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Podcasts: Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0214  Monday, 6 May 2013

 

From:        Neema Parvini < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 27, 2013 7:24:46 AM EDT

Subject:     Podcasts: Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory

 

Recently I have been conducting a series of podcast interviews with various literary theorists and Shakespeare scholars on some of the topics above for a series of podcasts which aim to gain an understanding of the current state of play as regards both theory and practice in Shakespeare studies.

 

The first 12 episodes can be found at the links below (the next will be an interview with H. Aram Veeser):

 

http://www.uniofsurreyblogs.org.uk/shakespeare/

 

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/shakespeare-contemporary-theory/id583690701

 

I have interviewed and am in the process of interviewing people who speak from a variety of different perspectives, including Jonathan Dollimore, Hugh Grady, John Drakakis, Lisa Hopkins, Gabriel Egan, Steven Mullaney, and others. 

 

Neema Parvini

Lecturer in English Literature

School of English and Languages

University of Surrey

 
 
CFP: The Shakespearean Performance Research Group

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0213  Monday, 6 May 2013

 

From:        Don Weingust < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         May 5, 2013 1:48:04 PM EDT

Subject:     CFP: The Shakespearean Performance Research Group
 

 

Call For Papers, Deadline: Monday, June 3rd, 2013

 

The Shakespearean Performance Research Group

of the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR)

 

American Society for Theatre Research / Theatre Library Association 2013 Conference

Dallas, Texas

November 7 – 10, 2013

The Fairmont Dallas Hotel

 

The Shakespearean Performance Research Group of the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) provides an ongoing home for the study of Shakespearean performance within ASTR.

 

In the spirit of the open-themed Dallas ASTR conference, this year’s Shakespearean Performance Research Group (SPRG) seeks to maintain a focus limited only by Shakespearean performance.  For the 2013 meeting, the SPRG invites papers that broadly interrogate what is meant by Shakespearean performance. For example, this questioning might involve the interplay between early and late modern performance in some dimension, the cultural work that Shakespearean drama and performance continue to do, the ways in which relationships between the “literary” and the “performative” have been construed over more than 400 years of performance, the theories and legacies of Shakespearean performance across performance media, how Shakespeare performance constructs and is constructed by specific communities. Papers accepted to previous sessions have tended to address questions of practical theatre, specific issues in history and historiography, and theoretical concerns, but we are looking for a wide range of engagements with Shakespeare and performance.

 

Selected papers will be assigned to subgroups by the group’s conveners, Catherine Burriss, Franklin J. Hildy, Robert Ormsby, Don Weingust and W. B. Worthen, and the conveners will organize on-line communication of subgroup members before the conference. At the conference session, papers will be discussed first within subgroups, after which the subgroups will come together to exchange ideas.

 

This past year, the Shakespearean Performance Research Group began a relationship with The Journal of the Wooden O, which is publishing select papers from the 2012 Research Group gathering in Nashville. Select contributions to the 2013 Dallas Research Group meeting will be considered for publication in the following summer’s edition.

 

Please submit a 200-word abstract and 50-word academic biographical statement, including current affiliations, if any, by Monday, June 3 2013, to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Proposals also can be mailed to Don Weingust, Center for Shakespeare Studies, Southern Utah University / Utah Shakespeare Festival, 351 University Boulevard, South Hall 101A, Cedar City, UT 84720).

 

More information about ASTR and the Dallas conference is available at http://www.astr.org.

 

Don Weingust

Director of Shakespeare Studies

Associate Professor of Theatre Arts

Center for Shakespeare Studies

Southern Utah University / Utah Shakespeare Festival

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

http://suu.edu/shakespeare

 
 
CFP: The Shakespearean International Yearbook: Shakespeare and the Human

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0206  Saturday, 4 May 2013

 

From:        Tiffany Werth < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 29, 2013 2:13:17 PM EDT

Subject:     CFP: The Shakespearean International Yearbook: Shakespeare and the Human

 

Shakespeare and the Human

CFP for a special section of The Shakespearean International Yearbook

 

Contact email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

A Special Issue of The Shakespearean International Yearbook

Edited by Tiffany Jo Werth

 

