World Shakespeare Congress 2016 - registration now open

Shakespeare Institute

Registration is now open for the World Shakespeare Congress 2016, taking place between Sunday 31 July and Saturday 6 August 2016 in Stratford-upon-Avon and London.

400 years after the playwright’s death, the Congress - with the overarching theme of ‘Creating and Recreating Shakespeare’ - will celebrate Shakespeare’s memory and the global cultural legacy of his works in each of the two places which mattered most in his life and career.  

For the first time, a World Shakespeare Congress will encompass both the town where Shakespeare was born, where he kept his family home and where he died, and the city in which his literary and theatrical career flourished.

The event is co-hosted in Stratford by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute, and then in London by Shakespeare’s Globe and the London Shakespeare Centre, King’s College London – all of them brought together by the International Shakespeare Association.

Dual locations

Stratford will be the location for the first half of the Congress, with plenaries situated in and around the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and panels, seminars and workshops taking place at the Shakespeare Centre, at the King Edward VI Grammar School, and at the Shakespeare Institute. The whole Congress moves to London for the latter half of the week, with a reception at the British Library and then plenaries, seminars and workshops at Shakespeare's Globe and King’s College London.  

Plenaries will feature leading writers, theatre practitioners and critics, and in both locations the 2016 Congress will offer unequalled opportunities to engage with the current state of play in Shakespearean criticism, pedagogy, theatre history and performance studies, and to connect with up to 1,000 Shakespeareans from across the globe.

Cultural opportunities

Theatrical and other cultural opportunities at this Congress will be unparalleled. In Stratford, delegates will have privileged access to three RSC stages and to the five Shakespeare family homes cared for by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust; in London, to both the Globe Theatre and Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe, as well as to the exciting range of performances, concerts and exhibitions that will form ‘Shakespeare400′, a London season for the quatercentenary year.

Professor Michael DobsonProfessor Michael Dobson, Director of the Shakespeare Institute ‘The World Shakespeare Congress is something like a Shakespearean Olympics. It is true that it is designed to promote the worldwide exchange of ideas about the extraordinary historical and global phenomenon that is Shakespeare rather than simple competition, but in 2016 we can certainly guarantee a line-up of the world’s finest Shakespearean scholars, critics, actors and directors at the very top of their game. There could not be a better way of marking and of contemplating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death than coming to the Congress.’

Confirmed panel, seminar and workshop titles include:

  • Recreating Shakespeare on the Latin American screen
  • Shakespeare and Darwin
  • Shakespeare and the costume archives
  • Socialist Shakespeares: theory, practice and politics
  • 'If I were a man': single sexing Shakespeare then and now
  • Shakespeare on television
  • Reconsidering the construction of Italy in Shakespeare and his contemporaries
  • Shakespeares tattered and re-imagined in manga/comics, animation and world cinema
  • Shakespeare's religious languages

For more information and to register for the World Shakespeare Congress 2016, please visit www.wsc2016.info