British Shakespeare Association Conference 2014, 3-6 July 2014


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0397  Thursday, 22 August 2013


From:        Katherine Halsey <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         August 19, 2013 5:39:22 AM EDT

Subject:     British Shakespeare Association Conference 2014, 3-6 July 2014




Sixth Biennial British Shakespeare Association Conference

Shakespeare: Text, Power, Authority


University of Stirling, 3-6 July 2014


Keynote speakers

Professor Margreta de Grazia (University of Pennsylvania)

Professor Andrew Murphy (University of St Andrews)

Professor John Drakakis (University of Stirling)

Dr Colin Burrow (University of Oxford)

Dr Michael Bogdanov (Director, The Wales Theatre Company)


In the four hundred and fiftieth year since Shakespeare’s birth, this conference seeks to explore questions of authority for Shakespeare, in Shakespeare, and about Shakespeare. It aims to investigate the relationship between text, power, and authority, both in the writing of Shakespeare and in writing about Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s works ask us repeatedly to think about what constitutes authority, about where authority lies, and about the performance of authority. Shakespeare has also himself repeatedly been used as a form of cultural capital and authority, and we therefore also welcome contributions that explore some of the different ways in which his plays and poems have been deployed in various times and places. Shakespeare’s works prompt us to think about textual authority, too. What is textual authority? What makes one text more authoritative than another? How have ideas of textual authority changed over time, and what, politically, is at stake in these changes?


Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Shakespeare’s biblical and classical authorities
  • Monarchy and sovereignty in Shakespeare’s works
  • Democracy and Republicanism in Shakespeare’s works
  • The representation and performance of power in Shakespeare’s works
  • Editing Shakespeare
  • Shakespeare and politics
  • Shakespeare(s) past and present
  • Re-writing and adapting Shakespeare
  • Writing about Shakespeare
  • Shakespeare’s critics and readers
  • Shakespeare on stage and screen
  • Shakespeare and copyright
  • Shakespeare and nationhood/identity (in the year of the Scottish referendum on independence, we particularly welcome proposals on Shakespeare and Scotland)
  • Shakespeare and institutional power
  • Teaching Shakespeare

The conference programme will include lectures, papers, workshops, seminars, performances, and excursions.


We welcome proposals for papers or presentations (20 minutes), panels (90 minutes) or workshops (90 mins) on any aspect of the conference theme, broadly interpreted. Abstracts (250 words or less) should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 31 Jan 2014.


Participants must be members of the British Shakespeare Association at the time of the conference. Details of how to join can be found on the conference website:


CFP: Shakespeare and Natural History


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0396  Thursday, 22 August 2013


From:        Christopher Leslie <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         August 17, 2013 11:35:47 AM EDT

Subject:     CFP: Shakespeare and Natural History


Panel 10: Shakespeare and Natural History


As a part of the Shakespeare 450 conference in Paris from 21 to 27 April 2014, this panel seeks to extend our understanding of how Shakespeare’s time was teeming with would come to be known as natural history. Today, 450 years after Shakespeare’s birth, we are the beneficiaries of more than just the poetry of the era. Shakespeare’s recognition of and interaction with the community of natural historians demonstrates the importance he and others of his time placed on this new field. At the same time we honor the legacy of his literary engagement, so too can we consider the impact that his generation had on the imminent scientific revolution and the interaction among science, literature and society that would follow.


A change in discourse is seen in the classification of strange beings around the time of Shakespeare’s birth, as documented by Lorraine Daston and Katharine Park. Elizabeth Spiller has extended this phenomenon to her analysis of The Tempest, explaining the connection to the unique characters in the play. Before the modern period, curious beings were appreciated as rare events. Wonders in the medieval period were collected but not organized; they were, as Daston and Park characterize them, not museums but thesaurus. By the early sixteenth century, groups of naturalists engaged in a collective enterprise to distinguish the inhabitants of the natural world, which had recently become larger with the discovery of varieties of plants and animals in the new world.


