SHINE: Shakespeare in Europe:

History and Memory

International Conference

Krakow, 17-20 November 2005

International Conference
Jagiellonian University, Kraków

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 Performance

Convenor: Lawrence Guntner, University of Brunswick / e-mail:
Participants & abstracts

The purpose of this seminar is to generate a discourse on how history as performance, performance as history, negotiates meaning within a specific national and/or European historical context. In totalitarian environments it has been frequently necessary to mean by Shakespeare due to the lack of a public forum for political discourse, and it is especially appropriate that we discuss this topic at a conference in Poland, the homeland of Jan Kott.  Broader concerns, such as trans-national narratives, their function, the role of theatre performance as historiography, or a shared European cultural memory, are also relevant issues that can be explored. 

To give some examples of what I mean: in 1969 The Prospect Theatre Company performed Richard II in Bratislava at the behest of the British Council. In Act III, scene ii Richard lands on the coast of Wales, bends down, touches the ground, and says:  “Dear Earth, I do salute thee with my hand, / Though rebels wound thee with their horses´ hoofs…So, weeping, smiling, greet I thee, my earth.”  Gradually the sound of weeping and grieving could be heard from the auditorium: Shakespeare´s Wales had become post-Prague Spring Czechoslovakia and Richard’s words their own. The locus had become the platea, performance had become history, past significance had become present meaning.  In the fall of 1989 as the Berlin Wall was about to come down, Hamlet was in rehearsal at the Deutsches Theater in East Berlin.  The stage décor transformed Elsinore into an underground bunker encased in a gigantic ice cube, a heavy-handed metaphor for the situation of the East German Socialist Unity Party at that time. In Bratislava, the dramatic locus was unintentionally brought down to the platea of the audience; in Berlin the dramatic locus intentionally hauled the platea of the audience onto the stage. 


participants / abstracts (or: abstracts directly)

Cinpoes, Nicoleta (University of Warwick;  /
“Stillness in Hamletabstract

Fabiszak, Jacek (Adam Mickewiscz University, Posnan; "
"Shakespeare’s Histories on the Polish Television Screen: the Cases of Henry IV (1975) and Richard III (1989)" abstract

Gregor, Keith (University of Murcia;
“Shakespeare at the Espanol: Franco and the Building of the New Spain” abstract

Grzegorzweska, Malgorzata (University of Warsaw;
“´Blood sprinkled or blood spilt´:The History of  Richard III Revisited in Contemporary Theatre” abstract

Hampton-Reeves, Stuart (University of Central Lancashire;
“Plunder in Front of Hell:  Henry VI – The Battle for the Throne (RSC 1994) and Civil War in the 1990s” abstract

Isenberg, Nancy (Università degli Studi Roma Tre
"Export-Import: Shakespeare´s Rome on an Elizabethan Stage in the Heart of the Eternal City 2004” abstract

Krontiris, Tina (Aristotle University, Thessaloniki;
"The Brief Appearance of Henry V and Richard II on the Greek Stage" abstract

Lennox, Patricia J. (New York University
“EU Shakespeare on the New York Stage: Critical Reception as Memory” abstract

Middleton, David (Trinity University
“Perspectives on Performance: Henry V before and during World War II” abstract

Odom, Glenn and Bryan Reynolds (University of California-Irvine;
“Pressurized Belongings and the Coding of Ethnicity, Religion, Nationality in Peele & Shakespeare's Titus Andronicusabstract

Rayner, Francesca (Universidade do Minho, Portugal;
“Between Transgression and Institutionalisation: Teatro Communo´s Measure for Measure” abstract

Reynolds, Bryan and Glenn Odom (University of California-Irvine;
“Pressurized Belongings and the Coding of Ethnicity, Religion, Nationality in Peele & Shakespeare's Titus Andronicusabstract

Schandl, Veronika (Pázmány Péter Catholic University,  Piliscsaba, Hungary;
“´I cannot a lover prove´:  Richard III  and the Subversion of Theatre in Hungary 1955” abstract

Schaaf, Tatjana (University of Heidelberg;
as Political Education in Post-War Germany” abstract

Skantze,  P.A. (University of Glasgow;
“Uneasy Coalitions: Culpability, Orange Jumpsuits and Measure for Measureabstract

Smialkowska, Monika (Doncaster College;
"Shakespeare in History, History through Shakespeare: Caliban by the Yellow Sands" abstract

Tempera, Mariangela (University of Ferrara; /
“Reading History Through Shakespeare: LuchinoVisconti´s The Damnedabstract


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: October 2005