The guest editor of this special issue of The Shakespearean International Yearbook invites papers to think beyond “the human” as a distinct—and privileged—ontological category in Shakespeare. Stressing the need to revisit fundamental questions about the nature of matter and the place of embodied humans during a time of religious upheaval and emergent new philosophies, early modern scholars have contended that human indistinction shadowed the celebration of humanity’s preeminent place within the created universe. How does the variety of life forms and forms of life in Shakespeare’s work allow us to glimpse the complexity of “the human” in the context of theological, political, and cultural debates? How might humanist philosophy, new- and old-world investigations of the natural world along with their technologies, or other contemporary currents of thought and writing, collapse or uphold the limits that Shakespeare places on the definitions of “the human”? 

 

The editor welcomes contributions in English that address the topic, focusing its scope by addressing one of the following early modern scales of being (perhaps as a criterion to facilitate a reading that swerves across such categories) in an effort to analyze its creaturely qualities, and its relationship to “the human” in Shakespeare’s works:

 

• God(s), Angels, Demons

• The Heavens, including Air, Flames, and the Waters

• Animals, Beasts, and Birds or Fowl

• Vegetables, Plants

• Matter, including Minerals, Soil, Earth, and Slime

 

Papers theorizing hierarchies, taxonomies, chains, ladders, scales, degrees or ontological categories (with consideration for their placements, energies, relationships etc.) in Shakespeare, as well as papers interrogating how the performance of Shakespeare influences, inflects, or limits such categories, are also welcome.

 

Edited by Alex Huang (George Washington University) and Tom Bishop (University of Auckland), The Shakespearean International Yearbook (http://www.ashgate.com/Default.aspx?page=2875) surveys the present state of Shakespeare studies, addressing issues that are fundamental to our interpretive encounter with Shakespeare’s work and his time, across the whole spectrum of his literary output. Each issue includes a special section under the guidance of a specialist Guest Editor.

 

Proposals or abstracts of c.500 words, a brief cv, and paper title should be emailed to Tiffany Jo Werth ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) by 1 August 2013. Full articles (5k-8k) of accepted abstracts will be expected by May 2014 to allow for peer review, revision, and publication in 2015.

 

CFP categories:

Renaissance

Reformation

Science and culture

Eco-criticism

Ecology

Theory

Cultural studies and historical approaches

Gender studies and sexuality

Interdisciplinary

Journals and collections of essay

 

Tiffany Werth

Associate Professor 

Department of English

Simon Fraser University

Burnaby, BC Canada 

 

CFP: icon Shakespeare and the Human CFP

 
 
OSEO Announcement

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0205  Saturday, 4 May 2013

From:        Samara Stob < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 26, 2013 12:51:13 PM EDT

Subject:     OSEO Announcement

 

[Editor’s Note: Oxford UP is offering SHAKSPER subscribers a free trial of the Oxford Scholarly Editions Online during May, using the Username: confguest and the Password: access Enjoy. –Hardy]

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

 Oxford Scholarly Editions Online

www.oxfordscholarlyeditionsonline.com

 

Oxford Scholarly Editions Online is a major new publishing initiative from Oxford University Press. Scholarly editions are the cornerstones of humanities scholarship, and Oxford University Press’s list in unparalleled in breadth and quality, with OSEO currently providing access to the complete text of more than 170 scholarly editions written between 1485 and 1660, including Shakespeare’s plays. Offering the complete text of the print editions, including stage directions, dialogue, and editorial notes, OSEO boasts excellent searching and linking facilities to enable easy location of an obscure quote, scene, or line. Extensive personalization and content-sharing tools allow for increased flexibility and provide a tailored user experience. With unlimited access anywhere and at any time, have a consistent research discussion, or teach a class across the world, in the certainty that everyone is using the same trusted edition. Overseen by a prestigious editorial board of prominent academics to ensure the highest editorial standards, OSEO is available now by annual subscription or purchase to institutions worldwide. Be sure to Read more about the site, follow our tour, watch a short video, and recommend this resource to your librarian.

 

*SHAKSPER subscribers can receive free trial access to OSEO during the month of May!

