The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.297  Wednesday, 24 June 2015


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

Date:         June 22, 2015 at 4:02:19 PM EDT

Subject:    CFP: NEMLA 2016


Dear Colleagues,


NEMLA will be in Hartford, CT next year, from March 17-20.  Please consider submitting papers for a panel titled Shakespeare’s Male and Female: Plays with Two Names.  A description of the session follows:


Individually or serially, Romeo and JulietTroilus and Cressida, and Antony and Cleopatra present opportunities to engage a range of critical concerns.  The double protagonists in the titles foreground gender questions, however.  Ladies are not first in the sequence of names, but whether or not they may be said to be first in the action of the plays is the question that this panel seeks to consider.  Treating the plays individually or as a sequence, the panel welcomes papers that investigate the masculine/feminine divide.  Such investigation can take any number of different approaches:  whose agency is privileged in Romeo (or either of the two other plays, or in the sequence of all three plays); does the presentation of gender change from the early tragedy to the "problem comedy" to the late tragedy; are there pedagogical strategies that serve to highlight the deployment of gender in the plays; does genre play a role in the presentation of gender in these plays or in these plays by comparison to other plays, Romeo in light of Dream, for instance, or Antony by contrast to other Roman plays, or Troilus in the context of the problem comedies.  So long as the masculine/feminine divide remains the focus of the paper, any and all approaches to the play(s) are welcome.


Please send abstracts to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Thank you,

Al Cacicedo


Albright College


MV Dialog

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.296  Monday, 22 June 2015


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

Date:         June 18, 2015 at 1:12:18 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: MV Dialog


William Blanton wrote:


I believe that Shakespeare identified himself as a Catholic in this play; specifically in Bellario’s letter to the Duke. I will be discussing this in more detail later when we reach the Trial Scene.


Before we get there, do you notice anything wrong with the following (from Henry V, Act 4, Scene 8) from a Catholic point of view?


“Do we all holy rites;

Let there be sung ‘Non nobis’ and ‘Te Deum;’...”



John Briggs


Teaching Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.295  Monday, 22 June 2015


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

Date:         June 19, 2015 at 2:56:03 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Teaching Shakespeare


Why would you want to teach anyone Shakespeare? I’m a chemist, I have no practical use for Shakespeare, but what difference should that make? Most chemistry students have no actual use for chemistry either, because most of those who even stay in the field only want to be some kind of overeducated-idiot middle manager and lord over a Dilbert cartoon in industry or academia (Jetttsssonnn! Solve problem X by Friday or your fired! DO YOU HEAR ME? FIRED!!!); they have no dreams of being the next Dalton or Boltzmann or Einstein (yes, he was a great chemist too). In fact, many chemistry grad students are more likely to draw moustaches on posters of Einstein, as I have experienced first-hand. 


At least part of an education should consist of exposing students to those things that are most foreign to them, whether those things are topics in chemistry or literature. This is the only way to create new connections in their minds and thus foster new ideas. Most of these people aren’t going to have any use for it because all they want is a credential to be a future middle-manager, but if we’re lucky, we might inspire a new Shakespeare or Einstein, or least an E. K. Chambers. But exposing them to contemporary “relevant” potboilers will just re-enforce the clichés they already have in their minds.


As far as the “relevance” of Shakespeare is concerned, the real problem is not that Shakespeare’s world is too alien, on the contrary, it is simply too adult. The machinations of British provincials in “The Merry Wives of Windsor” are the machinations of provincials everywhere, but it takes adult experience to appreciate it, and it takes mental sophistication to understand the metaphor of the play. We do want our adults to understand metaphor, don’t we? Otherwise we might end up with students who believe that when we are “in” “four dimensional space-time” that we are in a room in outer space moving (backward, forward) in time or whatever their misunderstanding of it is. (What it means is that we are using the quantities x, y, and z and they are dependent variables of t). Therefore, part of the educator’s job should be to find a way to wean their young students away from the simplistic cartoons presented by contemporary schlock, not give them more of it. I can’t think of a better way to shake up the mind of a student bathed in Spiderman and 40-story high robots than to expose them to Shakespeare. But honestly now, how many educators have the fluency with Shakespeare to do this? If you don’t know something, it’s easy to come up with an excuse not to teach it.



MND at American Shakespeare Center

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.294  Monday, 22 June 2015


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

Date:         June 21, 2015 at 11:43:46 AM EDT

Subject:    MND at American Shakespeare Center


Last night, my wife and I enjoyed seeing opening night of MND at the Blackfriar’s Theater in Staunton, VA. I told Ralph Cohen, who directed it, how much we liked it. It will continue playing through the fall season (including during the Blackfriar’s Conference, I assume). 




Ralph’s eloquent program notes—


Everyone has their favorite production of each play. This has definitely become my favorite MND. The audience shared our high opinion of it, with lively reactions during the play, and five standing ovations afterwards.


Rick Waugaman


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Book Announcement - Shakespeare’s Storms

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.293  Monday, 22 June 2015


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

Date:        June 19, 2015 at 5:31:18 AM EDT

Subject:    New Book Announcement - Shakespeare’s Storms


Dear All,


I am writing with regards to a recent publication which may be of interest to you, Shakespeare's storms


Author: Gwilym Jones  


ISBN: 978-0-7190-8938-1

Manchester University Press   


Whether the apocalyptic storm of King Lear or the fleeting thunder imagery of Hamlet, the shipwrecks of the comedies or the thunderbolt of Pericles, there is an instance of storm in every one of Shakespeare’s plays. This is the first comprehensive study of Shakespeare’s storms. 

With chapters on Julius Caesar, King Lear, Macbeth, Pericles and The Tempest, the book traces the development of the storm over the second half of the playwright’s career, when Shakespeare took the storm to new extremes. It explains the storm effects used in early modern playhouses, and how they filter into Shakespeare’s dramatic language. 

Interspersed are chapters on thunder, lightning, wind and rain, in which the author reveals Shakespeare’s meteorological understanding and offers nuanced readings of his imagery. Throughout, Shakespeare’s storms brings theatre history to bear on modern theories of literature and the environment. It is essential reading for anyone interested in early modern drama.


Kind regards,

Rebecca Mortimer

Sales and Marketing Executive 

History, Literature and Theatre

Twitter: @ManchesterUP @MUPJournals @MedievalSources 


Manchester University Press | Floor J | Renold Building | University of Manchester | M13 9PL





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