The International Conference Shakespeare and The Memory of Rome, the very heart and scientific focus of this project, concentrates on Shakespeare’s ‘Roman’ plays and works (Titus Andronicus, The Rape of Lucrece, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Cymbeline). The conference highlights the profound significance of Rome within the Shakespearean corpus. The image of ancient Rome has a strategic, metaphorical connotation in the playwright’s work, functioning not only as a physical, geographical or historical place, but chiefly as the emblem of the world itself and of a worldwide stage. It is a rich reservoir of images, figurations, forms of government, texts, values, and signs, which all inhabit Shakespeare’s imaginary world. It is a model to be emulated as well as challenged, according to the logic of translatio imperii. The conference will therefore analyse the role of Rome as a cluster of tensions between past and present, and as an expression of the complex dynamics of memory, an almost obsessive parental figure, both desired and denied.

The conference will run from April 13 to April 2016. The opening day will be held at the Capitol, on the 13th of April 2016, and a round table will close the conference on the 16th, involving directors and theatre practitioners, with a focus on the staging and performance of Julius Caesar. The conference will be preceded by a lectio magistralis by Alessandro Serpieri at the University of Tor Vergata on April 11, a seminar on the dialectics of power and communication in the Roman plays on the 12th, and a lecture organised by the British School at Rome on the 12th.

With a view to creating a coherent experience infused with scientific rigour, creativity and public participation, several events have been planned around the Conference: Shakespearean readings and stagings, film screenings, concerts.

The conference and the related events will be presented to the press and to the general public on April 7 in the Aula Magna of Sapienza University of Rome.