 

Username: confguest

Password: access

 

Samara Stob

Assistant Marketing Manager, Humanities

Oxford University Press USA

198 Madison Avenue

New York, NY 10016-4314

212 726-6097

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
 
20th Anniversary: German Shakespeare Society Reunited and Dieter Mehl’s Memoirs

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0198  Wednesday, 24 April 2013

 

From:        Christa Jansohn < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 24, 2013 2:47:31 AM EDT

Subject:     20th Anniversary: German Shakespeare Society Reunited and Dieter Mehl’s Memoirs

 

Dieter Mehl: A Historical Episode. The Reunification of the German Shakespeare Society. Personal Reminiscences (Studien zur englischen Literatur, 24). Muenster: LIT-Verlag, 2013. (in German)

 

The German Shakespeare Society was founded in Weimar in 1864.  Against the background of the Cold War, and after its President, Rudolf Alexander Schröder, died in 1963, the Society split into a Weimar Society and a West German Society, which, as two independent entities, went their different ways for the next thirty years, each with its own activities and membership. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, intensive negotiations resulted in a common conference followed by reunification. 

 

Dieter Mehl, honorary Vice-President of the ‘World Shakespeare Association’, was elected first President of the united Society, and was twice re-elected at the conclusion of a three-year term of office. He occupied the position between 1993 and 2002. His personal reminiscences describe these events – so typical for this period of German history – from the point of view of an eye-witness. The book Dieter Mehl’s book Eine historische Episode. Die Wiedervereinigung der Deutschen Shakespeare-Gesellschaft. Persönliche Erinnerungen .is available under:

http://www.litwebshop.de/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=10476

 

 

German Shakespeare Society: Twenty Years On

 

It was twenty years ago that the two German Shakespeare Societies were solemnly reunited – societies which had, ever since their split in 1963, followed wholly divergent political and scholarly paths, each with its own annual conferences, yearbooks and membership.

 

The German Shakespeare Society, one of the oldest literary societies in Germany, was founded in Weimar on the 23rd April 1864 on the occasion of the three-hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare’s birthday. The initial impulse can be traced back to Wilhelm Oechelhäuser, an industrialist with a passion for literature, who managed to get the support of Franz Dingelstedt, the director of the Weimar Court Theatre, of various other literary scholars, and most importantly of Baroness Sophie von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach as the Society’s first patroness. The purpose of the Society was and remains to promote the appreciation of Shakespeare on stage and page by means of theatrical productions, translations, prestigious editions, annual conferences, and a growing Shakespeare library.  In 1904 the Society commissioned the Shakespeare monument which still stands in a park by the river Ilm. It was in pursuit of such aims, then, that the Society, its membership augmented in the course of a century by people from every social class, made itself felt in Germany.

 

With the end of the Second World War, the division of Germany into zones of occupation, and the beginning of the Cold War, political conflicts within the Shakespeare Society itself reached a crisis and led, as preparations were in hand to celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th birthday (1964), to a definitive split. Until 1993 the West German Shakespeare Society had its headquarters in Bochum and the East German Shakespeare Society in Weimar. The originally smaller part of the membership resident in what was to become the GDR was able to develop a significant cultural impetus, effective in the realms both of theatre and scholarship. Those members resident in the GFR constituted themselves as the West German Shakespeare Society and, using the city of Bochum – famed for its theatre – as a base, continued to promote the appreciation of Shakespeare amongst German-speakers, meanwhile establishing international connections of great vitality, particularly with other European countries and the English-speaking world.

 

Even before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany, the two German Shakespeare Societies had begun making tentative approaches to one another – approaches accelerated after 1989 by a mutual desire for understanding and reunification. Consequently, a committee, in which both Societies had equal membership, was formed whose purpose was to lay the groundwork for reunification. It was agreed that the Weimar conference of 1993 would see a common programme of scholarship and the election of a single governing committee with its president from the former West German Society (Dieter Mehl, Chair in English at Bonn University) and a vice-president (Maik Hamburger, Berlin, translator and dramaturge) from the former East German Society. As a concession to legal requirements, the West German Society, in the guise of a subsidiary branch, was integrated into the East German Society with its headquarters in Weimar, and dissolved itself a year later. The headquarters of the reunited Society is the one it had during its first hundred years: Weimar. A single Shakespeare Yearbook is produced annually by the same Bochum publishing house once responsible for those of the West German Society. The Bochum headquarters closed its doors in June 1994.

