Connecting Shakespearians and Shakespeare societies across the globe

The International Shakespeare Association is an umbrella organization to connect Shakespearians and Shakespeare societies around the world. A small committee of prominent Shakespearians, including John Russell Brown, O. B. Harrison, George Hibbard, and Levi Fox helped shape the association’s original objectives, including advising on the initiation and planning of World Shakespeare Congresses. The original executive committee, like all committees since, was made up of representatives from around the world.


The ISA offers an opportunity for individuals and institutions to join together to further the knowledge of Shakespeare throughout the world. Its central commitments, outlined in the ISA constitution are to:

  • advance the education of the public by furthering the study of Shakespeare's life and work by such means as the trustees determine
  • organise, hold and promote participation in the World Shakespeare Congress and disseminate the learning from that event
  • offer advice and assistance in the establishment of national or regional Shakespeare associations.


The first ISA World Shakespeare Congress took place in Washington in 1976 as part of the American bicentennial celebrations. Since the Washington meeting the ISA has continued to stage the World Congresses at five yearly intervals: “Shakespeare, Man of the Theatre” (Stratford-upon-Avon, 1981); “Images of Shakespeare” (Berlin, 1986); “Shakespeare and Cultural Traditions” (Tokyo, 1991); “Shakespeare and the Twentieth Century” (Los Angeles, 1996); “Shakespeare and the Mediterranean” (Valencia, 2001);  “Shakespeare’s World / World Shakespeares” (Brisbane, 2006); “Renaissance Shakespeare: Shakespeare Renaissances” (Prague, 2011); and  “Creating and Recreating Shakespeare” (Stratford-upon-Avon/ London, 2016). 


World Shakespeare Congress 2026: Italy

We are delighted to announce that the 11th World Shakespeare Congress in 2026 will be held in Verona, Italy. The Local Organizing Committee is headed by Professor Silvia Bigliazzi of the Università di Verona, with Emanuel Stelzer as co-Chair. Professors Shaul Bassi (University of Venice Ca Foscari), Fernando Cioni (University of Florence) and Eric Nicholson (NYU, Florence) are members of the Advisory Board. The proposed dates, yet to be fully confirmed, will be 20-26 July. 


World Shakespeare Congress 2021: Singapore

The last WSC was held in 2021 in Singapore and the programme can be found at


ISA Noticeboard

News of a new scholarship opportunity for doctoral students funded by the German Shakespeare Foundation


The Shakespeare Society of Southern Africa (SSOSA) and the Tsikinya-Chaka Centre (TCC) will co-host “Shakespeare Towards An End”, a conference to be held at Spier Wine Farm, Western Cape, South Africa from 24-27 May 2023. Please refer to the attached Call For Papers or consult the SSOSA and TCC websites for more information.


 ISA Membership

 Membership of the International Shakespeare Association is open to any person who wishes to support its objectives and accepts its articles. To attend the World Shakespeare Congress in 2021, you must be a member of the ISA in good standing.
The current annual membership subscription is £20

 You can now pay annual membership subscriptions online with PayPal





For more information about the ISA's activities and membership please contact us: 




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