Shakespeare's Globe

Sam Wanamaker Fellowship Lecture

Shakespeare & Race

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Tuesday 14 August, 7.00pm

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Tickets£15 (£12 Members / Students)
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Professor Kim F. Hall delivers the annual Sam Wanamaker Fellowship Lecture entitled: "On Race and Genealogy: Shakespeare and the Transatlantic struggle for black freedom".

Errol Hill’s groundbreaking Shakespeare in Sable: A History of Black Shakespearean Actors (1986) showed for the first time the struggles and triumphs of actors who challenged long-standing assumptions of Shakespeare as white patrimony.

Part of a larger project that explores black archives for links between Shakespeare study and black freedom, this talk broadens Hill’s work to offer a genealogy of the current study of Shakespeare and race.

Beginning with black celebrations during the 1916 Shakespeare Tercentenary year, the paper traces a transatlantic network of “Black Shakespeareans”- actors, artists, and intellectuals - who were also key figures in global early twentieth century anti-racist and anti-colonial activism.  

Even as Shakespeare regularly haunts conversations about national identity, race and belonging in the public sphere, these figures used Shakespeare to articulate their own freedom dreams.


Professor Hall is the Lucyle Hook Chair of English and a Professor of Africana Studies at Barnard College. Her book, Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern England, published in 1996 by Cornell University Press, used a black feminist approach to interpret Renaissance literature. She is currently working on two book projects: Sweet Taste of Empire, which examines the roles of race, aesthetics and gender in the Anglo-Caribbean sugar trade during the 17th century and a new project, Othello was My Grandfather: Shakespeare and the African Diaspora, which discusses Afrodiasporic appropriations of Othello.


Kim. F. Hall on American Moor