Women and Shakespeare Day Conference
Saturday 23 July 2016, 10am – 6pm
This one-day conference will bring together leading scholars to consider the relationship between women and Shakespeare from his own time to the present. The playwright is celebrated for having created some of Western theatre’s most iconic female roles, yet characters such as Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew and Isabella in Measure for Measure continue to perplex as much as they fascinate readers, audiences, and theatre practitioners. Shakespeare’s works have inspired a rich tradition of women’s writing, both in private diaries and letters and in creative work, including the novels of Frances Burney and George Eliot. In the theatre, women such as Ellen Kean, Ellen Terry, and Edy Craig have been influential in shaping Shakespeare in performance. In the year of the 400th anniversary of his death, this event will consider the part women have played in constructing Shakespeare’s reputation and ensuring his ongoing fame.
The event will conclude with a Jubilee Promenade Performance of the most iconic of Shakespeare’s women, which will include both silent tableaux and characteristic speeches from the original plays and from eighteenth-century adaptations. Highlights will include Lady Constance’s maternal passion, Cordelia’s triumphant final speech, and Margaret of Anjou, ‘the she-wolf of France’.
Ailsa Grant Ferguson (University of Brighton)
Gail Marshall (University of Leicester)
Fiona Ritchie (McGill University)
Peter Sabor (McGill University)
Ann Thompson (King’s College London)