British Shakespeare Association: Shakespeare, Race and Nation

deadline for submissions: 
November 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
British Shakespeare Association Annual Conference
contact email: 


Plenary Speakers include: Prof. Kim F Hall (Barnard College), Prof. Nandini Das (University of Liverpool) Dr. Preti Taneja (University of Warwick)

Swansea University is proud to host the 2019 British Shakespeare Association conference on the theme of “Shakespeare, Race, and Nation”.

In the lead-up to the UK’s 2016 EU Referendum vote, both pro and anti-EU campaigners used Shakespeare to try and establish a persuasive argument about British (or English) national identity. In the wake of the referendum, several commentators turned to Shakespeare again, this time in the form of a bitter joke: ‘Brexit, pursued by a bear’. But what does Shakespeare tell us about nationhood and about race? Shakespeare is often praised as a universal writer with global appeal but his plays have complicated histories that reveal legacies of racism and imperialism. This major international conference invites academics, practitioners, and educators from across the world to consider the fraught relationship Shakespeare has with these important and contentious subjects.

BSA 2019 also features a screening of Twelfth Night (Shanty Productions, 2018), including a Q&A with the company founders Rakie Ayola and Adam Smethhurst.

There are five ways to participate in BSA 2019:

  1. Submit an abstract for a 20 minute paper on a relevant subject. Abstracts (100 words) and a
    short biography to be submitted by 15 November 2019 to
  2. Submit a proposal for a panel session consisting of three 20-minute papers on a relevant
    theme. Abstracts for all three papers (100 words each), a rationale for the panel (100 words) and
    short speaker biographies to be submitted by 15 November 2019 to
  3. Submit a proposal for a drama / pedagogy workshop. An abstract outlining the focus and
    methods of the workshop (200 words) and short facilitator biography / biographies to be submitted by 15 November 2019 to
  4. Submit an abstract to join a seminar. The seminar format involves circulating a short paper
    (max 3000 words) before the conference and then meeting to discuss all of the papers in Swansea.
    To apply to be in a seminar, please submit a 100-word abstract to,
    stating your seminar of preference by 15 November 2019. Seminars include:


    1. ‘Shakespeare and Translation’, led by Liz Oakley-Brown (Lancaster University)
    2. ‘Shakespeare and the Margins’, led by Lisa Hopkins (Sheffield Hallam University)
    3. ‘Shakespeare Performance and the UK’, led by Stephen Purcell (University of Warwick)
    4. ‘Shakespeare and the Celtic Nations’, led by Daniel G. Williams (Swansea University)
    5. ‘Shakespeare, Race, and Genre’, led by Dennis Britton (University of New Hampshire)
    6. ‘Shakespeare, Race, Nation, and Contemporary Fiction’, led by Nicholas Taylor-Collins
      (Swansea University)
    7. ‘Shakespeare and Europe’, led by Marion Wynne-Davies (University of Surrey) and
      Neema Parvini (University of Surrey)
    8. ‘Theorizing Shakespeare, Race, and Nation’, led by John Drakakis (University of
    9. ‘The Royal Company: The King’s Men, 1603-1660’, led by José A. Pérez Díez
      (University of Leeds) and Richard Dutton (Queen’s University, Belfast)


  5. Sign up for the Teaching Shakespeare seminar, led by Helen Mears and Karen Eckersall of
    the BSA Education Committee. The seminar format involves circulating a short paper (2-3 pages) before the conference and then meeting to discuss all of the papers in Swansea. The seminar will take place on Saturday July 20th and attendance is free for all school teachers. To register interest, please send an email to


A number of Postgraduate / Teacher / Practitioner Bursaries will be available to cover the conference fee. Please indicate in your email if you would like to apply for one of these.