Celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and the 500th anniversary of Queen Mary I’s birth, this conference will take stock of the current research on censorship in early modern England in order to understand in what ways this research has or not contributed to the construction of modernity. In Shakespeare’s case, critics have often pointed out the multiplicity of rhetorical strategies used by the playwright to bypass the critical eyes of the authorities, probably less to shun censorship than to play with its rules. Yet the Tudors were keen to silence their enemies thanks to a legislative arsenal aimed at repressing religious opponents in particular. As early as 1529, Henry VIII’s government banned a whole series of so-called subversive books and, in 1557, a royal charter granted the Stationers’ Company a monopoly to print works so as to fight more efficiently against heresy. [… more on the conference website …]