Looking at Shakespeare from the non-Anglophone World

The Shakespeare Institute
Thursday 2 February 2023 (15:00-16:30)

Looking at Shakespeare from the non-Anglophone World

A JSPS-funded event featuring academics from Waseda University, Japan, who will be speaking about Shakespeare in translation and adaptation outside of the anglophone world.

The main event will start at 15:00, featuring a paper by Dr Rieko Ishibuchi of the Tsubouchi Shoyo Memorial Theatre Museum in Tokyo, and Professor Norimasa Morita, a film specialist from Waseda University, who will be speaking about Italian Shakespeare adaptations. 

Further details

The Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham, which dedicates itself to Shakespeare and Renaissance literature research and postgraduate education, and Waseda University’s Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum and Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences, have been close research partners since 2016 when the two universities signed a strategic research partnership agreement. As part of this partnership, both institutions have hosted regular conferences, workshops and symposia, published jointly, and exchanged postgraduate students and researchers. 

The inaugural event was the public lecture in 2016 by Professor Michael Dobson, the Director of the Shakespeare Institute in 2016 about the history of stage adaptations of Shakespeare’s Roman plays. In January 2017, Waseda hosted a large international conference on cinematic adaptations of Shakespeare called ‘Shakespeare, Film, East, West’ and in the same year the University of Birmingham and Waseda University jointly organised a symposium on the adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth by the internationally acclaimed Yukio Ninagawa at the Japanese Embassy in London, marking the occasion of the restaging of Ninagawa Macbeth at the Barbican Theatre, 30 years after its sensational first performance in London in 1987. In 2018, Waseda hosted a major symposium, ‘Adopting Shakespeare for the Stage Today’, involving Royal Shakespeare Company director Angus Jackson, the actress and artistic director of Flute Theatre Kelly Hunter, Professors Tiffany Stern and Michael Dobson of the Shakespeare Institute, the Kabuki studies specialist Ryuichi Kodama, and the Kyogen actor Nomura Mansai. These events led to the publication of Re-imagining Shakespeare in Contemporary Japan (Bloomsbury, 2021). 

Our last joint event before the pandemic was a seminar on novelizations of Shakespeare in Japan and the Anglophone world, held as part of the Shakespeare Institute’s Thursday Seminars in March 2020. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the research interaction and collaboration in person had to be suspended, but we rekindled this collaboration after a hiatus of two years with a large-scale international conference at Waseda University in September 2022 on Shakespeare’s drama and its translatability and untranslatability, supported by the Global Japanese Studies Model Unit of the Waseda University Top Global University Project and the Waseda University Cultural Affairs Division. 

In a field understandably focused on Shakespeare in the English language, the aim of this event, ‘Looking at Shakespeare from the Non-Anglophone World’, is to challenge the dominant paradigm to discover what about Shakespeare can only be revealed from an outside perspective. The symposium will consist of two main speakers giving formal papers on the subject, and a roundtable and presentation by PhD students from both institutions for a truly inter-cultural dialogue.


  • 10:45-11:45 Roundtable Intellectual Exchange event with Shakespeare Institute PhD students and Early career researchers. including papers by Mr Kenta Kato, and Miss Ayana Yabuuchi of Waseda University
  • 12:15-13:45: Postgraduate Research Seminar (private event)
  • 13:45-15:00 Lunch (not provided)
  • 15:00-16:30 Main event:
  • 15:00 Announcements
  • 15:05 Introduction by JSPS
  • 15:15 Introduction by Professor Michael Dobson, Director of Shakespeare Institute
  • 15:20 Short talk by Dr Jessica Chiba, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Shakespeare Institute
  • 15:25 Paper by Rieko Ishibuchi, early career researcher, Waseda University
  • 15:45 Paper by Professor Norimasa Morita
  • 16:10 Q&A
  • 16:30-17:30 Drinks reception

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