Representing Disability in Shakespeare’s World

Image: Charity table painting from St Nicholas Church, Alcester, Warwickshire.

On Monday, 9th November 2020, 2:00pm – 4:00pm, there will be a FREE online event exploring social representations and attitudes toward disability in the 17th century and today.

Book for this event via EVENTBRITE https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/representing-disability-in-shakespeares-world-tickets-121856029665

Using insights from history and disability studies, this event will draw from Shakespearean England to explore social representations and attitudes toward disability across historical eras and in the context of military life. It will feature a pre-recorded mini lecture to introduce an online screening of videos, followed up by recorded online discussion.

The videos will include a production by actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), along with two freelance actors with disabilities. A series of video monologues of extracts from Shakespeare’s plays which portray people with disabilities caused by war will feature. Alongside this, the actors will recite, dramatize and perform short petitions that survive from wounded soldiers applying for the first state military pensions during Shakespeare’s day and the years immediately afterwards. These will be drawn from the Leicester-led www.civilwarpetitions.ac.uk project.

The video outputs and recited petitions will be accompanied by filmed commentaries and discussion from experts including an academic from the Shakespeare Institute, early modern historians, disability studies scholars, representatives from arts and military organisations, and the actors themselves. In doing so insights and critical reflection on contemporary representation and attitudes toward disability, as well as equality and social support for those with disability, will be provided.

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