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The ISS, not to be confused with the International Space Station, was founded in the U.S.A. in 2004 to give Shaw Studies more of an international reach and perspective. The acronym “ISS” emphasizes Bernard Shaw’s continuing presence as a talkative spirit with very relevant things to say, rare in their relative sanity, humanity, and civilizing good humor. If you like humor of the hyperbolic, satiric, paradoxical, and ironic sort, Shaw is your man.


 ISS conferences and symposia, accompanied by at least one Shaw play, have occurred in the U.S.A., Canada, Ireland, and the UK.  Alas, due to the Pandemic, the conference scheduled for May 2020 in Cáceres, Spain, with “Shaw and Europe" as its theme, had to be canceled but is tentatively rescheduled for 2022. The annual Summer Shaw Symposium at the internationally renowned Shaw Festival Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, scheduled for July of 2020, was replaced by a very successful Zoom Symposium.  The ISS is hoping for a return to more normal conditions in 2021.  The Shaw Festival is now selling tickets for seven plays scheduled in 2021, and, if all goes well, the Symposium there will take place July 16-17-18 and will concurrently be Zoomed for those who can’t attend. For information see  To register for the Symposium, actual ($150, Students $95 CAD) or virtual ($85 CAD), and buy tickets, call their box office at 800-511-7429 (or in Canada 905-468-2172).  For information about Travel Grants and Bryden Scholarships, see iss-grants&scholarships-2021.htm.                                              


If Shaw had a creed, it was in this combination of quotations:  “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. . . . I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”


 Copyright 2004

 By R. F. Dietrich

 Founding President