The 11th World Shakespeare Congress will be held at the National University of Singapore. It will feature keynote speeches, panel sessions, seminars, workshops, performances, screenings, exhibits and social events. The International Shakespeare Association is involved in planning the WSC.


Panels with a stated interest in disability, access, or disability studies include:

6. Let Hands Do What Hands Do: Creating Sign Language Adaptations and Translations of Shakespeare’s Works

Organiser: K. Crom SAUNDERS (Columbia College Chicago, USA)

Monique HOLT (Townson University, USA)
K. Crom SAUNDERS (Columbia College Chicago, USA)
Olivier SCHETRIT (Columbia College Chicago, USA)


Seminars with a stated interest in disability, access, or disability studies include:

3. Circuits of Disease and Caregiving in Shakespeare’s Changing World 

Convenors: Darryl CHALK (University of Southern Queensland, Australia) and Rebecca TOTARO (Pennsylvania State University, USA)

In this seminar, we invite methodologically self-conscious and generous papers seeking to expand our understanding of the circuits of infectious disease and keeping care for others in Shakespeare’s time. Papers might address one or more of these subjects: caregiving or disease as represented by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, including women writers; specific characters in contagious and/or caregiving networks of exchange; responses to mortality crises amid the loss of Catholic charitable relief efforts; local, transatlantic, and other circuits of disease transmission and care management; the role of families and parish communities in managing extra-familial disease; infectious disease and the history of emotions; quarantine laws and other travel restrictions; London’s bills of mortality, the press, and the quantification of disease; male and/or female care networks; infrastructure-related issues; associated socio-cultural economies; traveling players escaping from or carrying disease with them; continental translations of disease and care manuals; and archival manuscript finds.

13. Posthuman Identity Circuits 

Convenors: Todd BORLIK (University of Huddersfield, UK), Ari FRIEDLANDER (University of Mississippi, USA), and Karen RABER (University of Mississippi, USA)

How do Shakespeare’s plays or their appropriations in other media trouble traditional ideas of ‘human identity’? By deconstructing both ‘humanism’ and ‘the human’, recent work has discovered convergences between the weirdly entangled objects that are Shakespeare’s texts and the embedded, extended, enmeshed, embodied posthuman global frameworks described by posthumanist and ecocritical theory. We invite papers detailing any dimension of this process that results in a challenge to the traditional definitions of humanism and the human, including those focused on disability, biopolitics, non-human actors, and the agency of non-human other animals, plants, machines, objects, systems and processes. Papers might deal entirely with Shakespeare’s world or might engage with cross-currents and influences among the plays and periods, between languages and cultures, or among diverse media. Particularly welcome are papers that look at adaptations outside the Anglosphere to interrogate Eurocentric conceptions of the ‘human’.

19. Shakespeare and Disability

Convenors: Susan ANDERSON (Sheffield Hallam University, UK) and Sonya Freeman LOFTIS (Morehouse College, USA)

Disability theory argues that independence is an ideological construct, bringing attention to the ways in which access follows from interconnectedness and interdependence. This seminar focuses on disability in early modern, modern, and global contexts, with a particular focus on the nodes and networks that disability studies approaches reveal. How do we connect modern disability theory to the early modern period (or should we)? How do Shakespearean characters with disabilities connect with (or disconnect from) social structures and structures of power? How do other cultures approach disability and how can we find intersections between diverse understandings of disability? What were the lived realities of early modern people with physical and mental impairments, and how do theoretical and historical approaches connect to the lived experience of modern readers, students, performers, and audience members with disabilities? How are new developments in the field of disability studies affecting access to Shakespeare—in classrooms and in theatres?


Workshops with a stated interest in disability, access, or disability studies include:

1. Creating Shakespearean Connections for Specialized Communities 

Convenors: Sheila T. CAVANAGH (Emory University, USA), Scott JACKSON (Shakespeare at Notre Dame, USA), and Rowan MACKENZIE (Shakespeare Institute, UK)

The use of Shakespeare in applied settings has grown significantly in recent years, as has academic interest in this area of the discipline. The field encompasses Shakespeare initiatives for those within the criminal justice system, youth and adults with learning disabilities and neurodiversity, mental health service users, veterans, and those who have experienced homelessness. The facilitators for this workshop have both academic and practical experience of working with people across these settings around the globe and with initiatives such as Blue Apple Theatre, Marin Shakespeare, Flute Theatre, Shakespeare Behind Bars, Intermission Youth Theatre, and The Gallowfield Players. We invite scholars and practitioners with related interests to bring their own experience and knowledge; to engage with theoretical, practical, and critical issues; to address the benefits and challenges of using Shakespeare with these often-marginalised groups and in non-traditional settings. The workshop focus is on creating new circuits of dialogue and collaboration worldwide.

The panels, seminars, and workshops in this guide were included on the basis of the terminology in their descriptions. If you would like your seminar to be included in this guide, please contact us.