UQ celebrates Shakespeare’s legacy

11 Apr 2016

Four-hundred years after William Shakespeare’s death, The University of Queensland will host a series of events in 2016 celebrating the poet’s life and times.

The program for ‘The Delighted Spirit’, led by the UQ Node of the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe, 1100-1800), will include lectures, symposia, concerts, film screenings, workshops, performances and a rare-book exhibition.

Centre director Professor Peter Holbrook said the events would explore the ways in which Shakespeare continues to fascinate those who engage with his works.

“Shakespeare’s drama is alive for people in many different ways – the writing is so rich and diverse and speaks to such a large range of contemporary ethical and political concerns” he said.

UQ has a long history of supporting the study of Shakespeare and his age.

“Shakespeare has been taught at UQ since 1911, when the first lecturer in English literature assigned Henry V, Twelfth Night, King Lear and The Tempest for students.

“Students need teachers who are passionate about Shakespeare’s plays and help bring them to life – a particular need is helping students come to terms with the language of Shakespeare’s time, which is often unfamiliar to us today.

“Universities, schools, and other cultural institutions have a large responsibility to assist future generations to comprehend, and appreciate, great creative works from the past such as Shakespeare’s” Professor Holbrook said.

Planning for ‘The Delighted Spirit’ began last year and the series is supported by UQ’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Professor Holbrook said the program was diverse.

“Shakespeare has been taken up in so many different artistic and intellectual arenas that almost every humanities discipline has something important to say or do around his work,” he said.

“I am particularly excited about the film series, a collaboration between UQ staff in the School of Communication and Arts and the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, the School of Music’s ‘Shakespearian Feast’ concert, and the Fryer Library’s exhibition of rare books.”

The library has a significant collection of 16th and 17th century books.

The series will be launched on 20 April with a public lecture on ‘Shakespeare and Modern Life’ at Customs House.

The lecture will be delivered by Professor Indira Ghose from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

UQ alumna and ABC radio presenter Sarah Kanowski will host the event.

Details of The Delighted Spirit events can be found here.

Media: Jo Hickman, jo.hickman@uq.edu.au, 07 3346 0384; Professor Peter Holbrook p.holbrook@uq.edu.au, 07 3365 3215