Cyprus Mail

Biggest line-up yet for fourth Othello’s Island ‘culture fest’

CVAR in Nicosia

Now in its fourth year, the annual medieval “culture-fest” of Othello’s Island returns to Nicosia in March, with a bigger and more international line up of academic speakers than ever, organisers said in an announcement on Sunday.

First held in 2013, Othello’s Island, they said, was now a well established annual meeting of academics, students and members of the public interested in medieval and renaissance art, literature, history and culture.

“Topics are diverse, ranging from Shakepeare’s great play set on Cyprus, Othello, to medieval Spanish political satire, and the architecture of early Cypriot churches to the origin of tarot cards in medieval Italy,” the announcement said.

Those involved in the event include Dr Michael Paraskos, Professor James Fitzmaurice (University of Sheffield), Professor Lisa Hopkins (Sheffield Hallam University), Dr Sarah James (University of Kent) Benedict Read FSA (University of Leeds) and Dr Rita Severis (CVAR, Nicosia).

Over a three-day period, March 17-19, around 100 leading academics from Cyprus, the US, Britain, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy and many other countries will meet in Nicosia to hear the latest research by 70 speakers. Their aim will be to discuss new ways to think about how the diverse cultural history of this period fits together.

Paraskos the success of the conference has been a complete surprise. He said: “When Jim Fitzmaurice and I organised the first conference in Cyprus we got twenty people. Four years on over a hundred academics will be here and we have over seventy speakers. It keeps doubling in size every year.”

Paraskos, a novelist and academic from the University of London said the medieval Kingdom of Cyprus was one of the most wealthy and sophisticated royal courts in Europe.

“Othello’s Island is now a major event in the academic calendar not only in Cyprus but for academics all over the world. More importantly, it is introducing Cypriot culture and history to a whole new group of academic researchers,” he added.

Venue: CVAR, 285 Ermou Street, 1017 Nicosia, Cyprus
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