Shakespeare and Politics Between Media



  • Nora J. Williams University of Essex
  • Sally Barnden King's College London


The title of this special issue, "Shakespeare and Politics Between Media," does not imply that these essays are all concerned with Shakespeare's depictions of political processes as they have been remediated. Though certain essays address Richard's use in Richard III of direct address and the potency of a political appeal for empathy in Sir Thomas More, the issue's central concern is not with the politics depicted in the plays, but with the politics of returning to Shakespeare from the perspective of the present moment. The essays in this issue therefore address the political stakes of remediation, particularly the power dynamic between audience and media. They represent an understanding that the personal is political, including when it comes to media creation and consumption; they look at ways that Shakespeare adaptations may become entangled with issues which are, today, deeply politicised: particularly race and gender.

Author Biographies

Nora J. Williams, University of Essex

Nora J. Williams is Lecturer in Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama at the University of Essex, a role that she feels absurdly lucky to have after several years of precarity and independent scholarship. Her work has been published in such journals as Shakespeare Bulletin, Early Modern Literary Studies, PARtake: The Journal of Performance as Research, and Humanities, as well as collections edited by scholars such as Kara Reilly, Mark Hutchings, Peter Kirwan, and Kathryn Prince. She also prioritizes public-facing scholarship and writes frequently for Howlround Theatre Commons. The central concerns of her current practice-as-research project on Shakespeare and rape culture, Measure (Still) for Measure, are also the subject of her first monograph, which is currently at proposal stage.

Sally Barnden, King's College London

Sally Barnden is a Postdoctoral Research Associate on the project "Shakespeare in the Royal Collections" at King's College, London. She is the author of Still Shakespeare and the Photography of Performance (Cambridge University Press, 2019) and has also published work on Shakespeare in performance in Shakespeare Bulletin and Theatre Journal.