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Nominations Open for our 2018 Fellowships

An Invitation from the Chair of the BSA Fellowship Committee, Andrew Jarvis

The British Shakespeare Association endows two Honorary Fellowships each year. This year, 2017, the 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 Fellowships will be endowed at a special Fellowship Event on Saturday November 4th 2017 – commencing at 3.30 pm. The Event will follow the British Shakespeare Association AGM earlier in the day, at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-Upon-Avon. The BSA now needs to be thinking about who the recipients will be for 2018.

I 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.

It is certainly permitted for Members to take soundings individually within the wider field of Shakespeare activities, but it must be on the understanding that enquiries will need to be tactfully made, that information should remain strictly confidential, and that no candidate should be approached individually.

All nominations, from whichever area or constituency, require:

  • The names of two nominators: a Proposer and a Seconder
  • formal written proposal, stating the case for nomination. This text should be at least 250 words in length.

Once all nominations have been received, the Fellowship Committee will then make a decision – via discussion and a voting process – on who the two candidates shall be. Those two names will then be presented and recommended to a meeting of the full Board of Trustees – a process which then requires the Board’s ratification.

Previous recipients of the Fellowships over the past few years have been: Cicely Berry, John Joughin, Reginald Foakes, Terence Hawkes, John Russell Brown, Janet Suzman and Chris Grace. As you will know, last year (2016), the two Fellowships were endowed on Emeritus Professor Ann Thompson and Emeritus Director of the RSC John Barton.

I really would welcome as many names as possible please, covering all the constituencies of the BSA. It would be both ideal and wonderful to hear from every single individual member of the BSA and Board with a nomination.

The Nominee does not need to be “well-known”. Celebrity is not a necessary criterion – indeed, in some cases, it can be positively unhelpful. Significant achievement is the key. Last year, for example, the Committee received a nomination for a secondary-school teacher who had clearly been a lifetime inspiration to many hundreds of his students. A wonderful choice for nomination – and exactly what we are talking about: someone who has exhibited a lifetime of achievement in the celebration and forwarding of Shakespearean thinking.

The closing date for Nominations is September 1st 2017.

Please send all nominations to the Chair of the Fellowship Committee – Andrew Jarvis – via e-mail to:

With many thanks, in anticipation, to you all


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