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Achtung! New Shakespeare-Oxford Group is Established [SOS Blog]

Launch of ‘Neue Shake-speare Gesellschaft’

The “Neue Shake-speare Gesellschaft e.V.” – New Shake-speare Society – was set up on 27.03.2010* in Hamburg by a group of editors, contributors and readers of the “Neues Shake-speare Journal” which has been published since 1997. The Society’s objective is to draw the public’s attention to Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford (1550-1604), as the author of Shakespeare’s works and to disseminate academically researched knowledge sustaining his claim to the authorship.

The aim is to create a platform in the German-speaking world for all those who are actively and passively interested in the 17th Earl of Oxford’s claim to the authorship of the Shakespearian work and to serve as a point of contact to other similar organizations, in particular Oxfordian societies in the United Kingdom and the USA.

The society sees its raison d’être is the promotion of diverse projects:

  • The continuation of the yearbook Neues Shake-speare Journal.
  • The administration of the website www.shake-speare.de to ensure a steady flow of information on the subject.
  • There are also plans for translations and editions of the works of Shakespeare/de Vere and scientific conferences for the exchange of information between all interested people, researchers and general readers alike.

The key topic of the forthcoming yearbook will be “John Thomas Looney and Sigmund Freud”. Contributions to the yearbook are welcome, as are proposals for topics of comment or debate at the first Members’ Meeting in spring 2011.

The Society is open to all those who are interested in Shakespeare research and for whom the question of who wrote Shakespeare is significant for the understanding of the work. It invites them to become members, and it also welcomes possible sponsors and supporters.

Dr. Uwe Laugwitz and Hanno Wember have been elected members of the Society’s executive board. The Research Advisory Board is composed of:

Robert Detobel (Frankfurt/M.)
Walter Klier (A-Innsbruck)
Dr. Jan Scheffer (NL-Utrecht)
Frank-Patrick Steckel (Berlin)
Prof. Gerold Wagner (A-Bidein)

Robert Detobel and Walter Klier are internationally respected Shakespeare scholars and authors of key works on the subject. Professor Gerold Wagner and Dr. Jan Scheffer represent the academic and interdisciplinary research world. Frank-Patrick Steckel is a theatre director and Shakespeare translator.

The composition of the Advisory Board reflects that of the Society as a whole, bringing together people interested in Shakespeare from various areas: literary scholars, theatre practitioners, translators, academics from diverse scientific disciplines, and general readers of literature. The Society’s members include Kurt Kreiler, whose recent book on Edward de Vere as Shakespeare has done much to rekindle the public debate.

The hyphenated spelling “Shake-speare” in the Society’s name is a declaration in itself. This was the spelling when the name of Shakespeare appeared in 1598 for the first time on the title pages of plays, namely the second issues (the first issues were published anonymously) of Richard III, Richard II, and the first part of Henry IV; the hyphenated form is also found on the title page of the first editions of Hamlet (1603), King Lear (here in 1608 as Shak-speare), and the Sonnets (1609). In restoring the constituent parts to their autonomous significance, the hyphenated name is a “signifier”: Shake-speare was a pseudonym.

* 27 March is the UNESCO World Theater Day.

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