Thus, as described by Brian Ogilvie, an international community arose to ponder the legends, reports, and evidence of nature. The information that arose from a network of sailors, farmers, and merchants provided information to scholars, who then compared the reports with information from the ancients and published their own analyses. Starting shortly before Shakespeare’s birth in 1564, as described by Ogilvie, an international community arose to ponder the legends, reports, and evidence of the natural world as exact, historical facts. By 1590, as noticed by Ogilvie, the descriptive techniques used by the naturalists in Shakespeare’s time depended upon “a system of differences” – having a goal of helping other naturalists find continuity in the natural world and distinguish types from each other, rather than recreating a plant or animal as unique objects for contemplation. In the plays, certainly, we see characters who display this ethic, which should contribute to our understanding of their character.


This fomenting discipline of natural history was part of the environment into which Shakespeare was born and began his work. Some of the authorities consulted by Shakespeare are natural histories, like the catalogs of plant and animal life that became popular in his century. Some plays, like The Tempest, draw heavily upon the discourse about monsters in his lifetime; others are more subtly flavored with botanical knowledge. Astrology - a practice that led individuals to observe the heavens and became more mathematical in Shakespeare’s day - figures in the texts, and the communities of correspondents and travelers in which natural historians played a part are in evidence as well. A special double issue of South Central Review attempted to rectify the “relative neglect” of the works of Shakespeare in the history of science, even at the same time it noticed a long tradition of considering the intersection of these themes in his work. What is more, as suggested by Carla Mazzio, today more so than in the Renaissance, the arts and science are “interanimated” (11). This panel will be an opportunity to build on this study of the characters, settings, and allusions in Shakespeare’s work to help us understand the echoes, controversies, and premonitions of the natural historian in his work.


For this panel, I am seeking a multidisciplinary group of Shakespeare scholars, Renaissance literature experts, historians of science, and classicists to engage the theme of Shakespeare and science along broad lines. For instance:


1. What echoes or foreshadowings of the new natural history are found in Shakespeare’s work? What classical or contemporary scientific texts are particularly important for Shakespeare scholars? Which plays, poems, or even characters lead themselves to our greater understanding of the discipline?


2. How do Shakespeare’s gestures toward natural history differ from the way the practice develops? In particular, what does the way he engaged with sources tell us about the practitioners of and assumptions about early modern science? To what extent is Shakespeare supporting this new discipline? Is it fair to call Shakespeare a natural historian? A popularizer of science?


3. In what way do the communities that Shakespeare depicts reflect the mobility exploited by natural historians or provide contrasting examples from earlier times? Can a better knowledge of particular fields, such Renaissance findings in botany/zoology, anatomy/medicine/pharmacology, astronomy/alchemy, or geology/geography/cartography, provide us with a richer understanding of Shakespeare’s work? Which key figures or texts from these disciplines should be as well known as Plutarch’s Lives or Holinshed’s Chronicles to Shakespeare scholars?


4. How can the evidence of natural history in Shakespeare help us better understand the interaction between science and literature in general? Does it offer us evidence of the social construction of scientific knowledge?


Proposals for papers that address these or related topics are welcome. Proposers are encouraged to review the relevant articles in the Winter and Spring 2009 issue of South Central Review, in addition to the bibliographic notes about the contributors in Carla Mazzio’s editorial introduction to the special edition, before submitting. Send your name, email, affiliation, abstract (250 words) and presentation title with a brief CV to Chris Leslie by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by the extended deadline of August 28, 2013. Participants in this panel will precirculate draft papers with each other by April 7, 2014 to ensure a lively discussion at the conference.


This conference is organized by The Société française Shakespeare and will take place in a variety of venues in the center of Paris. For more information, visit the Shakespeare Anniversary website:


Works Cited


Daston, Lorraine and Katharine Park. Wonders and the Order of Nature, 1150-1750. New York: Zone Books, 2001.


Mezzo, Carla. “Shakespeare and Science, c. 1600.” South Central Review 26.1&2 (Winter and Spring 2009): 1-23.


Ogilvie, Brian. The Science of Describing. Chicago: U Chicago P, 2006.


Spiller, Elizabeth. “Shakespeare and the Making of Early Modern Science: Resituating Prospero’s Art.” South Central Review 26.1&2 (Winter and Spring 2009): 24-41.


Christopher S. Leslie, Ph.D.

