The Cultural Role and Political Implications of Poland’s 1947 Shakespeare Festival

  • Krystyna Kujawińska Courtney University of Łódź
Keywords: Communist regime, World War 2, Marxist ideology, Soviet culture, Shakespeare in Poland, Cold War

Abstract

Emerging from the atrocities of war, and still hoping to avert the results of the Yalta conference during which the countries of Central and South–Eastern Europe, including Poland, were “handed over” to Stalin, Poland’s 1947 Shakespeare theatre festival was a sign of courage and defiance. At the Festival 23 productions of 9 Shakespeare’s dramas were staged by theatres in 11 towns, with its finale in Warsaw. My paper will show that the Festival was an attempt to demonstrate both Polish cultural links with Europe, and to subvert Marxist ideology and Soviet culture.

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Author Biography

Krystyna Kujawińska Courtney, University of Łódź

Krystyna Kujawińska Courtney is Full Professor at the University of Łódź, Poland, where she chairs the British and Commonwealth Studies Department and heads the International Shakespeare Studies Centre. She has published, internationally and locally, numerous articles and essays on the global cultural authority of Shakespeare’s plays and poems in relation to theatre and early modern and modern culture. She is a member of the World Shakespeare Bibliography, a co-editor of Multicultural Shakespeare: Translation, Appropriation, Performance and an editor of International Studies: Interdisciplinary Political and Cultural Journal. Her latest monographs (in Polish and in English) are devoted to early modern culture: Some Renaissance Early Modern/Renaissance Topoi in the Twenty First-Century (2015); reception of Shakespeare in Poland: Shakespeare 2014 W 450 (2014); and the contribution of women to international Shakespeare studies “No Other But a Woman’s Reason” (2013). She also authored a monograph and edited a collection of papers on Ira Aldridge’s theatrical achievements (2009).

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Published
2017-10-16
How to Cite
Kujawińska Courtney, K. (2017). The Cultural Role and Political Implications of Poland’s 1947 Shakespeare Festival. Text Matters: A Journal of Literature, Theory and Culture, (7), 183-193. https://doi.org/10.1515/texmat-2017-0010