Plenary Profiles: Ben Naylor

BritGrad is thrilled to introduce plenary Ben Naylor, the Course Leader of MA Acting (Classical) at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama .

Naylor studied at Durham University, Magdalen College Oxford, and Royal Central School, where he began teaching in 2006. He also trained by acting at Drama Centre London and directing under John Caird at the Caird Company and Sir Peter Hall at the National Theatre. Naylor has taught acting in Israel, Germany, Greece, and the United States, and at Cambridge University, LAMDA, Shakespeare’s Globe, and numerous other institutions.

Naylor specializes in Renaissance theatre and contemporary acting techniques. He headed a research project on gestural codifications at Shakespeare’s Globe Gesture Lab and is interested in European expressionism, Stanislavski, the American Method, and modern movement psychology. He currently directs at Royal Central School. A few of his many directing credits include Julius Caesar (Menier Chocolate Factory), Tamburlaine (Rose Theatre, Southwark), and Macbeth (Cambridge Arts Theatre). Naylor also appeared in the Ian Curtis biopic Control.

In 2003, Naylor spoke on Marlovian performance at the International Marlowe Conference at Cambridge University. He has contributed a chapter on Greg Hicks to The Routledge Companion to Actors’ Shakespeare (2012), directed workshops and readings at Salon des Arts, Gatehouse, King’s Head, and the Old Vic, and helped found the Caird Company and the Young Vic Genesis programme.

On Thursday, Naylor will engage in a close reading of Hamlet, delving into acting choices by breaking down certain passages word by word.

Plenary Profiles: Paul Prescott and Paul Edmondson

We are pleased to introduce another dynamic duo: Dr Paul Prescott, Associate Professor at the University of Warwick, and Dr Paul Edmondson, Head of Research and Knowledge at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Dr Prescott received his MA and PhD from the Shakespeare Institute. He is a Trustee of the British Shakespeare Association and the Associate Director of the postgraduate program Global Shakespeare. He has taught and acted across the globe, and, in 2010, Warwick awarded him a Commendation for Teaching Excellence. Prescott has edited for the Shakespeare Bulletin and Internet Shakespeare Editions, served as Academic Associate on Teaching Shakespeare: Online Professional Development, and co-organised ‘Acting Against the Grain: Non-Traditional Shakespeare’ in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Prescott has written numerous reviews, essays, and books, including Reviewing Shakespeare: Journalism and Performance from the Eighteenth Century to the Present (Cambridge, 2013). He and plenaries Erin Sullivan and Paul Edmondson spearheaded A Year of Shakespeare: Reliving the World Shakespeare Festival (Bloomsbury, 2013), and he wrote a chapter for the forthcoming Shakespeare on the Global Stage: Performance and Festivity in the Olympic Year (Bloomsbury/Arden, 2015), which he also edited with Sullivan.

Dr Edmondson earned his MA and PhD at the University of Birmingham and is currently an Honorary Fellow at both the Shakespeare Institute and the Society for Teachers of Speech and Drama. He co-edits Penguin Shakespeare and Palgrave Macmillan’s Shakespeare Handbooks. On top of directing the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival, Edmondson is Chair of the Hosking Houses Trust, a Trustee of the Rose Theatre Trust, and an Associate Minister in the Church of England. He has given lectures on Shakespeare around the world.

Edmondson has written on a variety of topics, such as Christopher Marlowe and the Brontës. His books on Shakespeare include Shakespeare Beyond Doubt: Evidence, Argument, Controversy (edited with Stanley Wells, Cambridge, 2013), Twelfth Night: A Guide to the Text and Its Theatrical Life (Palgrave, 2005), and Shakespeare’s Sonnets (with Wells, Oxford, 2004). Shakespeare (Profile Books, 2015), The Shakespeare Circle: An Alternative Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2016), and several poetic commissions are forthcoming.

Paul and Paul will be discussing their epic project Shakespeare on the Road. They celebrated Shakespeare’s 450th birthday by visiting more than a dozen Shakespeare festivals across the United States and Canada.

Plenary Profiles: Andy Kesson

Meet Dr Andy Kesson, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Roehampton and a former BritGrad chair!

