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Dr Richard Ashby awarded Visiting Research Fellowship 2020


Senate House Library, in partnership with the Friends of Senate House Library, has awarded the Visiting Research Fellowship 2020 to Dr Richard Ashby for his research on actor, director, playwright & manager, Harley Granville-Barker...

We are delighted to announce that Dr Richard Ashby has been awarded the 2020 Visiting Research Fellowship at Senate House Library in partnership with the Friends of Senate House Library. Dr Ashby starts his research on 12 October 2020 and will be with us for several months making use of the Library’s rich resources relating to theatre and literature.

Harley Granville-Barker

Research on Harley Granville-Barker

Dr Ashby’s project will focus on ‘Harley Granville-Barker, Shakespeare and the First World War’. By studying important archival materials held in the Harley Granville-Barker Collection at Senate House Library, he will attempt to ‘reconstruct’ Granville-Barker and his understanding of Shakespeare as it developed during the First World War. It will seek to investigate how far the First World War impacted the way Granville-Barker understood Shakespeare; whether he used Shakespeare to reflect on the conflict; if his writings on and around Shakespeare over the period adumbrate a shift toward a more academic approach to drama; and whether the war meant that Granville-Barker rethought his relationship both to European modernism and modernity itself.

Since the 2014 and 2018 centenaries, much scholarly attention has been given to the way in which Shakespeare was interpreted – and ‘mobilized’ – in the Great War. So far, however, Granville-Barker remains understudied in relation to wartime Shakespeare. Dr Ashby aims to reconsider the role that Granville-Barker played in shifting understandings of Shakespeare over the period of the conflict – and beyond.

The results of the project will be presented at a Friends of Senate House Library seminar at the University of London towards the end of the fellowship.

Dr Richard Ashby

About Dr Richard Ashby

Dr Richard Ashby is an early career researcher. His work specialises in the cultural ‘afterlives’ of Shakespeare, particularly in periods of crisis and catastrophe. His monograph, King Lear ‘After’ Auschwitz: Shakespeare, Appropriation and Theatres of Catastrophe in Post-War British Drama (Edinburgh University Press, 2020) considers the way British playwrights have used King Lear to respond to the catastrophes of modern times, epitomised by the Holocaust. He is now working on separate projects on Shakespeare in Holocaust testimony and Shakespeare and the First World War. Richard has been invited to speak at both national and international conferences and has published articles in in Shakespeare, Textual Practice, Adaptation, Contemporary Theatre Review and Cahiers Élisabéthains. His most recent articles are forthcoming in Comparative Drama and Shakespeare Bulletin.