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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Event Archive

The Marina Project

6th February 2018, 17:30, Palace Green Library Learning Centre, Professor Ewan Fernie (University of Birmingham)

Joint IMEMS/Centre for Medical Humanities Lecture. The lecture will be followed by a wine reception. Booking is essential.

‘The Marina Project', led by Ewan Fernie and Katharine Craik, is an ongoing collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company, which fuses academic scholarship and creative experiment. The project focuses on Marina’s chastity in Pericles as a rich channel for re-thinking Shakespeare’s radical political potential in our own globalised world. Shakespeare’s Pericles recoils at the beginning of the play from a surreally intense sex trauma which is explicitly mapped onto forced displacements caused by war, terror and atrocity. But his ‘absolute Marina’ fights off this corruption – and does so as a young girl sex-trafficked into a foreign brothel.

Fernie will describe how ‘The Marina Project’ reimagines Marina’s heroic chastity in and for the present, positing a new idea of radical chastity as the most intimate and surprising form of sexual and political liberation. He will include some sharing of and reflection on passages from a new devised play, Marina, and describe the project’s broad-ranging inter-cultural and inter-faith academic/theatrical workshop and conversation as led at the RSC Other Place by Richard Twyman, who was formerly International Director of the Royal Court and has worked widely in the Middle East and at ‘The Jungle’ camp for migrants in Calais. The conversation also includes Durham's own Professors, David Fuller and Corinne Saunders.

Ewan Fernie is Chair and Professor of Shakespeare Studies at The Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon. He is author of Shame in Shakespeare, The Demonic: Literature and Experience and Macbeth, Macbeth (with Simon Palfrey). His latest book is Shakespeare for Freedom: Why the Plays Matter (CUP, 2017). His edited or coedited books include Spiritual Shakespeares, Reconceiving the Renaissance, Redcrosse: Remaking Religious Poetry for Today's World, Thomas Mann and Shakespeare, and the forthcoming New Places: Shakespeare and Civic Creativity. He is General Editor (also with Palfrey) of the Shakespeare Now! Series, and he is currently working on the part played by Shakespeare in the making of modernity in nineteenth-century Birmingham.

Image courtesy of the National Széchényi Library, Budapest; photo by Peter Rákossy.

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