Changing Histories: Rethinking the early modern history play

Event Date: 
04 Jul 2019 to 05 Jul 2019

Hosted by the London Shakespeare Centre at Bush House, King’s College London


Confirmed plenary speakers: Tracey Hill (Bath Spa University); Paulina Kewes (University of Oxford); and Emma Smith (University of Oxford) and Emma Whipday (Newcastle University)


Changing Histories is a two-day conference that aims to offer a reappraisal of the early modern history play. Critical accounts of the “history play” have tended to concentrate on the categorization of plays in Shakespeare’s First Folio and to define the genre as the dramatization of medieval English monarchical history. However, early modern dramatists, audiences, publishers, and readers looked far beyond Shakespeare and these parameters. Changing Histories seeks to explore the application of the term “history” during the period, question enduring critical views of historical drama, and examine the interconnections between texts representing a range of different pasts – including classical, biblical, pre-Christian British, European, Middle Eastern, and recent histories.


Changing Histories offers a rich programme of contributions from UK-based and international scholars, and includes keynote papers from Tracey Hill (Bath Spa), Paulina Kewes (Oxford), Emma Smith (Oxford), and Emma Whipday (Newcastle). It also features a practice-as-research performance workshop, led by James Wallace, Artistic Director of The Dolphin’s Back, which will explore how casting, staging, and reading practices can help shape our understanding of early modern historical drama.


A draft programme is available on our website


Registration is now open and the conference fees are:

•   £25/day (Standard Rate)

•   £15/day (Concessionary Rate: for students or unsalaried delegates)


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Contact us by email:


Changing Histories is generously supported by grants from the London Shakespeare Centre, the Society for Renaissance Studies, and the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at KCL.

Submission date for papers: 
31 Jan 2019
PDF icon Call for Papers517.59 KB