About the BVSN

The BVSN is an extended community of scholars working in a range of related disciplines, all centred in some way on the editing, performance, translation, publication or reception of drama within an early modern frame. It exists to exchange information, produce scholarship, and further the work of individual scholars at doctoral level and at early stages in their careers.

The current network president is Svenn-Arve Myklebost, Volda University College, Norway.


Among the themes that have been addressed in conferences and publications by network members are:

  • Intersections between the works of William Shakespeare and the visual arts, from the visual culture of Shakespeare’s time to the reception in illustration, pictorial arts and comic books from the seventeenth century until today.
  • Translations and transmediations of Shakespeare and other Early Modern writers into a variety of languages and cultures, on several continents.
  • The evolving reconfigurations of the Shakespeare canon; and the effect of editions, performance, film and other adaptations, Bowdlerisations, and translations on what we think of as “Shakespeare”.
  • Editing Early Modern texts

(more to come)


The network’s original basis was formed for a conference titled Shakespeare and the eastern Mediterranean, held at the IUC, Dubrovnik, in October 2006, and organised by Rocco Coronato (Siena), Patricia Parker (English department, Stanford University) and Stuart Sillars (Department of Foreign Languages, Bergen), after which Sillars became the network’s president. Since then, the group has met in Venice (2007), Malta (2008), Montpellier (2009), Dubrovnik (2010), Cork (2011), Vicenza (2012), Szeged (2013), Florence (2014), Lisbon (2015), Budapest (2016) and Cambridge (2017). From 2006 to 2015 the network was known as the Bergen Shakespeare and Drama Network (whose logo can be seen below), but with its current president based at the University College of Volda, the name has changed to the Bergen-Volda Shakespeare Network.

old logo

The original network was extended by the collaboration between Bergen and the Department of Literature, Makerere University, Uganda, which was a five-year NUFU-supported programme on African drama as a source of traditional wisdom. This introduced an element of performance, as well as quite a different series of social and political frames, to extend the network. The programme was coordinated by Lene Johannesen and Stuart Sillars in Bergen and Dominica Dipio in Makerere. Kavu Ngala, a stipendiat at Bergen working with the supervision of Stuart Sillars, was involved, since his work on African tragedic forms was closely related.

The network became valuable in establishing Bergen as a centre for the study of renaissance and later theatre, and doctoral students were invited to attend the meetings and conferences of the so-called “Bergen Network”. Even after the move to Volda, the network has continued its aspiration to include doctoral students and scholars in the early stages of their career.

Links with Universities including York, Cambridge, St. Andrews and Oxford, as well as the numerous institutions that have helped us arrange conferences, will continue to advance and facilitate research, friendships, exchanges and cooperation across borders and disciplines.

The BVSN is affiliated with the Open Access on-line journal EMCO, whose first edition collected the conference proceedings of the 2009 BSDN conference, while the sixth edition was based on the 2014 conference in Florence.