Dr Kesson received his MA from Manchester and his PhD from Kent. He has organized conferences and collaborative workshops about language, acting, and the definition of ‘early modern’. He reviews theatre and literature for journals such as The Bulletin of the Society for Renaissance Studies, Early Theatre, The Journal of British Studies, and Cahiers Élisabéthains.

Kesson’s piece ‘”They that treat in a maze”: movement as emotion in the work of John Lyly’ will be published in The Renaissance of Emotion (Manchester, June 2015), an essay collection edited by Richard Meek and BritGrad plenary Erin Sullivan. Kesson wrote the book John Lyly and Early Modern Authorship (Manchester, 2014) and co-edited The Elizabethan Top Ten: Defining Print Popularity in Early Modern England (Ashgate, 2013), which examines early modern ‘bestsellers’.

Check out an interview with Kesson for Shakespeare London Theatres about Elizabethan writer John Lyly, the Earl of Oxford, elite boy companies, and more:

Kesson’s research interests include book history, the literary canon, and educational practices, as well as gender, queer, and disability studies.

Plenary Profiles: Farah Karim-Cooper

And now for yet another fabulous plenary: we are thrilled to announce that Dr Farah Karim-Cooper, Head of Higher Education and Research at Shakespeare’s Globe, will be speaking at this year’s BritGrad.

Dr Karim-Cooper received her MA and PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she taught for several years as a Visiting Lecturer. She designed an MA module for Contemporary Performance at Birkbeck College, and is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London. As leader of scholarship and research at Shakespeare’s Globe, she spearheads the Globe and King’s joint Shakespeare Studies MA programme and has developed the Globe’s higher education programme to include doctoral studies.

Karim-Cooper also serves as Chair of the Globe Architecture Research Group. Listen to her discuss some of the work that was done on the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse below (she begins speaking at around 1:40):

(You can watch the rest of the series Building of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse on Shakespeare’s Globe’s YouTube channel.)

Karim-Cooper has written and edited several books, including Moving Shakespeare Indoors (Cambridge, 2014), Shakespeare’s Theatres and the Effects of Performance (Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2013), Shakespeare’s Globe: A Theatrical Experiment (Cambridge, 2008), and Cosmetics in Shakespearean and Renaissance Drama (Edinburgh, 2006). Her monograph Shakespeare and the Hand will be published later this year.

She advocates a broader view of life in academia, which involves collaborations between universities and the art organisations, accessible scholarship, and participation in the community.

Fun fact: Karim-Cooper cites her favourite Shakespeare play as Titus Andronicus, which she calls “exciting, horrible and deeply moving.”

Plenary Profiles: Laurie Maguire and Felix Budelmann

Oxford professors Laurie Maguire and Felix Budelmann will bring their joint expertise to BritGrad on Saturday, 6 June. Professor Maguire earned her Master’s from the Shakespeare Institute and her doctorate from London University, King’s College. Before teaching at Oxford, she held a post-doctorate position at the University of Toronto and taught at the University of Ottawa. Maguire is interested in Shakespearean interiority, early modern medicine, Elizabethan performance, and the influence of the classics on Renaissance writing. She also hosts a fortnightly seminar on Literature and Medicine.

Maguire has published numerous articles and books, including Othello: Language and Writing (Arden/Bloomsbury, 2014) and Helen of Troy: From Homer to Hollywood (Oxford, 2009). She co-authored Thirty Great Myths About Shakespeare (Oxford, 2013) with Emma Smith, with whom she also wrote “What is a source? Or, how Shakespeare read his Marlowe” (Shakespeare Survey, forthcoming 2015). The essay won the Hoffman Prize for a Distinguished Publication on Christopher Marlowe.

Classics scholar Professor Felix Budelmann received his doctorate from Cambridge and taught at the Open University and the University of Manchester before joining the faculty at Magdalen College, Oxford. He specializes in tragic and lyric Greek literature. Budelmann is also intrigued by cognitive science and its relationship to literature, which led him and Maguire to embark on an interdisciplinary collaboration with evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar.

Budelmann recently co-edited Choruses, Ancient and Modern (Oxford, 2013) and co-wrote “Timotheus’ poetics of blending: a cognitive approach to the language of the New Music” in the journal Classical Philology (2014). Check out a video of him discussing the enduring influence of Oedipus Rex:

Maguire and Budelmann will present on audience responses to ambiguity in Othello, The Winter’s Tale, and two Greek tragedies.

