Conferința internațională „Re-Reading, Re-Writing, Re-Contextualising Shakespeare”, Universitatea Alexandru Ioan Cuza, 27 – 29 octombrie 2016
British Council și Universitatea Alexandru Ioan Cuza Iași organizează conferința internațională „Re-Reading, Re-Writing, Re-Contextualising Shakespeare”, cu scopul de a omagia geniul creativ al scriitorului britanic William Shakespeare, la 400 de ani de la trecerea acestuia în neființă.
Evenimentul va avea loc în cadrul Universității Alexandru Ioan Cuza din Iași, sălile Aula Magna și Sala Senat, în perioada 27 – 29 octombrie. Programul dedicat publicului larg se va desfășura în zilele de 27 și 28 octombrie, iar accesul este liber.
Conferința oferă sesiuni plenare susținute de David Crystal – profesor onorific de lingvistică la University of Wales, Bangor; Siobhan Keenan, specialist în Shakespeare și literatură renascentistă la De Montfort University, Leicester; Michael Hattaway, profesor emerit de literatură engleză la University of Sheffield, precum și profesor de limba engleză la New York University în Londra; Monica Matei-Chesnoiu, profesor de literatură engleză la Universitatea “Ovidius” din Constanța.
Sesiunile de comunicări prezentate de invitații locali și internaționali vor putea fi urmărite și online, în transmisiune live, la adresa http://er-tube.mediaec.uaic.ro.
Temele prezentate sunt:
Re-listening, Re-speaking Shakespeare
Shaping King Lear: Space, Place, Costume, and Genre
“How chances it they travel?” (Hamlet 2.2.317): Shakespeare & His Plays on Tour
Re-reading Shakespeare’s Richard III: Tragic Hero/Villain?
Shakespeare’s Infernal Rivers and Topological Space
Programul detaliat al conferinței este disponibil online, pe website-ul evenimentului:http://shakespeare.linguaculture.ro/index.php
Titlul conferinței face referire la diversitatea de moduri în care faima și creațiile lui Shakespeare au călătorit peste tot în lume, fiind transpuse atât în culturi diferite, cât și în locații geografice și momente istorice diferite. Shakespeare este cu adevărat un fenomen cultural global, iar conferința își propune, prin altele, să încurajeze analiza aprofundată a modului în care opera marelui bard a fost asimilată de-a lungul secolelor pentru a consolida diverse planuri politice sau culturale.
Locul de desfășurare a acestei conferințe nu este ales întâmplător – Iașiul a fost locul în care s-a pus în scenă prima traducere în limba română a unei piese de Shakespeare, „Neguțătorul din Veneția”, în anul 1851; de asemenea, în anul 2007, la mai bine de un secol și jumătate distanță, în cadrul Universității din Iași a luat naștere European Shakespeare Research Association (ESRA).
Conferința „Re-Reading, Re-Writing, Re-Contextualising Shakespeare” face parte din programul aniversar „Shakespeare Lives”, dezvoltat de British Council la nivel global și implementat pe tot parcursul anului 2016.
Detalii despre prezentările profesorilor David Crystal și Siobhan Keenan
- Re-membering Shakespeare
David Crystal was the Sam Wanamaker fellow at Shakespeare’s Globe in London in 2003, and Master of Original Pronunciation there in 2005-6. He describes the way the Globe has explored original practices, and how one theatre company (his son Ben’s Passion in Practice) has specialized in replicating the working methods that Shakespeare’s company would have used. The approach sheds fresh light on some familiar topics, and answers questions that are often not addressed, such as why the iambic pentameter was so popular.
- Re-listening, re-speaking Shakespeare
Shakespeare wrote his plays for the stage, not the page. How did the plays and poems sound in his day? David Crystal gives an account of the movement to present the works in ‘original pronunciation’, illustrates the accent, and describes the effect on actors and audiences.
