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University of Sussex partners with Shakespeare’s Globe for two-day festival

Experts from the University of Sussex are working with Shakespeare’s Globe to deliver a two-day festival exploring the performance of race on the Shakespearean stage.  

‘Shakespeare and Race’ will run from 15th May and see theatre practitioners, educationalists and academics reflect on the performance of race in Shakespeare’s day, as well as the racial dynamics of Renaissance plays which are staged today.  

Co-organised by Sussex’s Centre for Early Modern and Medieval Studies (CEMMS), participants in the event will be able to take part in a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, panel discussions and performance with speakers from the UK, Europe and North America.   

Professor Andrew Hadfield said: “This event is designed to encourage critical thinking about the representation of race in early modern England, particularly regarding the performance of race in the theatre.  

“But we’ll also be bringing it back to the present day, thinking about how we assess and evaluate those ways of thinking today. For example, what has changed?  

“These issues are vital due to the importance of early theatre to our understanding of British history and because so many plays which originate from the early modern period are central to the theatrical world today.”  

The event is the latest in a longstanding relationship between the Globe and CEMMS.  

Working closely together since 2013, there have been many opportunities for both teaching and research, with staff delivering pre-performance talks and collaborating with the Globe to deliver an undergraduate module. Along with Newcastle University, CEMMS also worked with the theatre team on the AHRC-funded research project on Thomas Nashe

Dr Rachel Stenner, Director of the Centre for Early Modern and Medieval Studies, said: “CEMMS has a longstanding relationship with Shakespeare’s Globe in both teaching and research.  

“English students in their third year who take the module ‘Spectacular Imaginings’ benefit from teaching and module design which is shared between the Sussex Faculty and the Globe’s Shakespeare experts - all delivered at the Globe. The module is an excellent opportunity for the students to be taught at and participate in a scholarly and theatrical environment that is absolutely central to early modern studies in this country. Students are also able to research in the unique Globe theatre archive and bring this research into their dissertation projects.    

“CEMMS is currently working with the Globe’s specialists on the development of new pedagogies in the area of critical race studies. Through this, and other collaborative work with University East Anglia, we are participating in a crucial conversation in the discipline about equalities and diversity.”  

For more information on the event, please visit: 

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By: Stephanie Allen
Last updated: Friday, 14 February 2020