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Ros Barber: “The Value of Uncertainty”

Ros Barber is author of Shakespeare: the Evidence

Ros Barber is author of Shakespeare: the Evidence

Ros Barber, Ph.D.’s presentation at the 2015 SOF conference in Ashland, “The Value of Uncertainty,” is now accessible on the SOF YouTube Channel. Barber stated of her presentation:

Stratfordians are certain that William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the works attributed to him. Most non-Stratfordians are equally certain that he didn’t. This paper will explore the benefits of uncertainty. Uncertainty not only allows us to be collegial, reducing the likelihood of stressful and energy-sapping personal battles, but by opening our minds to evidence and counter-arguments which undermine our position it allows us to discard weak arguments and concentrate on those which extend and deepen the challenge to orthodox thinking. Perhaps counter-intuitively, uncertainty also offers non-Stratfordians the possibility of gaining academic legitimacy for the Shakespeare authorship question.  Using concrete examples of arguments and counter-arguments derived from researching and writing Shakespeare: The Evidence, this paper will demonstrate why the apparently ‘weak’ position of uncertainty is actually the strongest, most beneficial position a non-Stratfordian can adopt.

Ros Barber, PhD is a Lecturer in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, and author of the award-winning verse novel, The Marlowe Papers (2012), Shakespeare: The Evidence (2013), and Devotion (2015).  She is the editor and co-author of 30-Second Shakespeare (2015). Her most recent publications include two articles in Notes & Queries* and she has a forthcoming article in a special ‘Shakespeare’ edition of the Journal of Early Modern Studies.  She is director of research of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust (London).

* “Shakespeare’s ‘Honey-stalks” N&Q 2015 62/1 92-93 and “Bardolph and PoinsN&Q 2015 62/1 104-107.

You can see the video of Ros Barber’s presentation here. Other conference videos are also available at the SOF’s conference videos page, and more will be added in the near future.

[posted January 15, 2016]
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