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Shakespeare and Wales

22 April 2010

Media release

Award-winning theatre director Michael Bodganov is headlining a major event at Cardiff University that aims to shed new light on Shakespeare’s relationship with Wales.

The Shakespeare and Wales symposium, led by the University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy, has attracted scholars from around the world to Cardiff. Together they will explore some of Shakespeare’s most significant works and characters, discussing the impact Wales had on the Bard and how his work has contributed to shaping Welsh identity.

Widely acclaimed for his modern stage interpretations of Shakespeare’s plays, director Michael Bogdanov will give the keynote lecture at the conference. ‘The Welsh in Shakespeare’ lecture will be informed by Bogdanov’s own extensive experience and will highlight evidence of Welsh culture, themes and characters in Shakespearian works.

A symposium will then bring together Shakespeare scholars from as far afield as North Carolina to share their most advanced research on Shakespeare and Wales. Working from foundations set out in the book, Shakespeare and Wales: From the Marches to the Assembly(2010), the aim of the symposium is to catalyse a ‘Welsh correction to a long-standing deficiency’ that has, up until now, allowed for ‘Shakespeare’s status as an unproblematic English or British dramatist’, and not fully appreciated the place of Wales in Shakespearean drama.

Professor Richard Wilson of the School of English, Communication and Philosophy said: "This is the first international conference specifically on Shakespeare and Wales. It comes at an exciting moment when we are at last realising the powerof Wales in Shakespeare’s imagination".

The University has held a number of conferences on the subject of Shakespeare in the past, and Cardiff expertise supported a major funding application to reconstruct a playhouse described as "the most important Shakespearean theatre yet to be rebuilt".

Recently, the University helped secure a collection of rare books for Wales which includes a major set of 17th century editions of Shakespeare. Totalling around 14,000 items, the collection spans the 15th to the 20th centuries. It will be housed at the University’s Arts and Social Studies Library and following conservation work the collection will be made accessible to researchers and members of the community from Cardiff, Wales and beyond.

The Shakespeare and Wales conference takes place on Friday 23 April 2010 from midday at the University’s Main Building. Admission is free and anyone interested in attending should register by contacting the School via email at or by telephone on 029 2087 6049.


Notes to editors

1. Cardiff School of English, Communication and Philosophy
The School of English, Communication and Philosophy has a world-wide reputation as a centre for research and teaching. The School encompasses several research centres and networks spanning four key areas: English Literature, Critical and Cultural Theory, Philosophy, and Language and Communication. Its record in all areas demonstrates its role in changing the disciplinary map and enriching our understanding of culture.

In terms of degrees, the School specialises in a portfolio of distinctive and complementary approaches to language, texts, cultures, ideas and identities, and offers a range of innovative undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes which are designed to provide students with exciting new ways of thinking about their subjects.

The School was ranked 7th in the UK by Research Power in the most recent independent assessment of the quality of research in British universities (RAE 2008). National Student Satisfaction surveys confirm that students find it a friendly and stimulating place to study. Core areas of work are nurtured alongside specialist fields and issues of larger interest for the wider community and general public.

2. Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.

3. For further information

Victoria Dando

Public Relations office

Cardiff University


Tel: 02920 879074