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Shakespeare Readings 2014: International Conference on Shakespeare in Intercultural Exchange

The Russian Academy of Sciences

The Shakespeare Committee, Russian Academy of Sciences will be hosting an International Conference on Shakespeare in Intercultural Exchange (September 14–18 2014).

Although Shakespeare himself never paid a visit to Russia (they say that even he was never abroad) there are rather a few references about the country in his writings. The history of Russian-English political and cultural relationship goes back to the Shakespeare’s time. English navigator and explorer Richard Chancellor arrived in Arkhangelsk in 1553. He returned back to Russia two years later when the Muscovy Company was chartered. Queen Mary I and later Queen Elizabeth both established close relationship to the Russian ruler, Tsar Ivan the Terrible. Many of Shakespeare’s contemporaries travelled to Russia and left a significant amount of accounts on everyday life in Moscow and Russia. St. Andrew's Anglican Church and the Company headquarters (called "Chambers of the Old English Court") were built not far from the Moscow Kremlin.

Russia is mentioned in Love's Labour’s Lost as a distant and preposterous country and Moscovites as wild and vulgar people. In Macbeth and Henry IV they speak of fierce Russian bears, in Measure for Measure — of a long Russian night, in the melancholy Winter’s Tale spectators encounter a daughter of a Russian Emperor. Thanks to Shakespeare the image of Russia as it was formed in the XVI-th century stuck in the West-European consciousness.

Shakespeare could never imagine that it might become the country which would not only appreciate the genius of the world-renowned dramatist but also consider Shakespeare its own treasure and develop a deeply rooted tradition of literary influence, criticism, research, translation and performance. No wonder that Shakespeare Readings have been held in Russia for more than half a century.

The 2014 Shakespeare conference in Moscow offers the following aspects for papers and discussions in the realm of National Cultures:

  • Shakespeare in theatre;
  • translation;
  • literary criticism and scholarly studies;
  • artistic perception by poets and writers;
  • music and arts;
  • publishing and editorial history;
  • teaching;
  • contemporary life;
  • Shakespeare’s contemporaries.

Proposals are invited for papers of up to 25 minutes. These may be made by e-mail and should include a 250-word abstract. The deadline for submission is 1 May, 2014.

Proposals should be addressed to:

Nikolay Zakharov, the Institute of Fundamental and Applied Studies, Moscow University for the Humanities

Office: 5 Ulitsa Yunosti, 111395 Moscow, Russia


Tel./fax:: +7 (499) 374-67-23

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