Notre Dame London Global Gateway and partners launch year-long exploration of Shakespeare

Author: Bridget Keating

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The Notre Dame London Global Gateway, along with partners from the United Kingdom and the University of Notre Dame campus, is launching a year-long exploration of Shakespeare. Professor Peter Holland will kick off this ThinkND series offering the 10th Annual Notre Dame London Shakespeare Lecture in Honour of Professor Sir Stanley Wells on April 7, at 1 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. BST) on Zoom.

Since the annual lecture began in collaboration with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Shakespeare Institute, scholars, professionals, and students have gathered to engage with a wide variety of topics. Speakers have included distinguished voices from different spheres of study and practice such as Dame Judi Dench, Gregory Doran, and Sir Nicholas Hytner. Professor Sir Stanley Wells, the event’s namesake and unquestionably the UK's leading Shakespeare scholar, offered the founding lecture on his life with Shakespeare.

Rev. Dr. Paul Edmondson, head of research at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said, “We are thrilled to collaborate in this distinguished lecture series. Professor Sir Stanley Wells brings together everything that we might think of as constituting Shakespeare Studies: textual scholarship, history, literary criticism, and the theatre. He continues to lead the world's appreciation of Shakespeare. Our speakers reflect the range and depth of Sir Stanley's important contributions, and we like paying tribute to him because we are thankful for all he has done and represents.”

“All of us at the Shakespeare Institute - one of the world hubs of Shakespearean scholarship - are delighted to be partners in this series,” says Michael Dobson, Director of the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Birmingham. “It has followed Stanley Wells’ own example in defying the artificial boundary between the stage and the page, featuring as it has both leading scholar-critics of Shakespeare and leading directors and performers from the Shakespearean theatre. And like Shakespeare's works themselves, these occasions have been rich, enthralling, varied, and enlightening.”

In the April 7 event, Professor Holland, the McMeel Family Chair in Shakespeare Studies and Associate Dean for the Arts, will present “On the Shakespeare Trail,” exploring an often overlooked area of Shakespeare marketing: the film and theatre trailer. Holland will explore how trailers conceptualize and lure audiences into watching on-screen and live versions of Shakespeare's plays.

“The Shakespeare Lecture has been an annual highlight for the past decade thanks to London faculty member Boika Sokolova, who has been an integral connection to the world of Shakespeare for our community,” says Josh Copeland, executive director of the London Global Gateway. “We are thrilled to have our esteemed colleague Peter Holland with us for the tenth anniversary lecture, and we look forward to exploring prescient themes in Shakespeare throughout this year-long celebration along with Shakespeare at Notre Dame, led by Mary Irene Ryan Executive Director Scott Jackson, as well as with our wonderful collaborators here in the UK.”

To celebrate the 10th anniversary year, this virtual series will welcome voices from around the world and explore themes related to Shakespeare and community. More events and dates will be announced shortly.

This series is free and open to all, and it is hosted exclusively on ThinkND, Notre Dame’s open, online learning community brought to you by the Alumni Association. Campus partners for the Shakespeare series include Notre Dame International, College of Arts and Letters, Shakespeare at Notre Dame, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, Nanovic Institute for European Studies, and Notre Dame Alumni Association. For more information and to register, please visit