Visiting speaker, 14 Dec 2010: Stuart Sillars on illustrated Shakespeare

Stuart Sillars will be presenting his paper, ‘Illustrated Shakespeare and the Limits of Interpretations’ at 5.15pm on Tuesday, 14 December 2010. The talk will take place in the Cardiff Humanities Building, Room 2.48.

Recent discussions of Shakespeare’s works as print documents have focused on scholarly editions, with illustrated editions still largely neglected, despite their far greater availability from the end of the eighteenth century. From Rowe’s edition of 1709, however, the nature, placing and frequency of illustrations had a major impact on the reading experience of the plays, being both innovative in the integrated narrative of word and image and offering important new ways of configuring the plays in terms wholly of the printed book. The paper will explore some of the operations of this complex identity, and make suggestions about how illustrated editions may be explored as an aesthetic form of parallel, yet quite distinct, identity to that of the plays in production.

About the speaker
Stuart Sillars is Professor of English at the University of Bergen, and Professor II at the University of Agder, having previously been a member of the Faculty of English at Cambridge. He has written extensively on literature and the visual arts, and his most recent books are Painting Shakespeare: The Artist as Critic, 1720–1820 (2006) and The Illustrated Shakespeare, 1709–1875 (2008), both from Cambridge University Press, with Shakespeare, Time and the Victorians: A Pictorial Exploration currently in the press. Earlier books have explored visual and literary art in the two world wars, illustration and the Victorian novel, and the special forms of irony involved in English writing of the early twentieth century. He is director of the Bergen Shakespeare and Drama Network, a group of scholars who meet regularly to exchange ideas, and co-ordinator of a research programme on traditional oral cultural forms conducted in collaboration with Makerere University, Uganda. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the Norwegian Academy of Arts and Letters, a visiting fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and an honorary research fellow of the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham.

Download a flyer for the talk (PDF).


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