SHINE: Shakespeare in Europe:

History and Memory

International Conference

Krakow, 17-20 November 2005

Organised by:
Institute of English Philology, Jagiellonian University
Polish Shakespeare Society
Institute of Modern Languages, Pedagogical University in Kraków
In cooperation with the British Council


Seminar: History and Histories

Convenor: Carla Dente, University of Pisa / e-mail:
 & abstracts           

This seminar welcomes papers and discussion on a range of issues concerning the representations of historynot only in those plays by Shakespeare generally labelled as ‘Histories’, and dealing with English history fairly close to his times, but also all those where Shakespeare substantially relates to historical matter (Roman Plays, Macbeth,  etc…).

It will explore in particular

  • The relationship between drama (or , more widely, literature) and history: It will focus on the different nature of the fictional text, representing a fictional world, and of the text that is meant to report real events of the real world , like that of historiography. It might be interesting to explore which are the ways to persuasion characteristic of a dramatic text and which those of the historical text offering itself as a first hand witness (as in Cesar’s commentary in JC), as a chronicle, or as a informative comment about real events.
  • The impact of theories about History and history writing on Shakespeare’s history plays and their more recent discussions; new paradigms for investigating the aspects of cultural and material contexts and their relations to the interpretations of the plays. Great figures shaping the perception of history then (Machiavelli, Henry V, Holinshed etc.) and now.
  • What kind of cultural work Shakespeare has done in the past and with the past; what kind of cultural work are we doing with Shakespeare’s past and through it; what kind of influence what we do have in the shaping of the language of our interpretations of Shakespeare’s histories;

The above are simple suggestions open to debate and contributors are warmly invited to propose and write on any topic which can contribute to the discussion of historically informed criticism of Shakespeare’s plays.



Bilton, Peter (University of Oslo, Norway;
"On the Complex Derivation of the Shrew Plays" abstract

Carvalho Homem, Rui (Dept. of Anglo-American Studies, Fac. Lettras, University of Oporto, Portugal,
"Cross-Histories, Straying narratives: Anglo-Portuguese Imbrications and Shakespeare’s History Plays" abstract

Fraser, Scott R. (English and Drama Dept, University of the West of England, U.K.:
"Which oft our stage hath shown: Shakespeare and the repetition of History" abstract

Grundmann, Heike (Anglistisches Seminar, University of Heidelberg, Germany ;
"Telling herstory - Shakespeare’s Defence of Cleopatra" abstract

Hagan, Francis (Theatre, Film and Television Dept., Glasgow University, U.K.;
"Decline and decadence in the History of Rome" abstract

Kozubowska Pulawska Lucja (Institute of English Studies, Warsaw University, Poland;
"‘Look on my George; I am a gentleman’. Heroic religion and Saint George in Shakespeare’s Histories" abstract

Meducka, Ewa (Institute of English Studies, Warsaw University;
"The Shadow of Argus: Shakespeare and the Terror of Memory" abstract

Moczynska, Joanna (Institute of English Studies, Warsaw University, Poland;
"Importing Oblivion: ‘An adjunct to remember’ in King Lear" abstract

Piazza, Antonella (Università di Salerno, Italia;
"A Roman History: Coriolanus. Anatomy and the body of state." abstract

Vertes, Andreea (Law Faculty, Uni of the West, Timisoara, Romania; or,
"Medieval crime and punishment" abstract

back to: Conference Krakow Main Page

The conference gets financial support from:

ACUME, the  European Thematic Network for Cultural Memory in European Countries
Institute of English Philology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków
Rector of the Jagiellonian University, Kraków



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Shakespeare in Europe
University of Basel, Switzerland

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last changes: November 2005