News and Events

Gdansk Shakespeare Festival

This week, Dr. Sheila Cavanagh attended the Gdansk Shakespeare Festival. The festival is the “largest, cyclical, international theater event,” and takes place during the first week of August every year in Gdansk, Poland. Since 1997, over 200 theater companies from 40 countries have attended.

Shakespeare Association of America

The WSP is looking forward to meeting new friends and collaborators and the annual Shakespeare Association of America meeting in Vancouver. Dr. Sheila Cavanagh will be presenting the Shakespeare Books created by prisoners at Phillips State Prison in Buford, Georgia in the seminar on Book Design.  The prisoners work closely with Sarah Higinbotham, Bill Taft, and students from Georgia State and Georgia Tech, to study Shakespeare and create books containing their essays on the plays.

Big News!

The World Shakespeare Project is pleased to announce that Founding Director Sheila T Cavanagh will serve as the Fulbright/Global Shakespeare Centre Distinguished Chair in the UK during 2015-2016. She is looking forward to working with faculty and students at Queen Mary, London and the University of Warwick.

A massive congratulations to Dr. Cavanagh on behalf of the WSP team!

WSP at Samara and Makerere
During her time in Africa, Dr. Cavanagh will be visiting Makerere University and Samara University.

Founded in 1922 as a technical school, Makerere University has grown to become Uganda's largest institution of higher learning with 9 colleges and a school of law. It currently services 36,000 undergraduates and 4,000 postgraduates. The University has 135 programs at the undergraduate level, including 11 Diplomas and 134 Bachelors programs.
More information can be found on Makerere's Website:

Ethiopia's Samara University was opened in 2008 with only 1867 students. The University has rapidly expanded, and currently offers programs for 7470 students. The University is made up of seven colleges with a total of 34 departments specializing in everything from Agri-Business to Afar Language and Literature.
Samara can be found online here:
WSP Travels to Ethiopia and Uganda!
The World Shakespeare Project is excited to be meeting with faculty and students in cities, towns, and villages in Ethiopia and Uganda. It is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen ties through global communication and shared education.
Dr. Cavanagh and Sir Rushdie in the Emory Report
Dr. Sheila Cavanagh was quoted in an article on WSP collaborator Sir Salman Rushdie.
The article can be found below.
A First Folio is coming to Emory University!
The World Shakespeare Project is delighted to announce that Emory University has been chosen to host a display of "First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare." The traveling exhibit, presented by the Folger Shakespeare Library in partnership with Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, will be touring all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico in 2016. Emory University, represented by the World Shakespeare Project, the Michael C. Carlos Museum, and Emory's Manuscript, Archive, and Rare Book Library (MARBL), will be hosting events and guest speakers, including Sir Salman Rushdie and more to be announced during the year.

Image from the First Folio of Shakespeare Credit: Shakespeare First Folio. 1623. Folger Shakespeare Library.

Sir Salman Rushdie and Teresa DeBerry
The World Shakespeare Project was pleased to welcome Sir Salman Rushdie and Teresa DeBerry to class Thursday morning.  Sir Rushdie spoke about A Midsummer Night's Dream and even joined students in a scene as Hermia. Local actor and drama teacher Teresa DeBerry gave in depth analysis and direction to students playing the young lovers in the forest. A huge thanks to both.
Be on the lookout for many exciting things!

After a very busy summer filled with trips to Argentina, Brazil, and Oregon (not to mention a very intense MayMester) the WSP is very excited for a new semester here at Oxford. 

Taken in an Kevin Quarmby's Shakespeare course, have you ever seen such a response to the Sonnets?
The WSP movement continues to grow...
Inmates at a high security prison in Poland are reciting Shakespeare to broaden their horizons. The initiative designed to resocialise them is the brainchild of a community arts centre in the nearby eastern Polish city of Lublin. These prisoners, who face years behind bars, are performing an adaptation of Shakespeare's late 16th century comedy "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

The youtube video can be found here.

Similarly, the WSP is pleased to have our friends and colleagues at Georgia Shakespeare acknowledged for their Education Programs:

WSP at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre
Delightful evening with theatre patrons in Chattanooga. What a vibrant community. Thanks to Valerie Epstein for inviting the WSP to speak!  Thanks to David and Sharon Turner for providing the link to an article noting the WSP presentation in Chattanooga. We appreciate the fellowship provided by the Royal Society of the Arts and look forward to further conversations.

