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), Richard had lain undisturbed and all but forgotten for more than 500 years, until his body was exhumed from beneath a 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 With the help of forensic science, DNA evidence, genealogy and historical documents, the team pieced together the King's final days and his violent death.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 Saturday, Feb. 8, members of the archaeological team who discovered and identified Richard's bones will travel from the United Kingdom to St. Louis to join with scientists, historians and literary scholars from Saint Louis University for a one-day colloquium from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., exploring the life, death, discovery and after-life of England's most controversial monarch. The speakers include:
- Mathew Morris, M.A. AIFA, Fieldwork Director, University of Leicester Archaeology Services
- Turi King, Ph.D., Lecturer in Genetics and Archaeology, Department of Genetics, University of Leicester
- Jonathan Sawday, Ph.D., Walter J. Ong, S.J. Chair in the Humanities, Saint Louis University
- Thomas Finan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History, Saint Louis University
- Michael Graham, M.D., Professor of Pathology, Division of Forensic and Environmental Pathology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine; Chief Medical Examiner, St. Louis, Mo.
- Anthony Hasler, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of English, St. Louis University
- Jennifer Rust, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of English, Saint Louis University
Visit richard3.slu.edu for bios on the speakers.
The program, which is in partnership with the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., and the British Council, will be held at the university's Il Monastero, 3050 Olive Street. The event is free and open to members of the public, as well as SLU faculty, staff and students and alumni. There also will be a simultaneous webcast.
Prior to the colloquium, from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, faculty and students from the Saint Louis University Department of Fine and Performing Arts/Theater will explore selected soliloquies and scenes from Shakespeare's play Richard III in a performance masterclass. They will explore and discuss how the text of the play is interpreted, looking at elements such as Shakespeare's use of rhetorical devices, how actors make choices and how the play might have sounded to its Elizabethan audience. This event is also free and open to the public and will be held in the studio theater on the ground floor of SLU's Xavier Hall, 3733 West Pine Mall.
For further details, contact Teresa Harvey at the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 314-977-7180 or e-mail email@example.com. Additional information, including speaker bios, a full schedule of events, details on the webcast and directions, is available at richard3.slu.edu.