Instructor of Media, Science and Technology Studies

Department of Technology, Culture and Society

5 MetroTech Center, LC 131

Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Brooklyn, NY 11201

(718) 260-3130


Shakespeare and Music


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0395  Thursday, 22 August 2013


From:        Jeff Dailey <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         August 16, 2013 3:13:06 PM EDT

Subject:     Shakespeare and Music


The fall meeting of the Greater New York Chapter of the American Musicological Society will take place on Saturday, October 26th, at the Metropolitan Opera Guild in Lincoln Center. The theme is Shakespeare and Music. Proposals on this theme (250 word maximum) may be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by September 1st. Put “AMSGNY Fall 2013” in the subject line. 


More information about the chapter may be found on its website:



Jeff Dailey

AMSGNY president


BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Shakespeare, Cinema and Society


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0389  Sunday, 11 August 2013


From:        John Collick <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         August 7, 2013 10:48:14 AM EDT

Subject:     BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Shakespeare, Cinema and Society


Shakespeare, Cinema and Society


I’ve just reissued my book Shakespeare, Cinema and Society (Manchester, 1989) as an e-book for the Kindle. It was originally published as part of the Cultural Politics series, edited by Alan Sinfield and Jonathan Dollimore and was intended as the first truly radical analysis of Shakespeare movies. The idea for the book came from my own experience trying to reconcile Shakespearean analysis of films with the work of movie critics and the growing body of Marxist-based cinema studies. One particular film stood out as the point where everything seemed to break down – Akira Kurosawa’s film of Macbeth, Throne of Blood. The analyses that Shakespeare critics wrote about the film (Roger Manvell, Peter Brook) were often wildly at odds with those produced by film/Japan experts (Donald Richie, Ana Laura Zambrano) and this fascinated me. The Shakespeareans were clearly reading the film as a direct attempt at interpreting the play, and were judging it by Anglo-centric theoretical norms. For example, Peter Brook saw it as expressing the conflict between man and nature. Yet anyone with even a passing familiarity with Japanese culture (and I have the advantage of having lived and worked there, and speaking the language) would know that this opposition doesn’t exist. It became clear to me that the only way anyone could really start to understand a film like Throne of Blood was by analysing its position in Japanese society (and the role of Shakespeare in Japanese literature). Once you moved away from ‘is it a faithful adaptation of the play?’ and started to think about Shakespeare in Japan, Japanese history and notions of honour, Kurosawa’s own post-war liberalism etc. etc. then all the images and ideas that baffled Western critics started to make sense. Shakespeare, Cinema and Society is an attempt to apply this methodology to four groups of Shakespeare films – the silent movies, the Warner Brothers’ Midsummer Night’s Dream, Kozintsev’s Hamlet and Lear (analysed in the context of the crisis in Russian intellectualism in the 19th/20th century) and Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood and Ran (Lear). It wasn’t intended to be a comprehensive survey of the field, and I haven’t included any of the vast array of post-Ran films in the new edition. It was written as a set of case studies intended to establish a methodology. In the new version, I’ve made some minor corrections and tried to make it a bit of an easier read. It also has the advantage of being a lot cheaper in this edition :) I’d be very interested to hear what people think of it after all this time, and whether the approach still has merit. The book is available from and -




David Schalkwyk Appointed as Director of Global Shakespeare


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0376  Thursday, 1 August 2013


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

Date:         August 1, 2013 7:51:16 AM EDT

Subject:     David Schalkwyk Appointed as Director of Global Shakespeare


International scholar appointed as director of Global Shakespeare

Monday 15 July 2013


Professor David Schalkwyk - Photo by Julie Ainsworth. Courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library


An internationally renowned Shakespeare scholar has been appointed as Academic Director of a new research collaboration dedicated to the playwright’s world-wide impact.


Professor David Schalkwyk will run Global Shakespeare—an innovative partnership between Queen Mary, University of London and The University of Warwick.


Global Shakespeare has been set up to shape the future research agenda in 21st century Shakespeare studies across all platforms including criticism, performance, history, and media from television to digital reproduction.


It will offer a range of programmes which will look at creative historical and contemporary approaches as to why ‘Global Shakespeare’ is so relevant to scholars, performers, practitioners, artists, teachers and above all, the next generation of students.


