This 'Introduction' argues a case for extending memory studies with the study of commemoration, or of 'historical remembrance' (Jay Winter). Memory and commemoration play a vital role not only in the work of Shakespeare, but also in the process that has made him a world author. There is no single approach to the phenomenon of commemoration, as it occurs on many levels, has a long history, and is highly unpredictable in its manifestations. A serious study of commemorative practices involving Shakespeare – preferably with an international focus, and comparative in scope to include the afterlives of other artists – is likely to enhance our appreciation of the dynamics of authorship, literary fame, and afterlives in its broader socio-historical contexts.
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