 

In the twenty years since the reunification, the German Shakespeare Society has organized annual conferences in Weimar, Bochum and, on occasion, in other places, such as Bremen, Berlin, Vienna and Zurich, with prominent guests and lectures from the most disparate parts of the world.  With around two thousand members, amongst them numerous university students and Shakespeare enthusiasts, the Society shows virtually no sign of its previous split.  The hard work of reconciliation, and also the joy occasioned by a harmonious reunification will soon, no doubt, belong to a dimly-remembered past.

 

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
 
CFP: Seeing Perspectives Crossways / RSA 2014

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0194  Tuesday, 23 April 2013

 

From:        Michael Saenger < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 22, 2013 12:25:38 PM EDT

Subject:     CFP: Seeing Perspectives Crossways / RSA 2014

 

Seeing Perspective Crossways

 

A Proposed Panel for the Renaissance Society of America 27-29 March,

2014 in New York City

 

The story is familiar: Fourteenth-century artists in Italy developed a variety of new strategies to represent space, but it was only with Filippo Brunelleschi that linear perspective was advanced as a monologic tendency that would typify modern visual regimes and allow the manipulation of reality through calculation and exclusion. Elsewhere in Europe, figures like Shakespeare and Rabelais have been celebrated for going in the opposite direction, constructing a multiplicitous humanism that John Keats famously characterized as “negative capability.” However, the development of perspective in the Renaissance was both more pervasive and more convoluted. Unitary perspectives could be imagined within chaotic aesthetics, and deeply disintegral action could be made to seem harmonious. Further, any aesthetic configuration must occur within a social and historical scene, which inevitably complicates matters, because wider cultures sought coherence along confessional, linguistic and ideological lines, even as their social worlds were riddled with divergent forces caused by political, societal and religious change. Indeed many models of social life in the Renaissance offered ways to conceal or efface multiplicity, and such schemes are equally present in dramatic, textual and visual art of the period. We invite papers that mediate between societal, visual and textual perspectives, as well as between continental and English culture.

 

How were unified perspectives rendered dialogic or multiplicitous? And how were ostensibly chaotic perspectives structured by emerging models of coherence?  How do recent theoretical developments mitigate our perception of perspective in the past?

 

Proposals welcomed from literary studies, theater history, art history and history.

 

Please submit a 250-word abstract, along with a current CV, to Michael Saenger ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and Sergio Costola ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) by May 30, 2013.

 

Michael Saenger

Associate Professor of English

Southwestern University

http://southwestern.academia.edu/MichaelSaenger

http://www.southwestern.edu/departments/faculty/faculty.php?id=saengerm&style=english

http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=637&calcTitle=1&isbn=9780754654131&lang=cy-GB

 
 
Shakespearean London Theatres (ShaLT)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0183  Wednesday, 17 April 2013

From:        Gabriel Egan < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 16, 2013 3:41:32 PM EDT

Subject:     Shakespearean London Theatres (ShaLT)

 

A two-year Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project called Shakespearean London Theatres (ShaLT) comes to fruition with a launch on 23 April 2013 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

 

The project aims to get people walking around and learning about the London sites where there were theatres 400 years ago. Many people are aware of the plays of William Shakespeare and his famous playhouse, the Globe on London’s Bankside. The ShaLT project tells the full story behind the vast theatrical scene that thrilled London for over fifty years during the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I.

 

The ShaLT website is a repository of writings and pictures about the playhouses, entrepreneurs, audiences, actors and dramatists that made up this foundational theatre industry. It uses a zoomable map of modern London overlaid with the sites of interest: if you click on these you get extensive text and pictures for each one. A free printed Walking Map (available at tourist outlets across the capital and downloadable from the website) gives the precise locations of all of the London theatres (backed by the latest archaeological discoveries) and offers five suggested walks that take in the original London sites, all within a two mile radius of St Paul’s Cathedral.

 

There is also a 48-page colour Guide that includes the map, copious illustrations, and the full chronological narrative history of theatre in this period. For those who prefer to be paperless, there’s a smartphone app (Apple and Android) that will guide you on the walks and provide all the textual and pictorial information that’s in the printed versions.

