The new centre is the latest in a series of collaborations between King’s College London and the Globe over twenty years, with previous efforts having included an MA in Shakespeare Studies and the Early Modern Scholars of Colour Network.
According to the KCL website, the new centre is focused on “critical knowledge, creative practice and social justice” and aims to be a “beacon for the inclusive study of Shakespeare, text, performance, and premodern critical race studies”.
Fittingly considering its focus on race and social justice, the first event to emerge from this centre will be the “Shakespeare and Race Festival 2022”. This annual festival was created in 2018 by Farah Karim-Cooper, who is currently a Professor of Shakespeare Studies at King’s College London and Co-Director of Education at Shakespeare’s Globe. As is stated on the Shakespeare’s Globe website, the festival intends “to highlight the importance of race in the consideration of Shakespeare – not only in his time, but just as urgently, in our own – and to give a platform to scholars, actors, writers, theatre-makers and educators of colour”.
In the Statement of Intent that the web page for the “Shakespeare and Race Festival 2022” links to, Trustees of Shakespeare’s Globe have stated that they “commit to facing and understanding our historic bias and racism, and to making the necessary changes to become an anti-racist, pro-equality organisation”.
The “Shakespeare and Race Festival 2022” will be themed around the spoken word. It will run from 28 October to 5 November and will include a variety of events including readings, performances, and workshops.