Chinese media chiefs visited the Shakespeare Institute, in Stratford-upon-Avon to sign an agreement to collaborate on publishing the University of Birmingham’s work in China.
Representatives from Phoenix Publishing & Media Group met Professor Michael Dobson – Director of the University‘s Shakespeare Institute – to discover more about its research into the life and works of Shakespeare.
Ahead of this month’s World Shakespeare Congress, they signed a formal agreement to bring the work of University experts in the field of English literature to a wide range of audiences in China.
She Jiangtao, Deputy General Manager of Phoenix Publishing & Media Group said: “Phoenix Publishing & Media Group see the University of Birmingham as a key strategic partner in the UK. We are very excited about working closely with the University and its experts in the coming months.”
The group visited the Shakespeare Institute as part of a visit to Birmingham when they met a range of academic staff from the University’s College of Arts and Law, including Dr Adam Ledger, Senior Lecturer, Department of Drama and Theatre Arts and Dr Hugh Adlington, Senior Lecturer, Department of English Literature.
Professor Michael Dobson said: “A huge expansion of interest in the study and performance of the plays in China has been one of the most positive developments in Shakespeare’s worldwide reception in the twenty-first century.
“At the Shakespeare Institute, we are already supporting our local collaborators the Royal Shakespeare Company as they assemble a new performance-friendly translation of the works into Mandarin, and we are extremely excited to be talking now with Phoenix about disseminating our scholarship via their impressive operation in Nanjing.”
The visiting group comprised of She Jiangtao, Wu Di, Director of Publishing; Gu Aibin, President of Yilin Press; Yuan Nan, Deputy Editor-in-chief of Yilin Press; Yao Yi, Deputy Director of Literature, Yilin Press; and Lu Dapeng, Editor, Yilin Press.
Professor Jon Frampton, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Director of the University of Birmingham’s China Institute, said: “Phoenix Publishing & Media Group and the University of Birmingham are natural partners. They are a hugely respected organisation, publishing a vast range of literature and research materials to audiences across China.
“The University of Birmingham is renowned for its expertise in English literature, particularly around the life and works of William Shakespeare. We are excited about working with Phoenix to develop new publishing opportunities in the coming months.”
The Chinese visitors also enjoyed a tour of the newly-refurbished Lapworth Museum of Geology at the University of Birmingham, which showcases one of the UK’s most outstanding rock, fossil and mineral collections, through a range of innovative and interactive exhibits.
The 2016 World Shakespeare Congress – four hundred years after the playwright’s death – starts on 31 July and will run in London and Stratford-upon-Avon to celebrate Shakespeare’s memory and the global cultural legacy of his works.