Announcements

CFP: Dallas Shakespeare Conference

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 29.0220  Sunday, 10 June 2018

 

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

Date:         June 8, 2018 at 3:10:38 PM EDT

Subject:    CFP: Dallas Shakespeare Conference

 

The third biennial Dallas Shakespeare Conference, “Love, Hate, and the Islands in Between,” hosted by the University of Dallas in collaboration with Shakespeare Dallas, will be this October 5-6. It is a unique conference in its wide-ranging appeal—it has panels for academics, theater professionals, and high school teachers—and in its focus on a particular play or two. This year’s plays are The Tempest, a semi-staged reading of which, directed by Stefan Novinski, will be performed at UD Friday night, and Othello, a production of which, directed by Mason York, is being performed at nearby Addison Circle Park and which conference-goers are encouraged to attend Saturday night. 

 

The keynote address, Friday the 5th at 5:30pm, will be by Professor Scott Newstok of Rhodes College. His How to Think Like Shakespeare, which draws upon the history of rhetoric and the liberal arts as catalysts for precision, invention, and empathy in today's world, is to be published by Princeton University Press. An essay by the same title in The Chronicle of Higher Education is a delightful introduction to his work. 

 

If interested in presenting a paper of no more than 20 minutes, please send an abstract to me (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by August 15.

 

Sincerely,

Andrew Moran

Co-Director, Dallas Shakespeare Conference

Associate Professor of English

University of Dallas

 

 

 

 

Speaking of Shakespeare with Adam Gopnik

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 29.0219  Sunday, 10 June 2018

 

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

Date:         June 8, 2018 at 12:35:10 PM EDT

Subject:    Speaking of Shakespeare with Adam Gopnik

 

Speaking of Shakespeare

With Adam Gopnik

Of The New Yorker

 

Thursday, June 14, at 8 p.m.

The National Arts Club

15 Gramercy Park South, NYC

Free, and Open to the Public

 

In “The Poet’s Hand,” one of the most riveting of his many articles for The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik asks why “we still search for relics of the Bard.” It’s an intriguing question, and Mr. Gopnik focuses his inquiry on developments with the potential to shift our perceptions of a dramatist who remains just as pertinent today as he was at the height of his career. 

 

Those who’ve been on hand for previous gatherings with Adam Gopnik will recall that a key theme in Angels and Ages, his Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life, surfaced during an NAC program in 2008. So now that Mr. Gopnik is trying his hand at writing for theatrical production, attendees are likely to be in for another memorable evening.  

 

Reservations are not required, but messages to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. from those who expect to be on hand for Mr. Gopnik’s conversation with John Andrews will be very helpful. For more detail, visit www.shakesguild.org.

 

 

 

 

From TLS - 'Late innovations'

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 29.0216  Thursday, 7 June 2018

 

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

Date:         June 6, 2018 at 8:13:25 AM EDT

Subject:    From TLS - 'Late innovations'

 

[Editor’s Note: I will provide excepts here; and if anyone wishes the entire article and does not have access to TLS, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. -Hardy]

 

 

https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/late-innovations/

 

'Late innovations'

 

Shakespeare

HAMLET / AS YOU LIKE IT

Globe Theatre, until August 26

 

Late innovations

Stig Abell

 

Gender sensitivity seems to be an especially twenty-first-century phenomenon. It is a particular preoccupation of ours to muse on the politics of gender, and its frequent elisions: notions of toxic masculinity, and silenced femininity; the places where binaries collapse out of certainty into confusion, sometimes happily, sometimes in more fraught fashion.

 

Theatre, if it is to offer us – as Hamlet believes it must – “the abstract and brief chronicles of the time”, is inevitably a staging ground for this sort of cultural self-examination. So it is no surprise that we have entered a time of blind casting, in which the gender or race of the written character is often not matched by that of the player. In the past two years, I have not seen a single Shakespearean production in which all the male characters have been played by men. The “late innovation”, as Rosencrantz might put it, has swiftly become accepted tradition.

 

Just so with the two new productions at the Globe, the first under the new artistic director Michelle Terry and her ensemble: Hamlet (Terry herself), Laertes (Bettrys Jones), Horatio (Catrin Aaron) and Guildenstern (Nadia Nadarajah) in Hamlet, and Orlando (Jones), Adam (Terry) and Amiens (Tanika Yearwood) in As You Like It, are all played by women. And we get a male Ophelia (Shubham Saraf) and Rosalind (Jack Laskey) as counter-balance. Shakespeare is, of course, interested in both the vagaries of gendered relationships, and the “quintessence” of humankind more broadly. As in so many things, he has foreseen our modern concerns, and forestalled any fusty objections.

