824-2016, Susan Brock and Sylvia Morris answer the question “How did it come about that a small market town in the centre of England became the focus of the worldwide worship of Shakespeare?”  After all, London’s claims were much stronger being the place where he became famous and spent the most productive years of his life. The story of the part played by the Shakespeare Club of Stratford-upon-Avon, set up nearly 200 years ago by ordinary townsfolk and still in existence today, is told in this alternative history of the town. The Club was responsible for organising the first local festivities for Shakespeare’s Birthday on 23 April in 1827, 1830 and 1833. It played an important part in saving Shakespeare’ s Birthplace and setting up the Birthplace Trust. It worked towards the preservation of the Shakespeare monuments and the graves in Holy Trinity Church and it played a huge part in setting up the theatres in Stratford so that Shakespeare’s plays have a permanent home for their performance outside London. The fully-illustrated book is based on documentary evidence provided by the rich archives of the Club dating back to its foundation in 1824 and the archives of Stratford-upon-Avon which are preserved in the collections of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Published by the Shakespeare Club of Stratford-upon-Avon, copies (£12.99) are available direct from www  .  stratfordshakespeareclub  .  org or write to

King Lear (alone), one-man play with inamoment theatre.

After its highly acclaimed full outing last year, inamoment theatre’s one-man play King Lear (alone) is this month appearing at the Buxton Fringe Festival (13,14 & 15) and the Bristol Shakespeare Festival (27,28 & 29). Full details can be found at www . kinglearalone . uk. Using mostly Shakespeare’s words, it’s an astonishing piece of immersive theatre retelling the events that led to Lear’s tragedy. “I left the theatre feeling like I’d been exposed to a flawed individual at their most honest . . . ” “King Lear (Alone) is a gripping production and the formidable performance given by Bob Young makes it compelling viewing.”  “Bob Young in the title role, is a powerful performer. His tormented character takes shape thanks to his profound voice, whilst his presence on stage appears carefully studied….. In Bob Young’s poignant (portrayal), the play is quite intense.”

Hamlet’s Bastard by Mick Foster

This new novel developed from a well-received production of the play by Chelmsford Theatre Workshop. The CTW production took the view that the Prince and his father are selfish and rather callous characters, something that audiences overlook because of the glamour cast by the glorious language. We emphasised the cruelty of the Prince, and gave a relatively sympathetic portrayal of Claudius. The novel develops these ideas. It tells the story from the viewpoint of a bastard son of the young Prince, who interviews the survivors and uncovers a different perspective on what happened and why. The bastard son also finds himself embroiled in court politics under the Norwegian King Fortinbras. The  way he deals with the danger of being the only surviving member of the Danish royal family provides a contrast to his father’s tragic story. The novel is available at http ://www . amazon . com/author/mickfoster.

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