The coverage can be found here.

And we are going back!
As of April 6th, 2013, the Shakespeare Association of America's 2014 Conference will include a panel put forth by the World Shakespeare Project.  "'Of Nations Speak Aloud': Global Shakespeares in Prisons, Villages, and Opera Houses" brings forth the work of Karen Saillant's International Opera Theater and the prominent Steve Rowland.
Shakespeare Association of America and Stratford Festival
The search for knowledge is never ending.  On March 28th the World Shakespeare Project traveled to Toronto, Ontario to join the many scholars of the Shakespeare Association of America.  The association meets ever year so that its members can exchange ideas and discuss strategies for reading, teaching, researching, and writing about Shakespeare's works and their many contexts.  Sessions at these conferences include formal papers, seminars, workshops, film screenings, and theatrical performances.  SAA's wealth of knowledge regarding the roles Shakespeare's works have played in world culture will expand the lens through which the WSP engages in diverse communities.

The Toronto adventure was diverted to accommodate the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.  New connections were forged with Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino.  Keep an eye out for a possible link with Brazil this May.  Thanks to Liana de Camargo Leo for an invigorating chat about collaborative possibilities.

The WSP community welcomes the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College
Oxford, Atlanta, Saginaw, Seattle. Realtime classroom exchange between disparate college groups on the colonial implications of 'The Tempest'. Thanks to Steve Rowland and Sheila Cavanagh and Sarah Prielipp and Kevin Quarmby and the whole ECIT/OCIT/Saginaw Chippewa team. We have a real community developing.

The Oxford College News feature can be found here.
Sir Salman Rushdie Comes to Emory
Sir Salman Rushdie in real-time conversation with Atlanta and Oxford College students. A charming addition to any class with his fascinating take on Shakespearean tragedy.
Sir Salman Rushdie graces a private event at Emory University with Oxford and Emory Shakespeare students. Best of all, his impromptu 'on yer feet' performance as Iago validated their own brave artistic expressions. It was unclear who enjoyed it most, there was so much jollity!

The full Emory News article can be found here.
Top Notch Buzz!

Congratulation to Wayne Morse, Director of the Emory Center for Interactive Teaching (and Stalwart technological advisor for the WSP) for his well-deserved 2013 Emory Award of Distinction!

Congratulations also to Philip Wainwright, who was just named Vice Provost for International Affairs and Director of the Halle Institute.  The Emory News Article can be found here.

The WSP greatly values their contributions to Emory, to the WSP, and to global education and we are thrilled that their accomplishments are receiving appropriate accolades. Well done! 
Meet Us on The Quadrangle!
Credit: Emory Quadrangle Magazine
The Emory Quadrangle Magazine has just written a profile on the Dr.'s and their amazing work on the WSP.  A big thanks to Hal Jacobs and the great resources of Emory University.
The full article can be found here.
'Caesar Must Die' by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
A scene from "Caesar Must Die."
The timing of this film's release is uncanny. It fits in well with all our discussions with Steve Rowland, Curt Tofteland, Peter Holland, and Scott Jackson. Lots of good Shakespeare work happening in prisons around the world. Looking forward to seeing this Italian production.  The full New York Times article can be found here.
Steve Rowland and WSP converge at Emory
Credit: Halle Institute of Emory University
NPR documentarian Steve Rowland comes to Emory University.  While here, Mr. Rowland will be visiting classes and giving two lectures to discuss his recent work at the Globe to Globe festival in London.  Rowland will also be sharing footage from his recent project bringing Shakespeare to New York prisoners.  The World Shakespeare Project recommends Steve's work to one and all. We are honored to have had him here this week.
The Connection Between Shakespeare and Maurice Sendak
From "My Brother's Book"

Leave it to Stephen G. to connect Shakespeare and Sendak through an anecdote about borrowed pillows and a NordicTrack machine! Fascinating discussion about correlations between these these two authors.
  The full New York Times article can be found here.

