Before Shakespeare

Event Date: 
24 Aug 2017 to 27 Aug 2017

University of Roehampton, London


The Before Shakespeare conference explores the first three decades of the London playhouses (c. 1565-95). We encourage papers from a rich variety of approaches, interests, and methodologies, including but not limited to:

  • popular culture of the period
  • literary developments of the mid to late sixteenth century social history
  • archaeology
  • theatre history
  • performance criticism


We encourage proposals for different kinds of presentations: traditional papers, panels, performance workshops, shorter speculations or provocations into the state of the discipline, or roundtables. On the third day of the conference, we will be working closely with the theatre company attached to the project, The Dolphin’s Back, and welcome proposals to work with them. If you are interested in different forms of presentation or in putting together a panel, you are welcome to contact us to discuss.


Please send abstracts of up to 300 words and a short biography to by 30 March 2017.


The conference features workshops and performances in collaboration with The Dolphin’s Back (director and actor James Wallace); theatremaker Emma Frankland; and Shakespeare’s Globe.


Keynotes: Nandini Das, William Ingram, Heather Knight, Cathy Shrank, Holger Syme, and Emma Whipday.


The conference ends with the final Before Shakespeare Read Not Dead at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, on Sunday 27 August. (The Read Not Dead staged reading of Sapho and Phao is a conference event, but tickets must be booked separately via the Globe website.)


Full price: £115; with accommodation (incl. breakfast): £315

PhD/ECR subsidised price: £35; with accommodation (incl. breakfast): £125

We also offer two UK travel grants (£50) and one international travel grant (£180), including fee waivers, for PhD/ECR delegates thanks to a Small Conference Grant from the Society for Renaissance Studies. Please apply by email to the above address with a short CV and 250-word statement in addition to your abstract.

Submission date for papers: 
30 Mar 2017
PDF icon Call for Papers688.22 KB