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Terence Hawkes

Terence Hawkes, who was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the BSA in November 2013, sadly passed away in January 2014. Terence’s death is a great loss to the field, and the Board of Trustees extends its deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

Terence Hawkes was a Shakespeare scholar of international renown who has contributed to the study of Shakespeare through a series of important books and essays.  He also made a major contribution to the development of the discipline of English Studies through his general editorship of, and contribution to, the Routledge New Accents Series, the influential series New Accents on Shakespeare, and his founding editorship of the journal Textual Practice.  His first book was an edition of the writings of Coleridge on Shakespeare (1959), followed in 1964 by a scholarly monograph Shakespeare and The Reason. His book Shakespeare’s Talking Animals was a pioneering study of the orality of Shakespeare’s theatre, and it anticipated later developments in Literary Presentism that he developed and brought to fruition in That Shakespeherian Rag (1986), Meaning by Shakespeare (1992), and Shakespeare in The Present (2002). Following his overseeing of Alternative Shakespeares edited by John Drakakis, he edited Alternative Shakespeares 2 himself in the New Accents Series (1996), he encouraged Alternative Shakespeares 3 edited by Diane Henderson, and with Hugh Grady, he jointly edited Presentist Shakespeares (2007).

For many years Terence Hawkes was a professor of English at the University of Cardiff, where he was responsible for encouraging major developments in Literary Theory following the publication in 1977 of his book Structuralism and Semiotics, one of the founding volumes in the revolutionary New Accents Series. He was also the European editor for the journal Language and Style. He was instrumental in helping to set up the British Shakespeare Association and took great pride in the fact that as a native of Birmingham and as a university professor in Cardiff he was was both central and marginal with regard to the study of Shakespeare. Through his series, his contribution of articles and chapters to many publications, his reviews, and the many witty contributions to the SHAKSPER network, he encouraged positively and generously many young scholars who have gone on to make reputations for themselves within the discipline of English Studies.  His recent death will deprive Literary Studies in general and Shakespeare Studies in particular, of a unique, distinctive, and challenging voice, and although his illness prevented him from attending the occasion of the investiture of his Honorary Fellowship in November 2013 in Stratford-upon-Avon, he heard and very much enjoyed the recordings of the proceedings that were sent to him.

– John Drakakis, Chair of the Fellowships Committee

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