The Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) is hosting Jane Taylor on 17 March 2011 at 17:30 as part of the Great Texts/Big Questions series.

Taylor will engage with John Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration (a key document in the early modern history of religious tolerance). Taylor will be reading this, not in relation to other tracts on theology and politics, but in relation to Diderot’s essay Paradox of the Actor.

This reading allows for exploration of the shifting terrain around identity, consciousness and performance in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as models of complex and theatrical personhood.

Taylor is a writer, scholar and curator. Over several decades she has been involved in cultural critique and public scholarship as well as creative writing. She is currently Mellon Senior Research Advisor at the University of the Western Cape and has for several years been a periodic Visiting Fellow at the University of Chicago. She has been a Visiting Fellow at Oxford and at Cambridge Universities in the UK and has been recipient of Mellon and Rockefeller Fellowships.

Over many years Taylor has been involved with projects with William Kentridge and the Handspring Puppet Company. She wrote the play text Ubu and the Truth Commission for William Kentridge and the libretto for a new opera for Kentridge, The Confessions of Zeno. In 1996 she designed and curated Fault Lines, a series of cultural responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that followed the end of Apartheid in South Africa.

Taylor is currently writing a book on the artist William Kentridge, (for the University of Chicago Press) as well as a scholarly work on the history and theory of Sincerity in the early modern era in the West. She has been commissioned by Renaissance Scholar Stephen Greenblatt to write a version of the so-called ‘missing Shakespeare play’, Cardenio. This will be staged in Cape Town in 2011.

This event is part of GIPCA’s ongoing Great Texts/Big Questions public lecture series and will take place at Hiddingh Hall, University of Cape Town (UCT) Hiddingh Campus, Orange Street, Cape Town on Thursday 17 March and is free. No Booking is necessary for Great Texts/Big Questions lectures. For more information on the series, please contact 021 480 7156 or

Jane Taylor audio recording available for download.

Start: 17 Mar ’11 5:30 pm

End: 17 Mar ’11 6:30 pm

Cost: Free


Organizer: GIPCA


Venue: Hiddingh Hall 

Phone: +27 21 480 7156 

Address: Google Map UCT Hiddingh Campus, 31-37 Orange Street, Cape Town, 8001, Cape Town, Western Cape, 8001, South Africa