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The future of Shakespeare: York academic to give keynote speech at Hamlet’s castle

Posted on 20 April 2016

A University of York academic will give a keynote speech at Kronborg Castle, known worldwide as Elsinore in Hamlet, to mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death this month.

Judith Buchanan, Professor of Film and Literature in York’s Department of English and Related Literature, will travel to Helsingør, Denmark to speak at the Elsinore International Conference on 23 April.

Exploring why we engage with Shakespeare’s works 400 years after his death and how this will continue in the future, the conference will bring together international scholars, critics, actors, directors, artists and designers from education, technology, film, theatre and digital media.

Professor Buchanan’s keynote speech, ‘The future in the instant’: Shakespeare’s Janus gaze and ours, will address how Shakespeare’s thinking about the future relates to the past, and will explore the role of the archive in rethinking theatrical performance.

Professor Buchanan said: “It’s an honour to give the keynote address for this major Shakespeare anniversary on 23rd April 2016 in a beautiful location with such powerful Shakespearean associations. I’m fully expecting we’ll be joined by a collection of interesting and interested ghosts.”

An expert in Shakespeare and silent film, Professor Buchanan is also Director of Silents Now, a project that works with cinemas, festivals, film-makers, musicians, actors and broadcasters to bring little-known films from the silent era back into circulation. Her other upcoming Shakespeare events include:

  • ‘Play on! Silent Shakespeare films’ - a public talk as part of the BFI Shakespeare 400 programme that will introduce silent Shakespeare films from the British Film Institute National Archive, soon to be released on DVD (BFI Southbank, 4 May 2016).
  • ‘Silent Shakespeare’ - a public talk in collaboration with actors from the Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Music Box Theater, Chicago,6 June 2016).
  • ‘Shakespeare: Moments that Matter’ – actor scenes followed by a public talk in collaboration with Dr Paul Edmondson and Dr Farah Karim-Cooper (York Festival of Ideas, 13 June 2016).
  • ‘A History of Macbeth on Film’ – an illustrated presentation as part of the British Library’s Shakespeare in 10 Acts exhibition (British Library, 17June 2016).
  • 'Macbeth in performance’ – a public talk with actor assistance (Shakespeare’s Globe, London, 26 July 2016)

Professor Buchanan continued: “This anniversary year gives us the opportunity to consider Shakespeare’s remarkable contribution to our social, cultural and political life across the past four centuries and consider creative new ways of engaging with his work for the future. It’s a privilege to be contributing to some of the celebratory and exploratory events marking the anniversary moment.”

Professor Buchanan is also the Shakespeare Consultant and Co-Screenwriter for a new adaptation of Macbeth produced by GSP Studios, currently in post-production.

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