Professor Schalkwyk is a leading authority on the writings and plays of the bard and recently published Hamlet’s Dreams: The Robben Island Shakespeare which brings together the Robben Island Prison of Nelson Mandela and the prison that is Denmark for Hamlet.


He joins the programme from Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC—which is home to the world’s largest and finest collection of Shakespeare materials - where he was Director of Research. He was formerly editor of Shakespeare Quarterly and before joining Folger he was Professor of English at Cape Town University.


Speaking about his new role Professor Schalkwyk said: “The new Global Shakespeare programme offers a unique opportunity to harness the expertise in scholarship and performance at two great universities to establish a collaborative network which will engage with Shakespeareans across the globe in a set of new interdisciplinary partnerships.  The challenge is to provide a programme that is both wide-ranging and intellectually rigorous, will offer new critical perspectives on the very notion of Global Shakespeare, and ensure mutually enriching conversations for all participants.”


Professor Morag Shiach, Vice Principal for Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen Mary, University of London and Professor Ann Caesar, Pro Vice-Chancellor at The University of Warwick, commented jointly on the appointment:


“David Schalkwyk is a major international figure in the field of Shakespeare Studies whose research has opened up exciting and important new areas of inquiry and we are delighted that he will be joining us for this new joint project. We are confident that David, in collaboration with colleagues at both universities, will create an innovative a very successful centre for research and teaching on Global Shakespeare, and very much look forward to working with him.”


Professor Schalkwyk will be taking up his post in September 2013.


CFP Shakespeare Anniversary, Paris


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0371  Monday, 26 July 2013


From:        Michele Marrapodi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 29, 2013 4:01:50 AM EDT

Subject:     CFP Shakespeare Anniversary, Paris


Reminder of the CFP of Seminar 5 for the Shakespeare Anniversary in Paris in April 2014. 


Seminar 5: Shakespeare and the Visual Arts


Seminar leader: Michele Marrapodi, University of Palermo


Critical investigation into the rubric of “Shakespeare and the visual arts” has generally focused on the influence exerted by the works of Shakespeare on a number of artists, painters, and sculptors in the course of the centuries. Relying on the aesthetics of intertextuality and profiting from the more recent concepts of cultural mobility and permeability between cultures in the early modern period, this seminar will study instead the dramatic use and function of Renaissance material arts and artists in Shakespeare’s oeuvre. Among the great variety of possible topics, participants in the “Shakespeare and the visual arts” Seminar may like to consider:

  • the impact of optics and pictorial perspective;
  • anamorphosis and trompe l’oeil effects on the whole range of visual representation; 
  • the rhetoric of “verbal painting” in dramatic discourse;
  • the actual citation and intertextuality of classical and Renaissance artists;
  • the legacy of iconographic topoi;
  • the humanistic debate or Paragone of the Sister Arts;
  • the use of emblems and emblematic language;
  • explicit and implicit ekphrasis and ekphrastic passages in the plays
  • ekphrastic intertextuality, etc.

Registered participants are invited to submit by 10th August 2013 to the address below a one-page abstract of their proposed article on any aspect of the relationship between the age of Shakespeare and Renaissance arts, including the theoretical approach of the arts in the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Every abstract (approx. 250 words) should include the participant’s name, email, affiliation, and title of the proposed contribution.


Prof. Michele Marrapodi
Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia
Dipartimento di Scienze Umanistiche
Viale delle Scienze
90128 Palermo, Italy.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Post Doc Announcement


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0370  Monday, 26 July 2013


From:        Sharon O’Dair <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 27, 2013 1:56:18 PM EDT

Subject:     Post Doc Announcement


The Alabama Digital Humanities Center at the University of Alabama ( is pleased to invite applications for a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Digital Humanities. The fellowship offers the successful candidate a unique platform for professional advancement: financial and material support for independent research combined with the opportunity to play an instrumental role in nurturing the growing digital humanities community at the University of Alabama.

