New Website

In honour of BritGrad’s 20th Anniversary we’ll be doing a whole host of special, celebratory things. First of all, however, we’re launching a new website, which you can find here. The 2018 Call for Papers has just been released and over the coming weeks we’ll be adding to and expanding the new website. As ever you can also keep in touch with us via Facebook and Twitter. We look forward to welcoming you to Stratford and the Shakespeare Institute in 2018!

Lizz Ketterer Trust Travel Bursaries

With a few weeks to go until the conference, the BritGrad committee would like to remind everyone planning to attend this year of a wonderful travel bursary opportunity offered by the Lizz Ketterer Trust:

A total of four awards are available this year:

  • 2 x bursaries of £50 for students within the UK
  • 1 x bursary of £100 for a student travelling from within the rest of the EU
  • 1 x bursary of £200 for a student travelling from outside of the EU

Applications can be downloaded as Word or PDF files and must be submitted by 22 May 2017.

To apply, you must:

  • Be a full-time or part-time postgraduate student
  • Be presenting a paper at the BritGrad 2017 conference
  • Be attending the full duration of the 3-day conference
  • Have submitted a completed Registration Form
  • Send a completed Travel Bursary Application form and a copy of the 200-word abstract of the proposed paper to the BritGrad Committee before 22 May 2017 to: (RE: Treasurer – BritGrad Bursary Application)


BritGrad Travel Bursary Application
The Shakespeare Institute
Mason Croft
Church Street
CV37 6HP
United Kingdom

Please note: your application will not be considered without the required supporting documents. Please ensure that your attached abstract does not exceed 200 words in length.

Any enquiries regarding applications should be sent to (RE: Treasurer – Bursary Application Enquiry).

BritGrad ’17 Plenary Line Up

It’s official, we have now announced each of this year’s plenary speakers! To keep our wonderful line up fresh in your mind and to indulge our excitement, the BritGrad committee are delighted to offer a round up of all the plenary speakers who will be attending:

Bloomfield, Knight, Jackson, Perez Diez   Dr Jem Bloomfield          Heather Knight              Angus Jackson       Dr José A. Pérez Díez

Smith, Harrison, Rokison-Woodall    Professor Emma Smith                     Julian Harrison                Dr. Abigail Rokison-Woodall

Each of our plenary speakers has also been announced with an individual blog post, which can be found either here on our blog or by following the link attached to their names.  Also, speaking on a panel dedicated to postgraduate welfare will be Dr Charlotte Mathieson, Dr José A. Pérez Díez and Dr Sonia Suman (below).

Mathieson, Perez Diez and Suman

With less than a month to go before BritGrad opens, do keep an eye out on the blog, or on Facebook and Twitter for more updates.

New Plenary Speaker: Prof. Emma Smith

We are excited to announce that among our plenary speakers for this year’s conference will be Professor Emma Smith. Emma is a Fellow and Tutor in English at Hertford College, Oxford, as well as Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the university’s Faculty of English Language and Literature.


Emma is an eminent Shakespeare Scholar whose research range is impressive. Her most recent publications include a ‘biography’ of the afterlife of Shakespeare’s First Folio, and ‘Shakespeare’s Dead’ which was published alongside an exhibition of the same name curated by Smith and Simon Palfrey at the Bodleian Library. Emma may also be familiar as the voice of the podcast series ‘Approaching Shakespeare’ and ‘Not Shakespeare’, in which she often takes a seemingly simple starting question to unpack the plays’ textual histories, critical afterlives and thematic complexities.

We are delighted welcome Prof. Smith to the Shakespeare Institute as a plenary speaker.


Plenary Panel Announcement: Postgraduate Welfare

One month to go!

Happy May Day from a very sunny Stratford! The Morris dancers are out in force and the town is buzzing, which has the BritGrad committee in the mood to make a very special announcement.

We are a conference run by postgraduates for postgraduates and we have the academic experience in mind when we are planning every detail of the conference. This is why we wanted to put a spotlight on postgraduate welfare with a panel of academics and support officers speaking on issues which effect academics at every career level. Without much further ado, here’s the speakers who will make up this year’s welfare panel:

Dr Sonia Suman is the Welfare Tutor for the University of Birmingham’s School of English, Drama and American and Canadian Studies. Sonia completed her PhD thesis in the early modern history play and early modern theories of the senses.

Dr Charlotte Mathieson is a Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century Literature in the School of English and Languages at the University of Surrey. She is also Chair of the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association UK & Ireland, and co-covenes the Transport and Mobility History Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, London. Charlotte has also worked on early career researcher support for several years and much of her work is available on her website.

