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University of York celebrates 50 years of Education with public lecture on Shakespeare

Posted on 28 November 2013

A public lecture examining the links between Shakespeare, theatre and democracy will mark the finale of a series of public lectures celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Education at the University of York.


In his lecture, Professor Jonothan Neelands, from the University of Warwick, will propose that Shakespeare offers us a lens for exploring the vital political relationship between theatre and democracy.

He says: “In this context, players and the social playfulness of childhood become forged in a vision of how we might live, learn and work together. In a world which is becoming increasingly environmentally and geo-politically unsustainable, play offers the young both a mirror and lens for seeing and transforming themselves and their worlds and the beginnings of the proto-democratic behaviours needed for our survival.”

Organised by the University’s Department of Education - which was established in 1963 - the lecture on Thursday, 5 December, is the final public event in a year-long calendar of activities marking the Department’s 50th Anniversary.

The series of evening lectures has given members of the public an opportunity to find out more about the work going on in the field of education and how it relates to individuals, families and the wider society.

Jonothan Neelands is a National Teaching Fellow, Professor of Drama and Theatre Education, and Warwick Business School Professor of Creative Education. An experienced workshop leader and drama practitioner, he enjoys a close working relationship with the Royal Shakespeare Company and has developed an accredited Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching Shakespeare course, and a Teaching Shakespeare online learning platform for teachers and actors.

Professor Neelands’ lecture ‘Shakespeare, Theatre and Democracy: Towards a Playful Future’ will take place at the Bowland Theatre, Berrick Saul Building on Thursday, 5 December, at 6.30pm. It will be followed by a wine reception at 7.30pm. Admittance is by free ticket available from or 01904 324778.

For information on other Department of Education 50th Anniversary events, including videos of past lectures, visit

Notes to editors:

Contact details

Caron Lett
Press Officer

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