 

The texts and pictures of the project are supported by a series of short filmed documentaries that are illustrated with freshly acted excerpts from particular plays, including Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy, Lyly’s Endymion, and Marston, Chapman and Jonson’s Eastward Ho! The documentaries were produced by John Wyver and his company Illuminations TV (you may know them from their films of Royal Shakespeare Company productions) and the dramatic scenes were directed by James Wallace.

 

Over the summer, ShaLT will be running fortnightly public talks at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London given by leading experts: Andrew Gurr, Peter Womack, Julie Sanders, Tiffany Stern, Joanne Tompkins, Jean E. Howard, Ralph A. Cohen, Farah Karim-Cooper, Martin White, Gary Taylor and Martin Butler. The first of these is Andrew Gurr’s talk “Why was the Globe round?” at 3pm on the launch day, 23 April 2013.

 

We do hope you can join us for the public talks. Tickets are available from the Victoria and Albert Museum online shop at http://www.vam.ac.uk/whatson/event/2411.

 

If you’re interested but can’t make the launch or the other public talks, why not go to our website and take from it what you want? Everything we have created is offered to you under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike licence (CC BY-SA) so you can reuse it in your own research or teaching, put copies of it on your own website (commercial or non-commercial) or even put it all on a DVD and try to sell it. Regarding the licencing of the materials we have made, we take the same approach as Woody Guthrie did with his music:

 

“This song is Copyrighted in the U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin’ it without our permission will be mighty good friends of ourn, ‘cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do.”

 

The ShaLT team would like to thank the AHRC not only for the money to do all this, but for supporting the project’s give-it-all-away Open Access policy. Those in the UK struggling with recent government edicts in favour of Gold Open Access might, it is hoped, see in this project some of the benefits of the Green Open Access approach.

 

Our project site is http://shalt.org.uk but while we’re putting all the bits in place for the launch on 23 April you might need to go to our development site at http://shalt.web1.rkh.co.uk

 

Anyone able to yodel any of our materials will be admitted to the launch event without a ticket.

 

Prof Gabriel Egan (ShaLT Principal Investigator) on behalf of the ShaLT team comprising himself and:

 

Prof Andrew Gurr (Co-Investigator)

Dr Maurice Hindle (Project Manager)

Dr Peter Sillitoe (Post-Doctoral Research Associate)

Ms Meena Toor (Promotion Coordinator)

 
 
Seminar on Coriolanus at Shakespeare Theatre in DC

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0180  Tuesday, 16 April 2013

 

From:        Richard Waugaman < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 16, 2013 10:22:14 AM EDT

Subject:     Sunday, April 28 Seminar on Coriolanus at Shakespeare Theatre in DC

 

The program has just been announced for the Sunday, April 28 seminar, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will be on their current two plays, Shakespeare’s Coriolanus and Schiller’s Wallenstein. Former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky adapted Schiller’s play, and will speak at the seminar. 

 

Other speakers will include the theater’s Artistic Director, Michael Kahn; Alan Cheuse of George Mason University, who reviews books for NPR; and Howard University’s Norman Sandridge, Associate Professor of Classics and expert on leadership in the ancient world. 

 

Since Coriolanus’s assertive mother compares herself to a “poor hen,” I’ll be talking about “A Psychoanalytic Perspective on the Character  of Coriolanus: The ‘Hen’ is Mightier than the Sword.”

 

Details: http://www.shakespearetheatre.org/events/details.aspx?id=294&source=l

 

Richard Waugaman

 
 
Shakespeare Symposium in Sydney

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0179  Tuesday, 16 April 2013

 

From:        Anna Kamaralli < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 15, 2013 8:36:09 PM EDT

Subject:     Shakespeare Symposium in Sydney

 

Shakespeare, 1916 and Antipodal Memory

 

Monday 22, Tuesday 23 April 2013

Dixon Room, Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW

Co-hosted by King’s College London, the University of Western Australia, and the State Library of NSW

 

With the planning already underway for the commemorations that will inevitably mark the four-hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016, now is the time to look back to the Tercentenary of 1916, and to reflect on the roles both of Shakespeare and of commemorative practice in global culture over a century. This symposium addresses critical questions that arise from reflection on the Tercentenary: how was Shakespeare ‘remembered’ in opposite hemispheres in 1916? What were the irreversible effects of war on Shakespeare commemoration? How was heritage constructed, fabricated or supplanted by acts and objects of memorialisation or commemoration of Shakespeare, in the wake of the Tercentenary? What is the politics of such ‘remembering’? 

