2017 Committee

Co – Chairs:  Elizabeth Jeffery and Karen Harker


Elizabeth Jeffery is the current co-chair of the British Graduate Shakespeare Conference.  This is her second time serving on the committee.  She completed her undergraduate degree in English and Spanish at the Universities of Leicester and Salamanca, and studied her MA at the Shakespeare Institute in Shakespeare and Theatre.  She is currently undertaking a PhD at the Shakespeare Institute, specialising in Shakespeare’s work in translation into minority languages.  She greatly enjoys exploring new cultures through reading, travelling and cooking.


Karen Harker is a current PhD student at the Shakespeare Institute, where she also earned her MA in 2015. She also has a BS in English Education from East Carolina University. Her current research focuses on the use of incidental music in nineteenth-century Shakespearean theatre, and is currently focusing on productions in the theatres of Charles Kean, Henry Irving, and Herbert Beerbohm Tree. Other research interests include operatic adaptations of Shakespeare, Shakespearean performance during times of war, the commodification of Shakespeare, and teaching Shakespeare in secondary schools. This is her third Brit Grad conference and her second time as a member of the committee.


Secretary: Corinne Furness


Corinne Furness is a PhD student at the Institute and the Royal Shakespeare Company, researching amateur and professional collaboration and the RSC’s 2016 production A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation. She has a BA in English Language and Literature from St Anne’s College, University of Oxford and an MA in Writing for Performance from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Her wider research interests include Shakespeare’s legacy, contemporary performance and playwriting, and non-professional creativity. Corinne is also part of the ‘Birmingham Heroes’ campaign, as part of which you can see her talk about Shakespeare here. She is also Co-Director of community theatre company Write By Numbers and her practice strongly influences her research.

C0-registrars:  Martin Higgins and Philippa Vandome


Martin Higgins is studying towards attainment of an MA in Shakespeare Studies at the Shakespeare Institute. He previously completed an undergraduate degree in English Literature and Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, where he co-founded a society dedicated to Shakespeare and performance. He currently resides as secretary for the Institute players and works at Shakespeare’s New Place. Research interests include Shakespeare and continental philosophy, religion and aesthetic experience.
Philippa Vandome is a Shakespeare and Theatre MA student at the Shakespeare Institute. She previously studied Drama and Theatre Arts at Birmingham University. Her particular areas interest are Shakespeare and adaptation and the evolution of
Shakespeare on the stage. Her undergraduate research focused on Shakespeare’s
representation in Germany 1929-1945 and her current interests focus on
Shakespeare in the 21 st Century. She currently volunteers with the education
department at the Shakespeare Birth Place Trust and is a Post Graduate
Ambassador for the University of Birmingham.

Treasurer:  Kelsey Ridge


Kelsey Ridge is currently working towards her Ph.D. at the Shakespeare Institute. She received her M.A. in English (Shakespeare in History) at University College London and her B.A. at Wellesley College, where she studied English and East Asian Studies. Her research interests include feminist theory, queer theory, the War on Terror, and Shakespeare. This is her third BritGrad conference.

Publicity: Beth Sharrock

Beth Sharrock graduated with a BA in English and Related Literature from York university and is now studying an MA in Shakespeare Studies. Her research interests include embodiment in modern performance, digital Shakespeare and live theatre broadcasts.


IT/Tech: Jennifer Waghorn


Jennifer Waghorn is a PhD student in her second year at the Institute researching the composition, adaptation and afterlife of Renaissance theatre music. She graduated with a BA in History from the University of Birmingham in 2011 and an MA in Shakespeare, Stratford upon Avon and the Cultural History of Renaissance England from the Shakespeare Institute in 2012. Since then she has curated an online exhibition on Shakespeare and music for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and has moderated and developed online learning courses for the University of Warwick and the Royal Shakespeare Company. She is also the Orders Assistant for the Malone Society, and a Lizz Ketterer Trust research scholar. This is her third time at the British Graduate Shakespeare Conference: previous papers have focused on early modern musical crime and tracing individual theatre songs through the seventeenth century. Broader research interests include early modern social and cultural history, and music in theatrical performance up to the present day.

Party Planner and Catering: Andrea Moon


Andrea Moon is an MA Shakespeare and Education student at the Institute. She received her Undergraduate Degree in English and Drama from the University of Winchester in 2012 and then went on to study a PGCE in Secondary English and Drama from the University of Exeter. After teaching for three years, she decided that a change was needed and so has immersed herself in beautiful Stratford life and her studies. Happiness reigns!






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