Plenary Profiles: Erin Sullivan

We recently saw Dr Erin Sullivan on BBC’s Shakespeare’s Mother: The Secret Life of a Tudor Woman, which is still available to watch on iPlayer.

Sullivan completed her MA at the Shakespeare Institute, where she currently serves as lecturer and fellow, and received her PhD from University College London. Her expertise as a literary scholar and cultural historian includes the history of medicine, particularly psychology and emotion. She contributes to and advises medical-themed journals and arts groups and edits the journal Cultural History.

Always interested in fostering public participation in academia, Sullivan has made advances in integrating media and distance learning into teaching. She also spearheaded ‘A Year of Shakespeare’ in 2012, a project which examined the relationship between Shakespeare and the London Olympics. Yearofshakespeare.com covered more than 80 events across the world, including the World Shakespeare Festival and the Globe to Globe Festival.

Sullivan has written and edited dozens of articles and books, such as A Year of Shakespeare: Re-living the World Shakespeare Festival, edited with BritGrad plenaries Paul Prescott and Paul Edmondson, and Shakespeare on the Global Stage: Performance and Festivity in the Olympic Year (ed. with Prescott, 2015).

Forthcoming works include The Renaissance of Emotion: Understanding Affect in Early Modern Literature and Culture (ed. with Richard Meek, 2015) and Beyond Melancholy: Sadness and Selfhood in Renaissance England, in which Sullivan delves into intertwining issues of identity, religion, medicine, and sadness in contemporary literary writings.

Sullivan has twice appeared on Melvyn Bragg’s program ‘In Our Time.’ Listen to this fascinating discussion on The Tempest here and to her talk about Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy here.

Speaker Erin Sullivan on BBC Four

Yet another plenary appeared on television last week. Historian Michael Wood consulted Dr Erin Sullivan, a lecturer and fellow with the Shakespeare Institute, for her expertise on BBC Four’s documentary Shakespeare’s Mother: The Secret Life of a Tudor Woman. The program follows William Shakespeare’s mother Mary Arden through personal and financial loss during an era of religious upheaval and the rise of a new kind of middle class.

The program is available to watch on BBC iPlayer for three more weeks. Go to 32:13 to hear Dr Sullivan discuss how Mary Arden might have dealt with grief after the deaths of her oldest children. Also check out the episode to see shots of the lovely Stratford-upon-Avon, where the BritGrad Conference will be held.

Speaker Chris Laoutaris on The One Show

Last month, we profiled BritGrad plenary Chris Laoutaris, a lecturer and fellow at the Shakespeare Institute. Last week, he appeared on BBC’s The One Show in a segment about Lady Elizabeth Russell, the subject of his book Shakespeare and the Countess: The Battle that Gave Birth to the Globe. Gyles Brandreth interviewed Dr Laoutaris in Playhouse Yard, a location central to the struggle between the “bard and the battle-axe.”

Russell, a strict Puritan, raised a petition against building a theatre in the upscale neighborhood of Blackfriars, London. Early modern NIMBYs who signed the petition included Lord Hunston, William Shakespeare’s patron, and Richard Field, his former publisher and boyhood friend.

Russell succeeded in pushing Shakespeare across the river where he wrote plays for the world-renowned Globe, only to return to Blackfriars after her death. Laoutaris actually suggests Shakespeare’s grudging admiration for his nemesis is evidenced by his creation of the Countess of Rousillon in All’s Well That End’s Well.

Shakespeare and the Countess (Penguin) will be available on paperback on 5 March.


 

This episode aired on 12 February. If still available, Laoutaris’s segment begins at 23:35.

 

Plenary Profiles: Chris Laoutaris

Get to know the fantastic plenaries of BritGrad 2015! Dr Chris Laoutaris, a lecturer and Birmingham Fellow at the Shakespeare Institute, will be featured as the first in a series of brief speaker profiles.

Laoutaris received his undergraduate, master’s, and doctorate from University College London, where he taught and served as Renaissance Literature Course Convenor. He has lectured at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and is currently teaching at the Shakespeare Institute.