 

Focussing on comparing events, debates, outcomes and contexts of Shakespeare’s Tercentenary in Great Britain and Ireland with those of Australia and New Zealand, this symposium will provide antipodal readings of the need in people to commemorate Shakespeare, as a means to establishing their own sense of identity.

 

Tickets are available for the full symposium, or for the opening lecture by Prof. Gordon McMullan, “Shakespeare for a Digital World”.

 

Please see the library website for details:  http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/events_talks/events/shakespeare_symposium.html

 
 
Trailer for Romeo & Juliet

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0175  Monday, 15 April 2013

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         Monday, April 15, 2013

Subject:     Trailer for Romeo & Juliet

 

[Editor’s Note: This link is courtesy of Mike Jensen by way of Jeff Kahan. –Hardy] 

 

It is no surprise that this film missed its February US release date. We finally have a trailer. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Y_mdm6SafPM

 

All the best, 

Mike Jensen 

 
 
CFP Shakespeare Anniversary, Paris

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0174  Monday, 15 April 2013

 

From:        Michelle Assay < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 14, 2013 6:38:09 AM EDT

Subject:     CFP Shakespeare Anniversary, Paris

 

Panel 22: Shakespeare and Slavic Countries

 

Call for papers

 

Panel moderator: Michelle Assay (Université Paris-Sorbonne and University of Sheffield)

 

‘The Slavs’ great capacity for hero worship, particularly for the man of intellect, has given Shakespeare as high a place in their estimation as we would give a military hero returning from a victory’ (Cyril Bryner, 1941).

‘Shakespeare. Change his name into a mountain, and it will surpass the Himalayas . . . Before his appearance the world was incomplete’ (Sándor Petőfi, 1947).

 

This panel will study Shakespeare’s adoption and adaptation within the countries of Eastern and East-Central Europe, including those comprising the former USSR. Angles such as the historic, cultural, political, theatrical, and translation studies will be considered.

 

Shakespeare’s journey in Eastern Europe goes as far back as tours of English comedians during his lifetime and soon after his death to the court of Zygmunt III of Poland. The 18th century saw the first attempts at appropriating and adapting his work in the Russian language, with Sumarokov’s first quasi-translation of Hamlet. The age of National movements in European cultural and political life continued well into the 19th century, as did admiration for Shakespeare. In Russia of the Romantic era, Shakespeare and Byron were two major sources of inspiration for poets, artists and composers. Tchaikovsky dreamt of composing an opera based on Hamlet, but he found the Danish Prince’s irony untranslatable into music. However, he did not shrink from composing incidental music and symphonic pieces based on Shakespeare’s plays. Apart from productions, translations, and adaptations, studies and analysis of Shakespeare’s plays began to appear. The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and the arrival of Socialist doctrines brought more overtly political shades into Shakespeare productions, along with experimental interpretations especially during the avant-garde 20s and early 30s. Wartime Shakespeare took various shapes and colours to fit the purposes and morale of the various nations - for example, certain more introspective plays such as Hamlet were absent from most Soviet stages. The Thaw saw two great cinema adaptations of Shakespeare by Grigori Kozintsev, as well as many key Shakespeare studies, such as Jan Kott’s, Shakespeare our contemporary (1964).

 

Discussion topics for the panel include but are not limited to:

  • History of Shakespeare translations into Slavic languages
  • Shakespeare stage productions in the Eastern Bloc
  • Shakespeare and the Soviet Union
  • Shakespeare and Russian/Soviet music
  • Shakespeare and cinema in the Eastern Bloc
  • Shakespeare studies in Slavic countries

Please submit abstracts (200-300 words) and brief biography (c.150 words) including your affiliation by 1 August 2013 to the panel convenors: Michelle Assay ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and Professor David Fanning ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).
 

 

Michelle Assay

Université Paris Sorbonne, University of Sheffield

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
 
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