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Entertainment: theatre, music, lotteries, fairs

To celebrate 25 years of ephemera studies Typography is hosting themed open afternoons to introduce university colleagues to this amazing source material as inspiration for cross–disciplinary research and other activities.

We begin with short talks, including by Rick Poynor on National Theatre posters, David Plant on material from the John and Griselda Lewis Collection, and Rob Banham on lotteries, drawing attention to some of the ways ephemera are being used to support research and scholarship. The main purpose of the sessions, though, is to encourage dialogue and inspiration for research bids.

There will be opportunity to look at material from the collections in Typography and to view the a-z of ephemera exhibition curated by the Centre for Ephemera Studies. An online version of the exhibition is at www.a-z-ephemera.org

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Professor David Roberts, Birmingham City University.

 

George Farquhar: A Migrant Life Reversed

Studio Space, Minghella, 15.30, Thursday, 12 October

This paper is based on the introduction to David’s forthcoming book, George Farquhar: A Migrant Life Reversed, to be published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2018. It examines the tradition of biographical writing about the Restoration dramatist George Farquhar and begins to explore how the theory and practice of migrant writing might be used to address concerns in Farquhar’s work hitherto either over-valued or disregarded as merely personal. Addressing ethical and epistemological issues in the production of literary biography, the paper presents a case for the radical revision of that genre in respect of Farquhar’s life.

David Roberts is Professor of English and Dean of the Arts, Design and Media at Birmingham City University, where he oversees and teaches at the (now) Royal Birmingham Conservatoire of Music and Acting. Recent books include Thomas Betterton and Restoration Plays and Players, both for Cambridge University Press, and The Library of a Seventeenth-Century Actor for the Society for Theatre Research.

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By Professor Grace Ioppolo, English Literature professor at the University of Reading, and 2017 Sam Wanamaker Fellow at Shakespeare’s Globe

Although the Sam Wanamaker Fellowship Lecture was scheduled several months ago, for Thursday 8 June, the timing is now auspicious, for it will take place on the evening of the General Election.

Whilst my subject will be how Shakespeare viewed his audiences, I will now be obliged to work in a few Shakespearean quotes and puns on elections (at least from Hamlet and Julius Caesar, not to mention All’s Well that Ends Well (‘thy frank election make; / Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake.”).

We know how we feel about Shakespeare, but we don’t really know how he felt about his theatrical audiences and readers. My talk will look at evidence that still exists in archival records and in play texts from the late 16th and early 17th century about how Shakespeare and his colleagues viewed public and private audiences.

I assume that Shakespeare liked us as much as we liked him, although he knew that

The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.  (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

So, it’s the poet who gives the audience the power to use their imagination. Whether they accept that power is up to them.

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