He relishes archival adventures and interdisciplinary explorations of early modern literature. His wide range of interests includes poetry (it’s in his blood, having descended from a line of poets), women’s history, translation, and Renaissance studies of anatomy. Other research areas involve early modern superstition and witchcraft, satire, death-ritual, Puritanism, monstrosity, and natural history.

You might have heard of Laoutaris’s book Shakespeare and the Countess: The Battle that Gave Birth to the Globe (Penguin 2014), which has received numerous accolades. The Telegraph and Observer listed it as one of the best books of 2014, and it made the shortlist for the Tony Lothian Prize for Biography. The Countess follows the formidable Elizabeth Russell, a lady who successfully opposed the creation of a Blackfriars playhouse in 1596, forcing William Shakespeare to adapt his writing for the Globe Theatre.

Laoutaris has also written Shakespearean Maternities: Crises of Conception in Early Modern England (Edinburgh University Press 2008) and is now working on the Birmingham Fellowship Project Team Shakespeare: The First Folio and the Men who Created the Shakespeare Legacy.

As expected from someone with such diverse expertise, Dr Laoutaris will speak on the fascinating topic of early modern robotics in Shakespeare and Spencer. Prepare for old-school cyborgs!

Call for Papers: Shakespeare Recreated, New Contexts, New Interpretations

Soon, we will start profiling our fabulous plenary speakers. Until then, check out this upcoming student conference hosted by the Shakespeare International Studies Centre with the Geoffrey Chaucer Student Society and CULTUR(N)ED Student Society:

SHAKESPEARE RECREATED: NEW CONTEXTS, NEW INTERPRETATIONS
UNIVERSITY OF ŁÓDŹ, 22-23 APRIL 2015

Although the Bard appears to be the most researched author in the world, his works and his own person still inspire, puzzle and encourage heated debates. Our conference marks a special three-year period in the history of the appreciation of Shakespeare, with the 450th anniversary of his birth in 2014 and the 400th anniversary of his death in 2016. We would like to invite proposals for 20 minute presentations (followed up by approximately 10 minutes of discussion) in all areas of studies connected with the works of William Shakespeare. Suggested topics include but are not restricted to:

  • Shakespeare and popculture: comics, computer games, youtube, parodies, etc.;
  • Filming Shakespeare: Shakespeare on film and television, adaptations and appropriations,
    representations of the playwright on screen;
  • Performing Shakespeare: staging Shakespeare then and now;
  • Polish explorations of Shakespeare: Shakespeare’s presence in Polish literature, film,
    theatre and art;
  • Representations of (and inspirations by) Shakespeare’s works in world literature, film,
    theatre and art;
  • Reviving Shakespeare: methods of popularizing Shakespeare in Britain and other countries;
  • Movements and disruptions within the Shakespearean canon: why some of his works are
    more popular in certain moments in history or even gain a lasting popularity, while others
    are neglected?
  • Elizabethan culture—society, economy, fashion—and the works of Shakespeare;
  • Apocryphal Shakespeare: plays attributed to Shakespeare, collaborative works and lost
    plays;
  • Intertextual Shakespeare: Shakespearean references in modern works;
  • Shakespeare in the light of modern theories: Ecocriticism, Poststructuralism, Postcolonialism, New Historicism, Gender & Queer Theory, etc.

The conference will be held at the Faculty of International and Political Studies, University of Łódź, on 22-23 April 2015.

The following distinguished guests have confirmed their participation:

– prof. Virginia Mason Vaughan (University in Worcester, Massachusetts);
– prof. Alden T. Vaughan (University in Worcester, Massachusetts);
– dr Dmytro Drozdovsky (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine).

We invite all undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students to participate. The conference will be held both in English and Polish. Abstracts of ca. 250 words should be submitted to shakespeare.recreated@gmail.com no later than 29 March 2015. Selected papers will be published. The registration fee is 30 PLN (10 EURO for overseas participants), which covers coffee breaks, conference materials and publication.

For more information, please contact the secretaries of the conference at shakespeare.recreated@gmail.com. To find out more about us, please visit the official conference website (http://shakespearerecreated.tumblr.com/) and the website of Shakespeare International Studies Centre (http://shakespearecentre.uni.lodz.pl).

Download this call for papers here.