In September 2012, a team of archaeologists from the University of Leicester in England announced the sensational discovery of the remains of Richard III, England’s last Plantagenet king. Killed at the Battle of Bosworth (1485) and buried hastily, Richard had lain undisturbed and all but forgotten for over 500 years, until his body was exhumed from beneath a Leicester city-center parking lot.The identification of the King’s body brought together historians, archaeologists, and scientists. With the help of forensic science, DNA evidence, genealogy, and historical documents the team pieced together the King’s final days and his violent death. But the discovery raised as many questions as it solved. Was Richard a ruthless tyrant, a deformed monster? Was he the brutal murderer of his young nephews, the Princes in the Tower? Or have the many cultural depictions of Richard, in film, on TV, in novels, comics, and even video games all been responding to a masterpiece of Tudor propaganda: Shakespeare’s play, Richard III, first performed in 1592?
On February 8, 2014, members of the archaeological team who discovered and identified Richard’s bones will travel from the UK to St. Louis to join with scientists, historians, and literary scholars from Saint Louis University to take part in a one-day colloquium, exploring the life, death, discovery, and after-life of England’s most controversial monarch. The event, in which we are being partnered by the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington and the British Council, will be open to members of the public, faculty staff and students of SLU, and SLU alumni.
Prior to the colloquium, on February 1, 2014 students and faculty in the Department of Theater will host a staged reading of excerpts from Shakespeare’s play, Richard III, followed by a discussion of the play. This event will also be open to the public; we hope that it will be of particular interest to high-school students and those participating in SLU’s 1818 program.
For further details contact: Teresa Harvey, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 314-977-7180 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org