Professor Catherine Richardson’s Inaugural Lecture

‘Local things for local people’?: Provincialism, Cultural Value, Shakespeare.

The Vice Chancellor, Professor Karen Cox, was pleased to welcome a wide-ranging audience to Professor Catherine Richardson’s inaugural lecture on Wednesday 14th November. Colleagues from across the university and the wider local community, along with friends and family, were present to listen to her lively presentation looking at the difference between London and the provinces in Shakespeare’s time, and what that might tell us about access to culture today.

Professor Richardson’s research focuses on material culture and the movement between living and writing, experience and narrative. She drew this out in her lecture, explaining how her own moves from London to Kent to Birmingham and back are mirrored in her research interests in the relationship between the provinces and the capital, and the way commodities and drama circulated between the two. She has recently returned to working on the play Arden of Faversham, which she is editing for Arden Early Modern Drama. The authorship of this play is disputed, but Professor Richardson mentioned the part that Dr Rory Loughnane, also in the School of English, has played in the New Oxford Shakespeare project’s reassessment of the writing of several early modern plays, arguing convincingly for Shakespeare’s co-authorship of Arden. The play is set locally, and Professor Richardson’s work has been aided greatly by the assistance of both the Canterbury Archeological Society and the Faversham Society, highlighting the regional significance of her research.

Professor Cox closed the event by thanking Professor Richardson for her many contributions to the University, before inviting everyone to a drinks reception to continue the conversation.

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