What’s Past is Prologue: The UBC Shakespeare First Folio

Shakespeare's First Folio

When the University of British Columbia acquired a copy of the Shakespeare First Folio in 2021, this cultural treasure became the permanent property of the people of British Columbia. To celebrate the 400th anniversary of its publication, we invite you to attend a thought-provoking panel discussion as part of a larger academic symposium. The panel will explore whether or not a centuries-old book, steeped in the legacies of colonialism and capitalism, can help us reevaluate and transform our understanding of the role of Shakespeare’s works in modern society. Join us for an evening of intriguing possibilities, complete with an opportunity to see the folio in person and a catered reception.

Presented in partnership with UBC Faculty of Arts, SFU English Department, and the UBC First Folio Research Excellence Cluster.


Patricia Badir (she/her/hers) – Professor and Head of English Language and Literatures, University of British Columbia


Paul Budra (he/him/his) – Professor of English and Director of Publications, Simon Fraser University


Linc Kesler (he/him/his) – Retired Associate Professor, Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies, University of British Columbia

Aaron T. Pratt (he/him/his) – Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts at the Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Emma Smith (she/her/hers) – Professor of Shakespeare Studies, Hertford College, Oxford; Associate Scholar, Royal Shakespeare Company; 2023 Sam Wanamaker Fellow, Shakespeare’s Globe

Friday, November 17, 2023
Reception: 4:00–6:00 pm
Forum: 6:00–7:30 pm

SFU Harbour Centre
Joseph & Rosalie Segal Centre, Room 1400
555 West Hastings Street
Vancouver BC – map

Registration for this event is now closed; event capacity has been reached.


Questions? Please contact Laura Chan at chan.laura@ubc.ca.

Speaker Biographies

We acknowledge that UBC’s campuses are situated within the traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wu7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and in the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation and their peoples.

Shakespeare's First Folio