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Grant number: RZ-51587-13

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Folger Shakespeare Library (Washington, DC 20003-1004)
Kathleen Lynch (Project Director: December 2012 to present)

Shakespeare and the Problem of Biography: A Conference

An international conference on the topic of playwright William Shakespeare and literary biography, as well as associated video podcasts and a volume of essays. (12 months)

In Shakespeare studies, textual criticism denies biography any explanatory force, while popular conceptions look precisely to the biography of William Shakespeare for insight into the works. In this standoff, the genre of literary biography is lost as a subject of serious inquiry. The Folger Institute Center for Shakespeare Studies will organize a conference for the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth. "Shakespeare and the Problem of Biography" will undertake a rigorous investigation of the roles literary biography plays in the public and scholarly reception of Shakespeare, as an exemplary case study. No institution in the United States is better equipped than the Folger Shakespeare Library to analyze the history of Shakespeare's status as a cultural icon -- and none has a greater responsibility to do so. The conference gathers a cadre of influential senior scholars. It is planned in coordination with a major exhibition and a public lecture. A volume of essays is projected.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
British Literature

Collaborative Research

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$65,000 (approved)
$65,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2013 – 9/30/2014