SEM 24 Novembre 2017- Michael Dobson – Canonicity and the Economy of Touring in Coventry and Prescot

Vendredi 24 novembre, de 17 h 30 à 19 h 30 dans la salle 33 de l’Institut du Monde Anglophone (5 rue de l’école de médecine), en partenariat avec le Paris Early Modern Seminar (PEMS)

Michael Dobson (Shakespeare Institute/ University of Birmingham) sur “Canonicity and the economy of touring in Coventry and Prescot” (discutantes: Anne-Marie Costantini-Cornède, Chantal Schütz, Aurélie Lentsch-Griffin).

Abstract: In a divided England still flirting with the idea of regional devolution, two major arts projects have recently revived interest in the question of whether the flowering of Elizabethan drama should be considered as a metropolitan or as a nationwide phenomenon. In Coventry, only 20 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon, campaigners to have the city designated as UK City of Culture 2021 have pointed to its Renaissance past as a venue for mystery plays and as a destination for travelling players, seeking to invoke Shakespeare in both connections. Meanwhile in Prescot on Merseyside campaigners are raising money to establish a replica early modern theatre to be called ‘Shakespeare North,’ on the basis of Elizabethan and Jacobean documents referring to a ‘play house’ in a town which is situated very near Knowsley Hall, one home of the known theatrical patron Lord Strange. Michael Dobson has been called upon to examine the original evidence in both cases; currently working on a monograph about the role of the Shakespeare canon in the development of national theatres worldwide, he here considers the cases of Coventry and of Prescot and the light they do and don’t shed on the question of the geographical reach and national bearings of Shakespearean drama.

About Michael Dobson: Michael Dobson is Director of The Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon and Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Birmingham. He has previously held posts at Oxford, Harvard, the University of Illinois and the University of London, and visiting appointments and fellowships at UCLA, Peking University, and the University of Lund. His publications include The Making of the National Poet (1992), England’s Elizabeth (with Nicola Watson, 2002), The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (with Stanley Wells and others, 2001, 2008, 2015), Performing Shakespeare’s Tragedies Today (2006), and Shakespeare and Amateur Performance (2011).

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