I: ‘How chances it they travel? (Hamlet, 2.2.317): Shakespeare & his Plays on Tour
When people think of Shakespeare and his plays, they are likely to think first about Stratford-upon-Avon or the London theatre world, but Shakespeare’s career and his plays extended far beyond these two communities in his own day. He and his fellow players regularly toured the country, performing up and down the land in villages, towns and cities, in spaces ranging from town halls and churches to inns and large country houses. At least some of the venues that the players used survive to the present little changed, too, including the old Guildhall in Stratford-upon-Avon where Shakespeare may have seen his first professional play performance.
Even after the opening of the first playhouses, the tradition of touring continued to shape the plays and staging practices of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. On tour, players had to be fast on their feet and plays needed to be adaptable for different venues and different audiences. This is why most of Shakespeare’s plays are written so that they could be performed anywhere, requiring few props and relying on the text to evoke settings and atmosphere. The importance of touring is reflected in the fact that Shakespeare sometimes brings travelling players on stage, too, like the Lord’s players who stage The Taming of the Shrew for the entertainment of Christopher Sly or the city ‘tragedians’ who visit Elsinore and stage the so-called ‘Mousetrap’ play in Hamlet. Provincial actors sometimes performed plays from the London stage as well, including the troupe led by shoemakers-turned-actors Robert and Christopher Simpson that allegedly performed Shakespeare’s Pericles at Gowthwaite Hall in Yorkshire (1610).
Traditionally, studies of the Shakespearean theatre world have focused on the London playhouses, but I will argue that we need to take into account the world of regional theatre, too, if we want to have a richer understanding of the dramatic culture that fostered the talents of Shakespeare and if we want to know more about the place of his plays, and drama more generally, in everyday Elizabethan and Jacobean life. To make my case, I will be offering an introduction to the rich world of touring theatre in Renaissance England and Shakespeare’s part within it.
II: Re-Reading Shakespeare’s Richard III: Tragic Hero/Villain?
The discovery of the body of the historical Richard III under a Leicester car park in 2012 sparked fresh interest in one of England’s most controversial kings. Accused of murdering his nephews – the Princes in the Tower – Richard’s reign was cut short when he was defeated by Henry Richmond (later Henry VII), at the Battle of Bosworth (1485). Richard was subsequently demonised in Tudor historiography, perhaps most famously, by Sir Thomas More in his History of King Richard III (pr. 1557). It is to More that we owe the popular image of Richard III as a ‘croke backed …. malicious’ villain, an image which Shakespeare has been accused of further codifying and popularising in his Richard III.
While there is no disputing the fact that Shakespeare’s Richard is, in various respects, a villain and perpetrates a number of terrible deeds, including commissioning the murder of the Princes in the Tower, I was struck when re-reading the play recently by the fact that Richard is not a melodramatic ‘plain-dealing’ villain of the Don John variety (Much Ado, 1.3.25) nor an example of ‘motiveless malignity’ (as Coleridge said of Shakespeare’s Iago). Richard’s villainy is not without motive – it is partly a response to his society’s negative expectations of him because of his deformity – and he is not amoral, as is common of Machiavellian villains on the Renaissance stage. There is a wilfulness in his plan to ‘prove a villain’ (1.1.30) that suggests his villainy may not be inherent; and he recognises and, at points, admires virtue, as reflected in his speech praising Lady Anne’s dead husband as ‘valiant, wise, and no doubt right royal’ (1.3.231). Richard is also his own harshest critic – drawing attention to his deformity and imperfection and castigating others for their readiness to be conned by him. Collectively, these aspects of his characterisation point to a deeply divided figure for whom we are invited to feel some sympathy, and who has more in common with conflicted tragic heroes such as Lear and Macbeth than with other famous Shakespearean villains such as Iago. Today, Richard III’s defenders argue for the king’s good qualities and achievements and blame early writers such as More and Shakespeare for demonising Richard; but, in Shakespeare’s case at least, I will be arguing that the possibility of a sympathetic – and even a heroic – reading of the king is built in to his characterisation of Richard III.