Peter Smith, Professor of Renaissance Literature, Nottingham Trent University
will give a talk with the title “King Lear – The Bodily and the Material”
on Thursday 4 May, 2:30 pm,
in Room 112 of the Old Building of the School of Philosophy.
All students and members of staff are welcome!
“King Lear – The Bodily and the Material”
This lecture proposes that we should confront the canonical centrality of Shakespeare’s putatively greatest play with an awareness of its physicality – a human body, tortured and even decaying. Such an approach exposes the play’s insistent materiality and, in so doing, demonstrates the fallacy of readings which champion its metaphysical, philosophical or even theological status.
Peter J. Smith is Professor of Renaissance Literature, Nottingham Trent University. He is the author of Social Shakespeare (Macmillan, 1995); Between Two Stools: Representations of Scatology in English Literature – Chaucer to Swift (Manchester University Press, 2012 and paperback in 2015) as well as co-editor of Hamlet: Theory and Practice (Open University Press, 1996) and Much Ado About Nothing: A Critical Reader (Bloomsbury, 2018). He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Cahiers Élisabéthains and a former trustee of the British Shakespeare Association. His essays and reviews have appeared in Adaptation, Cahiers Élisabéthains, Critical Quarterly, Early Modern Theatre, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Review of English Studies, Shakespeare, Shakespeare Bulletin, Shakespeare Survey, Times Higher Education and Year’s Work in English Studies. He is currently at work on a new edition of Richard III for the New Cambridge Shakespeare.