Dr José A. Pérez Díez is a Research Fellow at the School of English of the University of Leeds. José undertook his PhD at the Shakespeare Institute, where he completed the first modern-spelling critical edition of Love’s Cure, or The Martial Maid by John Fletcher and Philip Massinger. José will also be attending the conference as a solo plenary speaker, and we are delighted to also have him join the welfare panel.

The BritGrad committee are particularly excited to be initiating a welfare panel for the first time this year. More information on how to register for BritGrad can be found here on our blog.

New Plenary Speaker: Julian Harrison

As our list of plenary speakers for this years conference keeps growing, the BritGrad committee are excited to share with you our next plenary speaker. While we are busy compiling the schedule we are delighted to introduce Julian Harrison, curator of pre-1600 manuscripts at the British Library.


Julian’s research area covers medieval and early modern manuscripts from the British Isles, spanning the Anglo-Saxon period to the 17th century. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow.

Julian has recently curated the British Library’s exhibition on the Magna Carta (2015) and an exhibition on Shakespeare at the University of Birmingham’s library (2016).  He is the lead curator of the forthcoming Harry Potter exhibition at the British Library.   Julian has previously delivered a paper here at the Institute and we very much look forward to welcoming him back this year.

New Plenary Speaker: Dr. Abigail Rokison-Woodall

This week we have a familiar face to add to our list of plenary speakers! It gives us great pleasure to announce Dr Abigail Rokison-Woodall will be speaking at this year’s BritGrad conference. After lecturing at Cambridge University for seven years, Abigail is now a senior lecturer in Shakespeare and Theatre and the Shakespeare and Creativity.


Abigail began her career as a professional actor before moving into academia to pursue research interests in Shakespeare in performance. Her particular research areas include verse speaking, adaptation and theatre history. Her most recent publication documents the career of Nicholas Hytner for Arden Bloomsbury.

Abigail is also working with Arden Bloomsbury as a General Editor of the new Arden Shakespeare in Performance Editions, for which series she is editing A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet. We are very excited for Abigail to join the conference as a plenary speaker.

New Plenary Speaker: Angus Jackson

Today is our Call for Papers deadline, so the BritGrad committee would like to celebrate the abstracts we have received so far by introducing a very exciting plenary speaker: acclaimed director Angus Jackson. The Shakespeare Institute is particularly excited to welcome Angus, whose work has been a fixture at the Royal Shakespeare Company (and so naturally a source of conversation for our Stratford students!) for the past few years.


Previously an Associate Directer at Chichester Festival Theatre, in 2014 Jackson transferred his production of King Lear with the company to the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He has also earned a BAFTA nomination for the screen version of Elmina’s Kitchen, which enjoyed success as a stage production under his direction at the National Theatre. More recently, Jackson’s work with the RSC includes the sell-out run of Oppenhiemer, which transferred to London after premiering in the Swan Theatre, and directing David Threlfall and Rufus Hound in Don Quixote.

He is currently the season director of the RSC’s Rome season and directed Julius Caesar in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. We are especially delighted to welcome Angus as a speaker, as tickets for this production of Caesar are available for conference attendees to purchase as part for the Thursday evening of the conference.

Call For Papers Deadline Extended to 27th of March

The BritGrad team have been delighted by the abstract submissions so far, so much so that we are extending our Call For Papers deadline! You now have until midnight on the 27th of March to propose an abstract for this year’s conference. Just to sharpen your memory, here’s all the information about BritGrad’s Call For Papers:

We invite graduate students with interests in Shakespeare, Renaissance, and Early Modern Studies to submit paper proposals for the Nineteenth Annual British Graduate Shakespeare Conference on the 1st-3rd June 2017.

This interdisciplinary conference provides a friendly and stimulating academic forum in which graduate students from all over the world can present their research and meet together in an active centre of Shakespeare research: Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon. Attendees will also have the opportunity to attend the RSC production of Julius Caesar, directed by Angus Jackson, at a group-booking price. Lunch will be provided each day, and there will be a party and reception for attendees. Please check our blog for upcoming announcements of plenary speakers as they are confirmed.

We welcome abstracts of up to 200 words proposing papers twenty minutes in length on subjects relating to Shakespeare, Early Modern, and/or Renaissance Studies. More creative forms of criticism, such as original writing or performance, may also be submitted, also requiring a 200-word abstract. The committee also welcomes papers from a wide variety of disciplines, from literature to art and cultural history and beyond. Undergraduate students in their final two years of study are invited to attend the conference as auditors (non-speakers).

Extended Deadline for Paper Proposals: 23:59 GMT on 27 March 2017.

Presenters will be notified of acceptance in time to register by 21 April and secure any necessary visas. Auditors are encouraged to register by 19 May for early-bird pricing. Due to the growing success of this annual conference, we strongly encourage early registration to ensure a place on the conference programme.

For more information you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and at Our email address is; please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.


We look forward to reading your submissions.