Cambridge, United Kingdom

Shakespeare and the Renaissance Summer Programme

when 2 August 2020 - 15 August 2020
language English
duration 2 weeks

This programme offers a rich collection of courses, lectures, readings and acting workshops. You can explore the power, beauty, and meaning of Shakespeare's plays with leading academics; discover connections with the wider world of Elizabethan culture; and explore aspects of performance.

The academic programme
• Four courses (two per week)
• Series of plenary lectures: Transformation
• Evening talks
• Contact hours: up to 52 hours

Programme description
Expert Course Directors and lecturers combine the Cambridge tradition of close attention to the text with an alertness to questions of performance which is so vital in approaching Shakespeare. They will engage the experience and the response of participants, whose enthusiasm, openness and curiosity give the programme its unique atmosphere. Some courses will focus on specific plays, some will address recurring themes and others will be actor-led workshops centering on performance.

"The intellectual excitement these courses generate is a joy to share."
Dr Fred Parker, Programme Director, Shakespeare and the Renaissance Summer Programme


You choose one morning and one afternoon course per week, each has five sessions. The maximum class size is 25 participants. You can write one essay per course for evaluation. The following have been invited to teach courses:

Week 1 (2 – 8 August)
Group Ra: 9.15am - 10.45am
Ra1 - Love in trouble: Twelfth Night, All's Well that Ends Well, and Othello Dr G Frederick Parker
Ra2 - The Early Italian Renaissance Dr Oren Margolis
Ra3 - Shakespeare and the botanical renaissance Dr Bonnie Lander Johnson
Ra4 - Performing the Sonnets Miss Vivien Heilbron

Group Sa: 2.00pm - 3.30pm
Sa1 - Much Ado About Nothing in performance (Double course: to be taken with Sb1 in week 2) Miss Vivien Heilbron
Sa2 - The Second Tetralogy, plus one Dr Charles Moseley
Sa3 - Shakespeare and Italian comedy Dr John Lennard
Sa4 - Hamlet's cousins: Revenge Tragedy in the time of Shakespeare Dr Paul Suttie

Week 2 (9 - 15 August)
Group Rb: 9.15am - 10.45am
Rb1 - Being Catholic in Shakespeare’s England Dr Frederick Smith
Rb2 - ‘The plague of company’?: poets and painters in Shakespeare’s England Dr Christina Faraday
Rb3 - The Winter's Tale: Shakespeare's late magical romance Mr Valentin Gerlier
Rb4 - King Lear: Shakespeare’s and other versions Dr Alexander Lindsay

Group Sb: 2.00pm - 3.30pm
Sb1 - Much Ado About Nothing in performance (Double course: to be taken with Sa1 in week 1) Miss Vivien Heilbron
Sb2 - The Late Plays and the Blackfriars Theatre Dr John Lennard
Sb3 - Love and death in Shakespeare's Rome Mr Valentin Gerlier
Sb4 - Mortality and mercy in Measure for Measure Dr Paul Suttie

Plenary lectures
This year's speakers will be exploring the theme of transformation both within Shakespeare's works and their performance, and in the Renaissance world in which he wrote, a time of new horizons, of dramatic change in government, monarchy and religion, and of ground-breaking cultural and technological achievement.

Evening talks
Eminent speakers will present a variety of general interest talks. These are shared with students on our other programmes.

Course leader

Dr Fred Parker

Target group

We welcome applications from all adult learners including university students, professionals and those with other experience who have an interest in the subject, regardless of educational background.

Credits info

The University of Cambridge does not use a credit system for the awarding of its internal degrees, and cannot award credit directly for its International Summer Programmes. Students wishing to obtain credit as a result of our evaluation should consult their own institutions in advance about the acceptability of the Summer Programmes evaluation for credit purposes.

Fee info

GBP 0: See official website