Introduction: Memorialising Shakespeare, Memorialising Ourselves

Monika Smialkowska*, Edmund King

*Corresponding author for this work

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This introductory chapter starts by situating Shakespeare commemoration in the context of recent theory on cultural and collective memory. It then examines the relationship between literary memorialisation and the nation state before problematising commemoration events outside Europe in the context of postcolonial and decolonial theory. Commemoration events have become fraught, it suggests, because of a growing tendency to focus on the politics of the present. This presentist position, which typically represents the values and interests of the past and present as radically opposed to one another, presents challenges for traditional modes of memorialisation, which in the past have sought to demonstrate positive links and continuities between the literatures and cultures of past and present. The introduction concludes with a set of detailed summaries of the chapters in the volume.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMemorialising Shakespeare
Subtitle of host publicationCommemoration and Collective Identity, 1916–2016
EditorsEdmund G. C. King, Monika Smialkowska
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9783030840136
ISBN (Print)9783030840129
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2021

Publication series

NamePalgrave Shakespeare Studies
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Print)2731-3204


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