“Shakespeare in Polish literature, drama and media”

At the opening of the ISSC, which took place on 18th April 2012 at the Faculty of International and Political Studies, the Shakespeare Symposium “Shakespeare in Polish literature, drama and media” was organised.

It focused on various aspects of the presence and functioning of Shakespeare’s works in Polish culture over the centuries. The discussed issues concerned the literary and theatrical heritage of the English playwright, as well as Shakespeare reception in literature, drama, media and daily press.

The inaugural lecture entitled “Late Shakespeare: Writing and Rewriting Shakespeare” was held by professor Grace Ioppolo from the University of Reading, GB. The following scholars presented their papers: professor  Krystyna Kujawińska-Courtney from the University of Lodz, professor  Małgorzata Grzegorzewska from the University of Warsaw, professor  Jacek Fabiaszak from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Magdalena Cieślak, PhD and Agnieszka Rasmus, PhD from the University of Lodz.

One of the results of the symposium is a Shakespearean publication – Shakespeare 2014. W 450. rocznicę urodzin. Red. Krystyna Kujawińska Courtney, Monika Sosnowska. Łódź: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego, 2014, ISBN/ISSN: 978-83-7969-284-2.


On 25-27 October 2013, International Shakepeare Studies Centre along with The Department of Drama ane Pre-1800 Literature, Institute of English, organized a scientific conference “Diversity and homogeneity: politics of nation, class, and gender in drama, theatre, film and media (including a Shakespeare day: the politics of nation, class, and gender in Shakespeare)”.

The conference addressed the dynamics of the binary opposite of diversity and homogeneity. The democratic culture of the West, often seeing itself as the maker of global standards, is ideologically paradoxical in itself. On the one hand, its fundamental premise is the freedom of each individual, which should seemingly embrace diversity and nourish difference as society’s organizing principle. On the other, however, its practice is to normalise people’s behaviour and effectively marginalise individuals that do not conform to the legal norms set by the majority, in effect creating a homogeneously sanitised and orderly society. The aim of the conference was to look at how issues connected with the politics of nation, class, and gender are rendered in drama, theatre, film and media. Particular attention will be paid to the problem of multiculturalism, nationalism, social hierarchies, minorities, and identity. One conference day was devoted exclusively to the analysis of the above thematic areas in the context of Shakespearean studies, discussing the issues of the politics of nation, class and gender in Shakespeare’s dramatic output as well as in contemporary reworkings of his plays in theatre, film and media.

The invited keynote speakers included: prof. Judith Buchanan, University of York; prof. Christy Desmet, University of Georgia; prof. Ewa Mazierska, University of Central Lancashire; prof. Kay Stanton, California State University, Fullerton; dr Imke Lichterfeld, University of Bonn.


Shakespeare Recreated: New Contexts, New Interpretations

Conference website with the programme.

On April 22-23, 2015, the Shakespeare International Studies Centre together with Geoffrey Chaucer Student Society and CULTUR(N)ED Student Society organized a student conference on Shakespeare. Although the Bard appears to be the most researched author in the world, his works and his own person still inspire, puzzle and encourage
heated debates. The conference marked a special three-year period in the history of the appreciation of Shakespeare, with the 450th anniversary of his birth in 2014 and the 400th anniversary of his death in 2016. The conference was under the patronage of the British Council.

The conference was attended by keynote speakers from the USA and Spain: prof. Virginia Mason Vaughan from the University of Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, prof. Vicente Forés López, co-creator of the MultiMediaModules, from the Shakespeare Institute of Spain, University of Valencia, and prof. Jose Saiz Molina, co-creator of the MultiMediaModules, from the Shakespeare Institute of Spain, University of Valencia. They offered inspiring lectures and workshops to the conference participants.

The conference was a part of the Festival of Science, Technology and Art, and was also attended by groups of high school students.


“Shakespeare and the Idea of Authorship of Performance in Polish Theatre”

The International Shakespeare Studies Centre, the Department of Drama and pre-1800 English Literature, and British and the Commonwealth Studies Department organized an academic symposium “Shakespeare and the Idea of the Authority of Performance in Polish Theatre”, which took place on March 11, 2016, starting at 10.30, in the Faculty Meeting Room (1.10), Faculty of International and Political Studies, University of Łódź, Narutowicza 59a. It was a part of a series of events organized by the ISSC to celebrate the anniversaries of Shakespeare’s birth and death.

The symposium was convened by an honorary guest, Professor William B. Worthen, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, and by the Head of ISSC, Professor Krystyna Kujawińska Courtney.

The papers and the following discussion will revolve around the issues of authority in Shakespearean theatre productions, and the point of reference is Professor Worthen’s Shakespeare and the Authority of Performance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).