A program of the University Libraries, the Alabama Digital Humanities Center (ADHC) is a space and a community of over 80 faculty and staff members from Art and Art History, Communication and Information Sciences, Continuing Studies, Education, English, Gender and Race Studies, History, the Libraries, Honors, Modern Languages and Classics, Music, UA Press, and the Center for Community-Based Partnerships.  The facility is outfitted with a high-tech array of equipment, specialized software, presentation space, high-definition virtual conferencing capabilities, and group and individual workspace.  The initiative has evolved through collaboration and represents a growing and dynamic community on campus.  Housed in the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, a central gathering point on campus, the Center was built through generous support from the University Libraries and the Office of Information Technology.  Open now for two and a half years, the Center has hosted graduate digital humanities classes, numerous guest lectures, monthly brown-bag discussion gatherings, private project consultations, tool training sessions, project work, and community conversations.  

The post-doctoral fellow will hold a joint appointment in the University Libraries and the English Department. In addition to conducting his or her own research, the fellow will serve as an ambassador within the University of Alabama faculty to promote the resources and community of the Alabama Digital Humanities Center.

The University of Alabama is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.  


The fellow will devote 50% time to conducting his or her own research.

  • The fellow will conduct his/her own research and demonstrate progress toward publication goals. In addition, each semester the fellow will give faculty workshops or other public presentations on his or her research as a way to increase the profile of the digital humanities among faculty at the University of Alabama. 
  • The fellow will be provided with travel funds and be expected to present at digital humanities conferences to make both his or her own research and the work of Center more visible in the larger digital humanities community.
  • There may be opportunities for teaching.

The fellow will devote 50% time to outreach activities promoting the digital humanities and the mission of the ADHC.

  • The fellow will work closely with the Libraries faculty and staff in organizing and leading lunch discussions, training workshops, and other public events related to the digital humanities.  As the ADHC operates in a team atmosphere, the fellow will be expected to take an active role in the established community to help the ADHC maintain a responsive environment and to assess its impact.  
  • The fellow will be available for consultations by appointment to work with faculty and graduate students on digital humanities projects.
  • The fellow will take a leading role in planning a public presentation (in person or virtual) at least once a semester by a visiting scholar on digital humanities research.
  • The fellow will take a visible public role on campus in promoting the work of the ADHC, including communications about ADHC events and projects, publishing web site content, and engaging with the ADHC community through social media.
  • The fellow will be asked to propose and give a faculty workshop on a topic in digital pedagogy at the beginning of each academic year. The specific topic of the workshop will be left to the determination of the fellow in consultation with the College of Arts & Sciences and the ADHC.
  • The position will report to the Associate Dean for Branch Libraries and Digital Student Services to whom the digital humanities center reports in the Libraries.  


Qualifications and Requirements:

Applications for the fellowship are encouraged from those who have recently finished their doctoral dissertations (degree must be in hand by June 1, 2013). More advanced scholars will also be considered.

Residence within the Tuscaloosa, Alabama area during the term of the post-doctoral appointment is required. Preference will be given to candidates who can begin the position in August 2013.

Applications should be completed electronically at and include a letter of application, a curriculum vita, three letters of reference, and a dossier (composed of a research proposal, a statement of digital humanities philosophy, a writing sample, and a link to a sample of digital scholarship). Inquiries may be directed to Prof. Thomas C. Wilson, Search Committee Chair, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Review of applications will begin July 24, 2013 and continue until the position is filled.

  • Three Letters of recommendation: All letters of recommendation should be sent via e-mail to Vera Johnson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. These letters should be from senior scholars who are familiar with the applicant’s work and the proposal being made for the fellowship. Letters of recommendation should include evaluation of the applicant’s research proposal as well as the overall quality of the applicant’s work as a scholar. At least two of these letters must be from scholars who can speak to the applicant’s engagement with the field of digital humanities.
  • Dossier: Please submit a dossier as a single .pdf file composed of the following four items:
  1. Research Proposal: A 150 word abstract, accompanied by a detailed narrative statement (no more than 1000 words) describing the research project the applicant plans to undertake during the term of the fellowship. The narrative statement should explain how the proposed project would make a contribution to the applicant’s research and advance their larger field of study; the anticipated outcomes of the proposed research (including names of potential journals or publishers); a timetable for completion of the proposed project during the term of the fellowship; and the implications of the project for digital humanities scholarship more broadly.
  2. Digital Humanities Outreach Proposal: A separate statement (no more than 1000 words) discussing the applicant’s engagement with Digital Humanities as an emerging field of scholarship. This statement should both highlight past experience in the field and offer a proposal for how the applicant would work with the ADHC to develop or expand the field at the University of Alabama. This statement should include proposals for a faculty workshop on digital pedagogy and also for possible public events with guest scholars.
  3. Writing Sample: A representative sample of the applicants work as a scholar. Please limit this to 30 pages or less.
  4. Sample of Digital Scholarship: The applicant should provide a link to a sample of his or her digital scholarship.

