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2023 BSA Honorary Fellow: Farah Karim-Cooper

We are very pleased to announce that Professor Farah Karim-Cooper is our 2023 Honorary Fellow. Farah is Professor of Shakespeare Studies at King’s College London and Head of Higher Education & Research at Shakespeare’s Globe London.

Farah has made – and continues to make – sustained and meaningful contributions to the field of Shakespeare studies, not only through ground-breaking scholarship and public-facing writing, but also through her consultation work on the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and the education and public outreach programmes at the Shakespeare’s Globe London.

Her pioneering work, activism, and leadership in anti-racist Shakespeare are exemplary, reaching world-wide online audiences. Throughout her career, Farah has also pursued an active commitment to making her fields of study more equitable and inclusive, including coordination of events that have focused on issues of race in scholarship and performance – events that have opened up a range of incisive, candid conversations between scholars and practitioners alike, and which are helping to reshape the field.

She created and currently serves on the steering committee of the first ever Early Modern Scholars of Colour network in the UK. This anti-racist collective aims to address the challenges faced by scholars of colour, while working to nurture and enable students, Early Career Researchers and academics of colour to develop academic and pedagogic networks; find and create intellectual spaces that are inclusive and progressive; and enable inclusive practices in the discipline through mentoring. These examples of Farah’s service encapsulate her tireless commitment for building scholarly communities, and opening up Shakespeare studies to scholars whose voices have for too long been marginalised or excluded from the conversation.

Image credit: Sarah Lee.

Announcement: BSA Annual General Meeting and Awards Ceremony, 19th November, 4:00-6:30pm (online)

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the British Shakespeare Association will take place at 4:00pm on Saturday 19th November and will be followed by the BSA’s Awards Ceremony at 5:00pm. BSA members are invited to register for the event via the form in their ‘Member’s Dashboard’ (accessible by logging in to your BSA account and clicking on the ‘AGM registration’ button’.

Honorary Fellows Awards

The British Shakespeare Association is delighted to announce that our Honorary Fellows for 2022 are Gregory Doran and Professor Emerita Lois Potter.  

It would not be an exaggeration to call Gregory Doran a giant of Shakespeare performance. The Artistic Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company since 2012, he has continually evolved the theatre through innovative staging, including his trailblazing production of The Tempest. His work has been nominated for many awards, including an Emmy and BAFTA award for his 2009 TV movie of Hamlet, which brought an exceptional performance to households all over Britain.

Lois Potter, meanwhile, over a career spanning six decades and three continents, has been a lodestar in the study of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Her books on Twelfth Night and Othello serve as true models of performance-oriented criticism, but it is likely for her majestic critical biography, The Life of William Shakespeare, that she is best known, a book which showcases the very best of Potter’s absorbing, accessible, and rigorous scholarship.

Innovation Award

We are also pleased to share that we have instituted a brand new award, the Innovation Award. The BSA Innovation Award will be awarded annually to an individual or organisation involved in Shakespearean studies, performance, and/or the cultural and creative industries. The winner will have substantially innovated our engagement with and appreciation of the dramatist and his works. And we are delighted to share that our inaugural winner is Creation Theatre.

From the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, their executive director, Lucy Askew, has led Creation through an innovative transformation from site-specific performance to digital performance. Their interactive production of Romeo and Juliet was a notable triumph in this form, as it took place in an expansive digital universe and positioned the audience into an active relationship with the ‘onstage’ action. Creation Theatre’s innovative approaches and development of digital theatre techniques made possible new and exciting ways of producing and experiencing theatre online.

All our winners will be honoured at a virtual ceremony that begins at 5:00pm following our online AGM on 19th November, 2022.

Attendance at ‘Readings of Shakespeare with Honorary Fellows’ Free for BSA Members (5th and 6th March, Stratford-Upon-Avon)

The BSA has contributed to sponsorship of a community-based reading of Shakespeare’s complete works from in the ballroom of the Town Hall, Stratford-upon-Avon.

The event, ‘Shakespeare’s Coming Home’ which runs from 1st to 12th March 2022 is to raise money to restore the statue of Shakespeare given by David Garrick in 1769. A full programme for all the days of the event and information about participation for non-BSA members can be found here.

Our sponsorship entitles each member of the BSA to attend as audience or readers on 5th to 6th March 2022, led by BSA Honorary Fellows

Dame Harriet Walter.and Dame Janet Suzman. Please see the details below.

Each BSA member is also entitled to bring a guest. To attend, simply send your name (and that of your guest if appropriate) and your contact details to the organiser, Paul Edmondson by email

If you wish to participate as a reader please indicate to Paul which play readings(s) you would like to participate in as a general reader.

Further Details Programme for Weekend of Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th March from 11.30am to 11.00pm:

Saturday 5 March

11.00am to 2.00pm King John. Led by The Stratford Society.

3.00pm to 6.00pm As You Like It. Led by Dame Harriet Walter as Rosalind and Guy Paul as Orlando.

7.30pm to 11.00pm Measure for Measure. Led by The Reading Early Modern Plays group.

Sunday 6 March

11.00pm to 2.00pm Timon of Athens

2.30pm to 6.00pm Antony and Cleopatra. Led by Dame Janet Suzman as Cleopatra. John Heffernan as Caesar. Andrew French as Antony.

7.00-11.00 pm Coriolanus

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