The Shakespeare Institute
Shakespeare is a significant and integral player in the UK’s history. His works are some of the most widely known across the world and, 400 years after his death, are still studied by every school child in the country. Most of us can recite one or two lines of Shakespeare, but deeper study into Shakespeare’s personality, his works, and his historical context is less widely spread.
It is important that we understand and protect our heritage. Shakespeare is not only a huge part of the nation’s past - he has influenced authors and playwrights across the decades and helped to form the language that we use to this day. There remains a huge level of interest in his works amongst academics and the public.
The University's Shakespeare Institute is an internationally-renowned centre of excellence for the study of Shakespeare. Boasting honorary fellows such as Sir Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judy Dench, the Institute is ideally situated in Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon – enabling Birmingham to build a strong network of partners including the RSC and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. It is this collaborative approach that contributes towards the richness of opportunities for scholarship and research within the Institute.
During the 400th anniversary celebrations in 2016, the Shakespeare Institute will host the World Shakespeare Congress. More than 1,000 experts, scholars, enthusiasts and students from across the globe will meet in Stratford for the Congress, which is the most prestigious Shakespeare event in the world.
Support rising academic stars
Ongoing funding restraints, particularly in the Arts and Humanities, combined with rising undergraduate debt, means that access to postgraduate study is becoming an increasingly difficult financial burden for many students.
The University is committed to attracting and supporting the very best students regardless of their personal funding circumstances or social background. We are seeking partners to help us nurture the next generation of Shakespearean scholars and professionals. By funding scholarships to enable exceptional and highly talented students to undertake the Institute's PhD and MA programmes, we are building a vibrant community of scholars of international repute.
Engage international schoolchildren
Our pioneering MA in Shakespeare and Education places the University at the forefront of new approaches to the teaching and engagement of young people in the wonders of Shakespeare. This summer we are excited to be offering summer courses for teachers from school in disadvantaged areas in the twinned cities of Birmingham and Chicago. The programme is being developed in partnership with the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, equipping teachers with ideas and techniques for engaging their pupils in Shakespeare's work.
Develop research access for scholars
Visitors to the Shakespeare Institute Library have access to an unrivalled and unique collection of rich material, particularly within Special Collections. Research into the array of content is hindered by the fact it is difficult to easily navigate through all the items. A systematic cataloguing of all the material is vital to aid researchers in their work.
Digitising the collection would also be of great help to researchers and make the library available to all across the globe. We are currently creating a digital Shakespeare theatre archive, which will make the annotated working scripts of every Royal Shakespeare Company production, complete with designs and stage notes, available online, and contributed to a new digital interactive map at the Library of Birmingham.
How you can help
Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or make a donation today at www.bhamalumni.org/givenow.