About the University of Alabama:
Founded in 1831 as Alabama’s first public college, The University of Alabama ( is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and service. We provide a creative, nurturing campus environment where our students can become the best individuals possible, can learn from the best and brightest faculty, and can make a positive difference in the community, the state and the world. The College of Arts and Sciences is the University’s largest division, with approximately 7,000 undergraduate students and 1,100 graduate students.

The University of Alabama Libraries ( ranks 56th among 115 U.S. and Canadian university libraries qualifying for membership in the Association of Research Libraries and  32nd among libraries at publicly funded universities in the U.S., belonging to ARL. The Libraries is also a member of the Council on Library and Information Resources, the Center for Research Libraries, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, the Coalition for Networked Information, and centerNet. The Libraries maintains an ongoing program to digitize special collections, supported in part by a $1.5 million gift.  Among its research collections, both in print and online, the Libraries’ special collections pertaining to the history, culture, and economic development of the South are nationally recognized for their breadth and depth.  Noteworthy strengths are in Southern economic, political and social history; Civil Rights; and African-American studies. An extensive photo archive of the South, ca. 1850 to the present (largely unpublished and unstudied), oral histories of prominent national and Civil Rights figures, sheet music, sound recordings in a broad range of formats and subjects, and extensive collections of historical documents, literary archives, and correspondence round out the collections.

The University of Alabama English Department ( seeks to cultivate the arts of reading, writing, and speaking the English language. We encourage the creation and interpretation of imaginative works of literature; we strive for a mastery of composition, linguistics, literary history, and theory. We challenge our students to read, write, and think in a sophisticated and critical fashion; to understand the historical evolutions of American and English literatures; to participate in the development of knowledge through scholarly research, publication, and creative writing; and to provide meaningful service, to the state and nation, as teachers, writers, and scholars. The department offers graduate programs in Literature (specialization: Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies), Composition/Rhetoric, Linguistics, and Creative Writing.  


REVIEW: Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s Henry VIII


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0368  Monday, 26 July 2013


From:        Michael Luskin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 28, 2013 1:56:49 PM EDT

Subject:     REVIEW: Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s Henry VIII 


On Thursday, I went to the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival production of Henry VIII. The company is professional and performs at DeSales University, just south of Allentown, PA, an hour north of Philadelphia and an hour and a half west of New York City. The theater is small and intimate, and the acoustics are excellent—every seat is a good seat. 


Before the performance, the director gave a short presentation on the history, the play, and the circumstances of the production. She pointed out that, in Shakespeare’s day, there was no director, the Globe presented about forty plays a season, and actors had to learn or renew their acquaintance with their parts in a few days, with almost no rehearsal time.  As an experiment, the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival decided to do the same with this production. The cast first met less than a week ago, they had to rummage in the production warehouse for costumes, the lighting was borrowed from another production, and there was almost no scenery. Finally, the director warned us in advance that the actors had not had time to fully memorize their lines, and that there might be calls for help to the prompter. Given the lack of rehearsal time, Wolsey had to call for lines a dozen times, but he did it so smoothly that it did not interrupt the flow at all. All the characters were well-presented, especially Henry and Wolsey. The production is well thought out, with great attention to detail. I have always felt that Henry VIII was a dull read and had never seen it performed, but the group brought it to life; I am very glad I went. Also, the play is a series of vignettes, a series of scenes, a collection of characters, not really a play, nothing grows. Somehow, in spite of this, the production was compelling.  


My only cavil is with the production is with the actress who played Katherine. In the play, before her trial, she has a magnificent speech, denouncing the process, protesting her devotion to Henry, and condemning the obvious outcome. On paper, it is powerful, but the actress did so much yelling and arm waving that she simply came off as being very angry, the pathos and nobility of the speech were lost.  


