Research at the Shakespeare Institute

Research is at the heart of the life of the Shakespeare Institute and informs all our activities. 

The Shakespeare Institute library

The academic staff and research fellows are actively engaged in research on all aspects of Renaissance Drama, on the afterlife of Shakespeare in performance, on the culture of Renaissance England and on the impact of Shakespeare on modern culture.

Our research is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and by funding from the University of Birmingham.

Our postgraduate students’ research is similarly wide ranging, exploring such topics as the repertory of Renaissance theatre companies, the staging of Shakespeare’s plays, editions of Renaissance plays and key themes in early-modern theatrical culture.

The Shakespeare Institute Review is a journal run by postgraduate students at the Shakespeare Institute. It was founded to provide a platform for postgraduate students and early career researchers to share their research in Shakespeare and Early Modern Studies. It welcomes submissions from students and ECRs around the world.

The Institute’s research culture is supported by the weekly seminars for all research students, a comprehensive programme of research skills training, playreadings and bookclubs and the ‘Thursday seminars’ that welcome international scholars who share their research with staff and students. A number of international scholars also visit the Shakespeare Institute to work in the library and to attend our open seminars  and we host national and international conferences.

The students organise an annual conference, Britgrad, where students from the UK and overseas present their research.

All this work is ably supported by the staff of our outstanding library whose collections include some major theatre archives, a comprehensive collection of Shakespeare on film and access to all of the electronic and microfilm resources required for the study of the works, times and impact of Shakespeare.

Being based in the heart of shakespeare's Stratford upon Avon, with well established links with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust allows access to further collections and archives unavailable elsewhere.

Current and recent staff research projects

Research seminars

During the Autumn and Spring terms, the Institute runs a series of Thursday seminars which are given by members of staff and invited speakers. Some examples of these are shown below.

Thursday seminar video playlist
Shakespearean Comedy and the Curse
of Realism
Professor Michael Dobson
An interview with Simon Russell Beale
What manner of man was he?
Professor Sir Stanley Wells
Editing Hamlet for performance
Dr Abigail Rokison-Woodall