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Helen Hopkins

Languages and Literature, Birmingham City University

Thesis title:

International Responses to Shakespeare in the Collections of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

My project is the first scholarly research into the SBT’s international collections. It looks at objects, gifts, artwork, letters, and records related to Germany, the US, India/Pakistan/Bangladesh, and China in terms of how they respond to Shakespeare’s cultural capital and examines the nature of international diplomatic relationships that have been initiated through or with Shakespeare. 

It asks how Shakespeare has been appropriated, what identities are being created/curated by the donor nation as well as by the SBT museum, and what role white supremacy, cultural imperialism, and soft power play in those formations.

It aims to constitute a new perspective on Shakespeare and nationalism, empire, race, and cultural diplomacy, and, by tracing the legacies of empire and white supremacy through the collection, to address their continued prevalence in  Shakespeare studies and museums today. 

Research Area

  • Languages and Literature



Blog,  "Our German Shakespeare!" https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/explore-shakespeare/blogs/shakespeare-connected-our-german-shakespeare/

Article "On the Shakespeare Association of America 2018 Annual Meeting", in The Shakespeare Newsletter, 67.2, p. 89

Blog, "Honouring Shakespeare and German Unity" https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/explore-shakespeare/blogs/honouring-shakespeare-and-german-unity/


Blog, "The Waco Women’s Shakespeare Club" https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/explore-shakespeare/blogs/waco-womens-shakespeare-club/


Article, "Founding Fathers: Patriotic Ceramics and Shakespeare in the United States" in Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation 13.1 http://www.borrowers.uga.edu/784449/show


‘Difficult Histories: Prerogatives, Agendas, and Collaboration at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’ Panel presentation at the Collaborative Doctoral Partnership conference, V&A Museum, London, 13th Spetember 2018.

‘Appropriation and Representation in the Collections of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’ for the Seminar 'Shakespeare and Cultural Appropriation' at the Shakespeare Association of America's Annual Conference, Washington DC, 17th-20th April 2019

Nation, Race, and Representation in the Collections at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’ Panel presentation at the British Shakepeare Association Annual Conference, Swansea, 17th-20th July 2019

‘Shakespeare in the world: International Legacies of the Shakespeare Jubilee’ Panel presentation at the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Annual Conference, Oxford, 8th-10th January 2020

Public Engagement & Impact

Talk on the SBT's German collection to launch the online exhibtion, at the Shakespeare Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 16th April 2018.

Panel discussion on ‘Shakespeare and Museums’ at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's Winter School, the Shakespeare Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 14th January 2020