I’ll be giving the talk I gave at Warwick on Shakespeare’s King John again on the 23rd November at UCL at 6pm (abstract and details here). Then two days later I’ll be giving a talk to the Cambridge University Geography Society, at 6pm in Emmanuel College. They asked me to speak about the Shakespeare project, which I was pleased to do. Rather than a narrow reading of one play, which is how I’ve tended to talk about this work in the past, I’ve decided to draw on a number of plays. Part of the thinking is that most people there will know at least something about one of the plays I discuss, but it’s also a lighter version of the work with a predominantly undergraduate audience in mind – the closest version of this is a talk I gave in a pub in Newfoundland back in 2013.
Everything you always wanted to know about territory, but were afraid to ask Shakespeare
The political, economic and strategic aspects of territory are well known, and many of Shakespeare’s plays dramatise them – from the division of the kingdom in King Lear, to the question of property in land in Richard II, the vulnerable territory of Hamlet’s Denmark or Macbeth’s Scotland, and the colonial aspects of The Tempest. But other aspects of territory feature in Shakespeare’s plays – the legal wrangling over possession and succession in the opening scene of Henry V, the geophysical in Henry IV, Part One and a small semantic shift in King John. Drawing especially on these history plays, and my previous work The Birth of Territory, this talk will examine how Shakespeare can help us to understand territory in multiple ways.