International Symposium "Cervantes & Shakespere: 400 years of Dialogue with the Arts"

In 1616 two major figures of the European Literature passed away, William Shakespeare (1546-1616) and Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616). What seemed to be the end of a golden age was in fact the beginning of a new era, underlined by the flourishing of music in Italy and of painting in Spain and Holland. These two literary geniuses were creators of characters such as Don Quixote and Hamlet which persist in the collective imagination and still haunt modernity. The literary canon and its meaning would be different without either Cervantes or Shakespeare.

Far apart in the geographic European space and in terms of cultural and religious developments which then divided Northern and Southern Europe, the texts of Shakespeare and Cervantes share stronger literary and cultural affinities than those observed at a first glance. The first English translation of the First Part of Don Quixote was done by Thomas Shelton and published in 1612. For that reason it is not absurd to think that Shakespeare may have known about or read the work of Cervantes. So it seems to demonstrate the controversial play The Double Falsehood, based on the tale of Cardenio inserted in Don Quixote. But Don Quixote would be an influential early model  in the rise of the novel in England, almost 100 years after its first rendering into English, that in the beginning of the 18th century, when also the surviving  text of The Double Falsehood  was published in 1728. In a similar parallel way, Shakespeare has left a profound mark on the theatre, literature and cinema of Spain, from the 18th century until the present day.

More than a celebration or remembrance, the main objective of this International Symposium is to stimulate an ample reflection about the ways Shakespeare and Cervantes made themselves felt in their contemporary culture and literature. It also addresses their absence, for example in the seeming silence of the Portuguese major poet Fernando Pessoa over the great Spanish writer.  Cervantes and Shakespeare both share a strong capacity to move across media,  and for contamination,  appropriation, metamorphosis  and continuing intertextuality. The work of the two masters of the narrative fiction and of the poetic, dramatic representation provides endless creative crossings between static and performative arts - theatre, music dance, painting and cinema - and which are far from being studied exhaustively. Cervantes and Shakespeare are fundamental to the World-Literature, as shown by their strong presence and interaction with Portuguese poetry, literature and drama, from the late Renaissance period until the present.






Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon

9-10/11/2016 (Cervantes Week) & 16-17/11/2016 (Shakespeare Week)







Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon

9-10/11/2016 (Cervantes Week) & 16-17/11/2016 (Shakespeare Week)





The organising committee of the International Congress CERVANTES & SHAKESPEARE: 400 YEARS OF DIALOGUE WITH THE ARTS invites the submission of abstracts of 300 words (20-minute papers), for individual presentations  or thematic panels under the following topics:


1. Europe between the 16th and 17th Centuries: the Context of Cervantes and  Shakespeare

1.1. Social, political, economic and diplomatic history;

1.2. Knowledge and its circulation in Portugal, Spain, and England.

2.  Cervantes and Shakespeare: Tradition and Canon

2.1. their relations with the literature of Antiquity and the Middle-Ages;

2.2. their influence;

2.3. their presence in the Literature in Portuguese

2.3.1  in Portuguese Literature;

2.3.2 in the other Lusophone Literatures;

2.3.3. their translation.

3.  Cervantes and Shakespeare in the Arts

3.1.  between aesthetic programmes;

3.2   in the Theatre and Performing Arts;

3.3.  in the Plastic Arts;

3.4.  in Music;

3.5.  in Cinema;

3.6.  in Popular culture.

4.  Cervantes and Shakespeare Today

4.1.   in contemporary writing;

4.2. in Philosophy and Theory;

4.3   in Education;

4.4   in Translation.


Abstracts of papers and proposals for thematic panels should be sent by 30 June 2016, mentioning the number of topic for which they submit,


Acceptance notifications will be sent by 30 July 2016.