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UCD Abbey Theatre Shakespeare Lectures

The UCD/Abbey Theatre Shakespeare Lectures began in 2012 and since then the series has seen a number of distinguished guest speakers visit both UCD and the Abbey Theatre. The series aims to sustain an ongoing conversation about Shakespeare in Ireland – in performance, in books, in history. Several of the lectures have been recorded for podcasting by Real Smart Media. These podcasts are available to stream below and are also available to download on iTunes.

Speakers include:


UCD Abbey Theatre Lectures 2016

Professor Margaret Kelleher (UCD) and Professor Danielle Clarke (UCD) - An ‘Irish Mode’? The Literary Writings and Legacy of Thomas MacDonagh. A conversation with selected readings from MacDonagh’s works, performed by the UCD Ad Astra Drama Scholars. Introduction by Jane Grogan (UCD).


Dr. Farah Karim-Cooper (Shakespeare’s Globe) - Gesture on the Shakespearean Stage. The lecture was introduced by Phil Kingston, Community and Education Manager at the Abbey Theatre.

This talk explored the question of how in the sixteenth and seventeenth century playhouses Shakespeare’s actors used gesture as a versatile performance technology and illustrates how Shakespearean drama allows for a rich, textured and various gestural vocabulary. Dr. Farah Karim-Cooper's lecture was supported with readings by actor Marty Rea.

Click here to view the handout reference in the lecture.


Professor Gordon McMullan (King's College, London) - Remembering and forgetting Shakespeare in 1916. The lecture was introduced by Dr Jane Grogan (UCD).

This talk addresses what it means to remember Shakespeare in 2016, and reflects on the forgetting that is also required: forgetting not only aspects of Shakespeare’s life, work and legacy, but also that of certain of his contemporaries, notably those who died in the same year (Cervantes, Beaumont) or whose significant publication (the Jonson folio) has been overshadowed in subsequent centuries by Shakespeare’s cultural dominance.


UCD Abbey Theatre Lectures 2015

Dr Naomi McAreavey (UCD) - Shakespeare and Seventeenth-Century Irish Theatre. The lecture was introduced by Dr Jane Grogan (UCD).

Naomi McAreavey completed her doctoral thesis, 'Gendering Irishness: Women and Writing in Seventeenth-Century Ireland', at Queen's University, Belfast, in 2006. She has published on women's writing in early modern Ireland and is currently writing her first book, Writing Women and War in Ireland, 1641-60. She taught for three years at Queen's before joining UCD School of English, Drama and Film in September 2006. She teaches on Shakespeare and Renaissance literature at undergraduate level, as well as the MA in Renaissance Literature and Culture.


Prof Andrew Murphy (University of St Andrews) - Acts of Rebellion: Shakespeare and the 1916 Rising. The lecture was introduced by Dr Tony Roche (UCD).

Andrew Murphy received his undergraduate degree from Trinity College, Dublin, and his MA and PhD from Brandeis University in Boston. Andrew's primary research interest has been in the field of Shakespeare publishing, dissemination and reception. He has also worked on Irish literature and cultural history.


UCD Abbey Theatre Lectures 2014

Professor Anthony Roche (UCD) - Shakespeare: "the chap that writes like Synge". The lecture was introduced by Dr Jane Grogan (UCD).

Anthony Roche joined UCD in 1990 where he is currently Associate Professor in the School of English, Drama and Film. His books include: Synge and Modern Irish Drama (Carysfort Press, 2013), Brian Friel: Theatre and Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), Contemporary Irish Drama: Second Edition (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), The Cambridge Companion to Brian Friel (Cambridge University Press, 2006).


Professor Michael Dobson (Shakespeare Institute) - Shakespeare, Amateur Performance and Civic Identity in Britain and Ireland. The lecture was introduced by Dr Victoria Brownlee (UCD).

Professor Michael Dobson is the Director of the Shakespeare Institute and founder and board member of the European Shakespeare Research Association; the Academic Dean of the Shakespeare programme at the British-American Drama Academy; a regular book and theatre reviewer for the BBC and for the London Review of Books; general editor, with Dympna Callaghan, of the Palgrave Shakespeare Studies monograph series; and a member of the editorial boards of both Shakespeare Quarterly and Shakespeare Survey.


UCD Abbey Theatre Lectures 2013

Two lectures from the UCD/Abbey Theatre Shakespeare Lectures 2013 by Professor Ewan Fernie (Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon) and Dr Jane Grogan (UCD).

Dr Jane Grogan (UCD) - Shakespeare and the East. The lecture was introduced by Professor Anthony Roche (UCD).

Dr Jane Grogan is lecturer in Renaissance Literature at the School of English, Drama and Film at UCD. The author of a prize-winning book on the poet Edmund Spenser (Exemplary Spenser (2009)) and the editor of a volume of essays on Spenser's Mutabilitie Cantos (Celebrating Mutabilitie (2010)) as well as articles on Shakespeare and others, her current research focusses on encounters between Europe and the East, particularly Iran, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Her lecture is based on material from her forthcoming book, The Persian Empire in English Renaissance Writing, 1549-1622.


Prof. Ewan Fernie (Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon) - St Edgar and his Demons.

Prof. Ewan Fernie is the Chair of Shakespeare Studies at the renowned Shakespeare Institute, in Stratford-upon-Avon. The author and editor of several books and series' on Shakespeare and others, in 2004 he was recognized as ‘one of the six most brilliant scholars of Renaissance drama in the world under 40’ by Gary Taylor, at the University of Alabama. His lecture in this series draws on his recent book, The Demonic: Literature and Experience, published by Routledge in November 2012.


UCD Abbey Theatre Lectures 2012

Prof. Kiernan Ryan (Royal Holloway University of London) - Shakespeare's Universality: The Revolutionary Imagination