Emory International Article Tracing the WSP Narrative So Far

"My English Breath in Foreign Clouds": WSP Co-director Sheila Cavanagh traces the history of this extraordinary project. Serendipity, dedication, and the support of far-sighted individuals at Emory University. All these factors combine to create the WSP's unique and individual status in pedagogy and research.

iShakespeare: New Media in Research and Pedagogy at the 
Shakespeare Association of America in Boston, April 2012

Quarmby and Cavanagh welcomed speakers and auditors to the 2012 SAA workshop.  The event offered a fruitful exploration of the joys and perils of Shakespearean teaching and research in the electronic age. To read some of the fascinating WordPress commentary, with important questions and, hopefully, many answers, visit iShakespeare: New Media in Research and Pedagogy

Major Recognition for WSP from Emory University Research Committee

The Emory University Research Committee has designated the WSP one of two projects in its highly competitive "High Risk/High Potential" Initiative. The "High Risk" acknowledges the technological and other challenges we face. The "High Potential" recognizes the benefit of the kinds of interactions we've already established with India and Morocco. The WSP offers our thanks and gratitude to Provost Earl Lewis and Senior Vice Provost Claire Sterk. We also reiterate our ongoing thanks to the Halle Institute for Global Learning and Emory's Center for Interactive Teaching. We will have lots to celebrate and share at the Shakespeare meeting in Boston!

Casablanca and Marrakech: The Journey Begins

A wonderful welcome from Saida Bennani and all the faculty and students of Hassan II University in Casablanca, Morocco. The WSP has forged so many new friendships. Most exciting was the response to our live interactive link with Atlanta. Students at Emory University workshopped and performed scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream. Students from Casablanca were invited to respond, which they did with excitement and interest. The result, a dialogue between two distant student bodies, separated by continents and cultures but at that moment united via the internet. Within a matter of hours, opportunities arose, and firm commitment made, for some students to communicate on an individual basis with their peers in the USA. Mutual respect, informed curiosity, and a desire to understand and communicate across cultural boundaries, both intellectual and spatial, are the bedrock of the WSP venture. Casablanca has laid the foundation stone firmly on this bedrock.

WSP Invitation to Morocco

The Directors of the WSP look forward to their fact-finding mission to Morocco, Spring 2012. At the invitation of Hassan II University in Casablanca and Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech, Cavanagh and Quarmby will spend a week in the splendid Kingdom of Morocco. The WSP is forging links between this historically significant North African nation at a time when performers and artists converge on Morocco for its world-famous Marrakech Biennale

WSP at the SAA 2012 Boston

The Directors of WSP look forward to meeting fellow Shakespeareans at the SAA 2012 Annual Conference in Boston this April. They are pleased to announce their workshop – iShakespeare: New Media in Research and Pedagogy – is fully subscribed and already attracting interest and heated debate.


New Maymester Course for Emory University
The WSP forms the basis of the new Emory University Maymester Course (an intensive three week course that carries the credit of an entire semester), called 'International Shakespeare in a New Media World'. Run by Cavanagh in the USA and Quarmby in the UK, the Maymester will commence May 15, 2012, calling on its international partners and resources to offer a unique teaching experience for Emory students, and the wider world.

YouTube Video about 2012 Maymester Course at Emory University, 'International Shakespeare in a New Media World'.

The Witches in the Nistarini Women's College production of Macbeth, 2011.

The WSP Linkup with West Bengal

In September 2011, the WSP made its first international linkup between faculty and students in the USA and UK, and performers in eastern India. Using Skype conference call technology, students from Nistarini Women's College in Purulia, West Bengal, showcased their Bengali translation of the Witches' cauldron scene from Macbeth. Their effort was rapturously received by WSP observers many thousands of miles apart and spanning several timezones. Using only basic technology – a laptop computer, internet access and free Skype software – students from this less privileged Indian region shared their passion for Shakespeare with the wider world. Significant as this first step was for the WSP, its success in opening live interactive Shakespeare dialogues offered only a tantalizing glimpse of the project's global potential.

India Skypes into the RSA
In December 2011, Sheila Cavanagh and Kevin Quarmby, both elected Fellows of the Royal Society of Arts in London, enjoyed the historical facilities of RSA House in John Adam Street. Built in 1774 as the permanent residence of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, RSA House has long nurtured Anglo-American associations that trace back to the RSA's eighteenth-century enlightenment past. Benjamin Franklin was a Fellow and regular visitor, with other notable Fellows including Charles Dickens, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, William Hogarth, and Stephen Hawking. With just a MacBook Pro and an iPad2, Cavanagh and Quarmby conducted a three-way exchange with Dr Aparajita Hazra of the Nistarini Women's College in Purulia, West Bengal. The spirit of the enlightenment met the technology of today with surprising synchronicity. 
The RSA House