Shakespeare’s Pandemics

English Taster Lecture

Speaker: Dr Daniel Swift, Senior Lecturer in English
Date: Wednesday 10 February 2021, 4:30-5:30pm

The study of English literature at NCH in London, the birthplace of countless literary movements and authors, offers the opportunity to examine literature from 1550 to the present, learning how writers responded to their contexts, cultures, and the literature of their contemporaries.

Shakespeare’s England faced a terrible pandemic in the form of the bubonic plague, which caused high mortality rates and widespread fear: the playhouses were closed during outbreaks, and people who could fled the cities for the countryside.

Our English Taster Lecture, ‘Shakespeare’s Pandemics’, will look at how poets and writers – and particularly Shakespeare – imagined and responded to the plague, and ask if there are useful lessons we can learn now from the pandemics of the past.

This taster will also include an introductory overview of studying at NCH, and there will be ample time for Q&A with Faculty and Student Ambassadors.



Here’s what previous participants have said about our English Taster Lectures:

“I loved Daniel Swift’s exploration of this topic and his diverse range of views. It’s opened my mind to new concepts and left me feeling very motivated, so thank you!”

“This event was informative, interesting, and worthwhile. I would highly recommend it to those with a passion for the subject, as well as those who are still unsure which university course would be right for them.”

“I enjoyed the interactive portions of the lecture and found the material really engaging. I also felt like I learnt something which I can apply to my A-Levels.”

“Extremely helpful in figuring out what the course will be like. Ambassadors were very helpful, and questions were answered so quickly.”

“The points made by Dr Swift were fascinating, and I had no trouble understanding any of the content; some of the other university taster lectures I’ve attended have had a tendency to over-complicate analysis.”

“The English Taster was interactive and extremely informative. I learnt a lot about NCH and the courses they offer, so very helpful.

“The lecturer explored different points of view and introduced contextual information that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. He was clearly passionate about this subject, and all of the other staff (as well as the students) also seemed enthusiastic to help and answer questions :)”

“A wonderful and welcoming experience!”