Guest post: Daisy Garofalo, BritGrad 2011 chair

A wise man once wrote that “brevity is the soul of wit.”  A not-so-wise man once showed how true that statement is!  I often find that I cannot say enough good things about BritGrad; however, in Shakespeare’s honor, I will try to be relatively brief.

My name is Daisy Garofalo and I was the Chair of last year’s BritGrad.  As such, BritGrad will always have a special place in my heart.  It truly is a unique conference and offers so much for postgraduate students with an interest in Shakespeare and Renaissance studies.

In each new year of experience with the conference I am amazed by the wonderful community that comes together and by seeing how ideas and interests are expanded and sparked throughout the three days.   BritGrad offers a friendly, welcoming environment for budding scholars to test their work and gain experience.  As internationally-recognised and affiliated with the prestigious Shakespeare Institute, the conference impresses on your CV.  However, geared toward postgrads and entirely run by students, BritGrad also focuses on making the experience less intimidating and more enjoyable.   

I think this is the reason so many postgraduates return to the conference year after year and also why there are so many well-known academics who are eager to get involved with the conference.  BritGrad has established an impressive reputation; however, it also always aims to continue growing, pushing the boundaries of what it can offer its delegates.  Each year the conference has grown in size and scope.  During my time as Chair, I was truly impressed with response which the conference received.  Not only did we have record numbers of delegates, but outside academics and institutions were eager to get involved with the conference as well.  Already from the announced plenary sessions, I can see that this year’s BritGrad will be no exception and the opportunities for networking and developing skills through these avenues will prove endless for delegates.   

I cannot begin to list all of the benefits that I have received through my experience with BritGrad.  Each year I leave the conference having developed my work, my career prospects, and my connections.  However, I also leave it sad that the experience is over and looking forward to the next year’s conference.  Whether attending as a seasoned conference-goer or presenting for the first time, postgraduates will find BritGrad an exciting and stimulating experience.  And I cannot recommend the conference enough.  I hope to see a lot of familiar faces and meet a variety of new friends this year as well!  So register and I will see you all in June!


[About the author:

Daisy Garofalo was the Chair of BritGrad 2011.  She completed her BA in English from Pepperdine University and MA in English Literature from the University of Warwick.  She is now working toward her PhD at the Shakespeare Institute, researching twinship and its dramatic representation in Early Modern England.]

Hitting the shelf!

Now arriving:  advance-purchase copies of British Drama 1533-1642: A Catalogue, Vol. 1, by Martin Wiggins, in association with Catherine Richardson.

If you heard their plenary at BritGrad 2011, you know what an excellent resource this catalogue will be.  OUP calls it “unparalleled and comprehensive”. I think it will rise to “indispensable” in no time flat. 

At some later time, one of us here may write up a response to the work, but for now, I’ll leave you with the summary from OUP: 

This is the first volume of a detailed play-by-play catalogue of drama written by English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish authors during the 110 years between the English Reformation and the English Revolution, covering every known play, extant and lost, including some of which have never before been identified. It is based on a new, complete, and systematic survey of the whole of this body of work, presented in chronological order. Each entry contains comprehensive information about a single play: its various titles, authorship, and date; a summary of the plot, a list of roles, and details of the human and geographical world in which the fictional action takes place; a list of sources, narrative and verbal, and a summary of the formal characteristics; details of the staging requirements; and an account of the early stage and textual history.

We hope you took advantage of the discount code from last year’s BritGrad packet like we did.  If not, you can still buy your copy from OUP for £85.

Martin Wiggins is Senior Lecturer and Fellow, and Tutor for Research at The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham.

Catherine Richardson is Reader in Renaissance Studies at the University of Kent.