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Early Modern Literature Forum: The Arab Shakespeare Trilogy


Image: Still from a Performance of Sulayman Al-Bassam’s Al-Hamlet Summit.

Date: Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Time: 4:00pm
Venue: UQ, Room 202A Learning and Innovation Buidling (No. 17), St Lucia campus
Speaker: Professor Graham Holderness (University of Hertfordshire)

Abstract: This year will see the publication by Bloomsbury/Methuen Drama of Sulayman Al-Bassam’s The Arab Shakespeare Trilogy, which presents English-language versions of his three Shakespeare adaptations: The Al-Hamlet Summit (Hamlet), An Arab Tragedy (Richard III) and The Speaker’s Progress (Twelfth Night). Graham Holderness reviews the trilogy as a whole, considering the plays as political theatre, ‘arabized’ drama and globalized culture. Of interest to all those concerned with Shakespeare, transnational culture and relations between the West and the Middle East.

Graham Holderness has taught at the universities of Oxford, Swansea, Roehampton and Hertfordshire. Most of his 40 published books focus on Shakespeare, with particular interests in Shakespeare’s history plays, Shakespeare and the media, Shakespeare editing, Shakespeare and contemporary culture and transnational Shakespeare. Recent publications include Shakespeare in Venice (2009) and the innovative new biography Nine Lives of William Shakespeare (Bloomsbury, 2011). Influential publications include: D.H. Lawrence: History, Ideology and Fiction (1982); The Shakespeare Myth (1988); Shakespeare: The Histories (2000); and the trilogy Cultural Shakespeare: Essays in the Shakespeare Myth (2001), Visual Shakespeare: Essays in Film and Television (2002), and Textual Shakespeare: Writing and the Word (2003). Graham Holderness is also a novelist, poet and dramatist. His novel The Prince of Denmark was published in 2001; his poetry collection Craeft received a Poetry Book Society award in 2002; and his play Wholly Writ was recently performed at Shakespeare’s Globe, and by Royal Shakespeare Company actors in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The Early Modern Literature Forum is an opportunity for those working on English and European literature and drama, 1500-1800 (or in related fields, such as history, philosophy, music, or the history of art) to share research and engage in discussion about texts and issues of common interest. Regular fortnightly meetings will take place on Fridays at 4:00pm in Room 202A of the Learning and Innovation Building on the UQ St Lucia campus. For further information contact Ross Knecht (r.knecht@uq.edu.au) or Brandon Chua (b.chua@uq.edu.au)