When the University of Birmingham was built in 1900 a statue of Shakespeare was given pride of place in central position above its main door, and the great civic university of Shakespeare’s home region has remained pre-eminent in Shakespeare studies ever since.
Both at its world-renowned Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon (established in 1951) and on its main Edgbaston campus, the university fosters a range of Shakespearean expertise and activities, from conversations with Royal Shakespeare Company directors and actors to inaugural lectures by Shakespeare Institute professors to international postgraduate conferences to undergraduate lectures. Below are a selection of those which have been committed to video over the last seven years.
In one of the Shakespeare Institute’s famous weekly Thursday seminars in February 2020, Professor Ewan Fernie reclaims the utopian vision by which the almost-forgotten George Dawson inspired Victorian Birmingham to give Shakespeare to the people.
At a Shakespeare Institute Thursday seminar held in one of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s rehearsal rooms at The Other Place in February 2020, the veteran Shakespearean actor David Troughton reflects on his long and distinguished career with the RSC and the changes in the cultural and technological landscape it has spanned.
In a compelling undergraduate lecture delivered in January 2020, Professor John Holmes looks at the significances of the Shakespeare canon for the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
In a Shakespeare Institute Thursday seminar held in the RSC’s Other Place studio theatre in November 2018, Professor Michael Dobson, Director of the Shakespeare Institute, reflects on the practice of performing Shakespeare’s comedies in realistic stage settings, often depicting periods other than Shakespeare’s own. Why does it work so much better for some comedies than for others?
At a Shakespeare Institute Thursday seminar in March 2017, Dr Abigail Rokison-Woodall considers the relations between performance and print in the long history of republishing Hamlet, and explains the rationale underlying her own actor-friendly edition of the play for the Arden Performance Editions of Shakespeare series.
At the RSC’s Other Place studio theatre, Professor Sir Stanley Wells, CBE, former PhD student, Fellow and Director of the Shakespeare Institute and our greatest living Shakespearean scholar, considers how much we can deduce about Shakespeare’s own personality from his own writings and from the evidence left by his contemporaries.
In a short presentation to the 2014 British Graduate Shakespeare Conference, an international event organised annually by Shakespeare Institute research students, Institute student Christopher Gleason considers what it means to play King Lear.
In a short presentation to the 2014 British Graduate Shakespeare Conference, an international event organized annually by Shakespeare Institute research students, Institute student Kate Alexander considers the musical dimensions of the role of Lady Macbeth.
In his inaugural lecture, delivered in January 2014, Professor Ewan Fernie considers the freedom-loving energies of Shakespearean drama and some of the ways in which they have been harnessed in social life.
In his inaugural lecture, delivered in October 2014, Professor Michael Dobson, Director of the Shakespeare Institute, looks at three different models for the establishment of national theatre institutions and the ways in which Shakespeare has been enlisted across all three.
On the occasion of his installation as an Honorary Senior Research Fellow of the Shakespeare Institute in January 2013, Greg Doran, the Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, reflects on his distinguished career as a director and his vision for the RSC.
On the occasion of his installation as an Honorary Senior Research Fellow of the Shakespeare Institute, the distinguished RSC and National Theatre actor Simon (now Sir Simon) Russell Beale talks about his outstanding career as a Shakespearean performer and his role as one of the general editors of the Arden Performance Editions of Shakespeare series.