All told, it was very good. If you are in the Philadelphia/New York area, I strongly recommend attending. By the way, at the very end of the play, there is a paean to Anne Boleyn’s daughter Elizabeth, who has just been born. Given that George Alexander Louis was just a day or two old, this was very well-received.  


The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival is presenting six plays this summer, and I plan to see their Measure for Measure later this week. 



REVIEW: Chapterhouse Theatre Company’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0369  Monday, 26 July 2013


From:        Brenda Liddy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 28, 2013 6:13:27 PM EDT

Subject:     REVIEW: Chapterhouse Theatre Company’s A Midsummer’s 

Night Dream


Chapterhouse Theatre Company’s Summer Production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream


And think no More of This Night’s Accidents

But as the Fierce Vexation of a Dream




Chapterhouse Theatre Company’s summer production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream took place at Carnfunnock Country Park, County Antrim (Northern Ireland, UK) on 27/07/13. This was an open-air performance, and the audience were allowed to bring a picnic to share with family and friends. There was a marquee in the grounds as well. It was a magical experience; and as the audience enjoyed the beautiful weather and the scrumptious food, the talented players treaded the boards. As in all in good comedies, there were three key ingredients, exposition, complication and resolution. Instead of agreeing to marry Demetrius, Hermia runs off into the woods with Lysander and is followed by Helena and Demetrius. The stage is set for an evening of frolics in forest where the mischievous Puck leads the foolish mortals up and down until the right Jack finds the right Jill, the Changeling child is given to Oberon and Quince’s Rude Mechanicals put on an amazing play. At the end of the play, Demetrius comments to the lion, ‘Well roared, Lion, and Theseus commends Thisbe’s running and Hippolyta praises the Moon’s shining abilities. I would like to extol the talent of the seven actors who played twenty-one roles, from the Athenians, to the fairies to the Rude Mechanicals. 



The path of true live never runs smooth whereas this was a polished performance, a ‘most rare vision.’


Brenda Liddy 28/07/ 



Book Announcement: Shakespeare and the Urgency of Now


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0357  Wednesday, 24 July 2013


From:        Hugh Grady <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 24, 2013 9:56:15 AM EDT

Subject:     Book Announcement: Shakespeare and the Urgency of Now


Book announcement:


I am pleased to announce the official publication by Palgrave MacMillan of a new critical anthology co-edited by Cary DiPietro and Hugh Grady, Shakespeare and the Urgency of Now. The theme of the work is Shakespeare as viewed in the cultural-political present. The contents are as follows:




Forward: A Bigger Splash

Terence Hawkes 



Cary DiPietro and Hugh Grady


1. Presentism, Anachronism and the Case of Titus Andronicus

Cary DiPietro and Hugh Grady 


2.  The Presentist Threat to Editions of Shakespeare

Gabriel Egan


3 Shakespeare Dwelling: Pericles and the Affordances of Action

Julia Reinhard Lupton


4. Green Economics and the English Renaissance: from Capital to the Commons

Charles Whitney


5. “Consuming means, soon preys upon itself”: Political Expedience and Environmental Degradation in Richard II

Lynne Bruckner


6. The Performance of Place in The Tempest

Cary DiPietro


7.  “What light through yonder window speaks?”: Populism, Pedagogy, and Performance in The Nature Theater of Oklahoma Romeo and Juliet

W. B. Worthen


8. Reification, Mourning, and the Aesthetic in Antony and Cleopatra and The Winter’s Tale

Hugh Grady


9. The Hour is Unknown: Julius Caesar, et cetera

Mark Robson


 All best,

Hugh Grady 


Book Announcement: Shakespeare’s English


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0353  Tuesday, 23 July 2013


From:        Keith Johnson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 23, 2013 9:58:22 AM EDT

Subject:     Book Announcement: Shakespeare’s English


Book Announcement


Just to say that my book Shakespeare’s English: A Practical Linguistic Guide (Pearson) is now published. It is intended for use as a textbook by language/literature students, and is quite activity-based. There are details at


Keith Johnson

Emeritus Professor

Department of Linguistics 

University of Lancaster, UK 


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