British Professor Michael Dobson has received a top award from fellow academics in Ukraine – recognizing his support for developing Shakespeare studies in the country’s universities, the University of Birmingham announced in a press release issued on Dec 12.

It reads:

The Academy of Sciences of the Higher School of Ukraine has admitted the world-renowned Shakespeare expert as an Honorary Member.

In a special online ceremony, Academy members awarded an honorary Academician diploma to Professor Dobson, who is Director of the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute, in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Nataliya Torkut, Head of the Ukrainian Shakespeare Centre, commented: “We sincerely admire how much Professor Dobson has aided the development of Ukrainian Shakespeare studies.  His enthusiastic participation in the activities of the Ukrainian Shakespeare Centre inspires and elevates the status of our events, giving them an aura of direct contact with Stratford, where even the stones remember the sound of Shakespeare's footsteps.

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“We are so very grateful to Professor Dobson for writing and speaking about Ukraine, in both the academic and public realm. By devoting his lectures and speeches to Ukraine in the context of this genocidal war waged by the Russian Federation, he shows whose side truth, good and justice are on.

“Presenting Professor Dobson with the title of an Honorary Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Higher School of Ukraine recognizes the great positive role he has already played for Ukrainian scholarship and for our country.”

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The Academy of Sciences of the Higher School of Ukraine’s online award ceremony for Professor Michael Dobson

Ms. Torkut added that Ukrainian colleagues and students admired Professor Dobson’s contributions – including sending books for the Ukrainian Shakespeare Library, which is still being used by scholars and students - even during the war. She praised his support for Ukrainian theatre as providing a powerful incentive for its further development.

Professor Michael Dobson commented: “I am deeply moved to receive this honor, and I am delighted that I now do so as a member of a university which is twinned with Ivan Franko National University in Lviv. I look forward to the day when I can once more lead seminars, lecture and watch theatre in Ukraine. It is a country with such a passionate commitment to culture that even when citizens have only three hours of electricity a day, I have known 120 at a time spend two of those hours talking online about Shakespeare.”

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The Academy of Sciences of the Higher School of Ukraine is a non-governmental public organization, which unites talented professors and world-known scholars specializing in different fields of sciences and humanities – helping to develop scientific and creative processes in Ukraine.

The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 8,000 international students from over 150 countries.

The University’s Shakespeare Institute, located in Stratford-upon-Avon, has been a beacon for international Shakespeare scholarship since its foundation in 1951. Its aim is to bring Shakespeare to life through a range of innovative campus-based and online postgraduate degrees.

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