 

Indeed, one of the central jokes in As You Like It, as with so many comedies, resides in the identity of Rosalind as a boy playing a woman playing a boy (“were it not better”, she says as she assumes the role of Ganymede, “because that I am more than common tall / That I did suit me all points like a man?”). And Jack Laskey has tremendous fun, and shows winning charisma, as Rosalind, a lock forward in Elizabethan gown, wooing and frolicking with Bettrys Jones’s miniature Orlando. Shakespeare’s reference to Ganymede, the boy-lover of Zeus in Greek mythology, is a clear indication of his interest in the ambivalent sexuality at play here. As is the play’s epilogue, spoken by Rosalind, which is even more explicit in that regard: “if I were a woman I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me, complexions that liked me and breaths that I defied not”.

 

Hamlet is, among many other things, an exploration of the physical relationship between men and women, and its carnal consequences: those “country matters” Hamlet talks about with Ophelia; his appalled rancour at his mother’s choice to “ live / In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed, / Stew’d in corruption, honeying and making love / Over the nasty sty”. When the genders are mixed up in the casting, one cannot help but reflect more, not less, on Hamlet’s odd blend of hormonal angst and misogyny, his love for Ophelia distorted to the point of disgust towards all women, with their misleading make-up and unseemly physical desires.

 

Hamlet is also a play that rises far above issues of sex and gender, exploring all manifestations of the “piece of work” that is material existence, from the politics of “great ones” to the “fall of a sparrow”. Its success in such an ambitious enterprise is how any production must be judged. Here, Michelle Terry the actor gives us a wonderfully judged Hamlet; her Hamlet is not without its problems.

 

Terry has replaced Emma Rice, the former artistic director, who was ultimately relieved of her role owing to her fondness for the “late innovations” of technology in her productions: lots of light, music and complicated staging. Not for her were the audience expected to piece out theatrical imperfections with their thoughts, or to cram “within this wooden O” the vasty scenes that existed on Shakespeare’s page; she was happy to show brightly and loudly whatever she could.

Terry’s first productions are a response – and may be seen as a rebuke – to that approach. She has selected two plays that – like Henry V – were written around 1599, and would have been played in the newly constructed Globe. And, unsurprisingly, they both work within its “unworthy scaffold” without need for much ornamentation: the stage is bare; and the entrances and exits smooth and unencumbered. As the audience, we become colleagues in the great pith and moment of the plays. So when Hamlet begins on the frosty and apprehensive battlements of Elsinore, we are encouraged to exercise our imagination to take us away from a balmy late spring in London beneath a clear sky (filled with air traffic). And when we hear described those “antique roots” and brawling streams of Arden in As You Like It, we must supply the imagery ourselves, to find “tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, / Sermons in stones and good in everything”, as Duke Senior puts it.

 

[ . . . ]

 

 

 

Call for Manuscripts

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 29.0214  Tuesday, 5 June 2018

 

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

Date:         June 5, 2018 at 1:52:41 PM EDT

Subject:    Call for Manuscripts

 

Shakespeare and Digital Pedagogy (edited volume)

 

Kyle Vitale (Yale University) and Diana Henderson (MIT), editors

 

Shakespeare and Digital Pedagogy is an edited volume comprehensively exploring the newest digital tools, resources, and approaches for teaching Shakespeare to undergraduates. The volume represents a range of diverse international scholar-teachers who have developed and taught with digital resources in emergent pedagogical, technological, institutional, and sociopolitical contexts of Shakespeare studies. Essays integrate useful observations on the design and collaborative development of resources with descriptions of pedagogical use and learning gained. In a field whose reflections on digital pedagogy tend to be uncoordinated and quickly dated, we seek to produce a volume that is wise, comprehensive, and practical, inviting contributors both to reflect on their resources and to provide usable components (syllabus, lesson, web link, data reflecting impact, etc.). 

 

The volume is intended to serve a wide readership, including teaching faculty and graduate students, Shakespeare researchers, undergraduate students, and other practitioners interested in the digital humanities (DH). It was conceived in part through a groundbreaking U.S. initiative led by the Folger Shakespeare Library and the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2016 called “Teaching Shakespeare to Undergraduates,” in which college instructors from across the country built digital teaching tools and discussed how those tools met longstanding teaching challenges.[1] Many essays draw from this program, and many more expand the conversation to international and trans-Atlantic contexts. 

 

At this time the editors seek essay topics that:  

  • emerge from British, international, or minority perspectives, including pedagogies and classroom contexts located in those representations either geographically or thematically, and / or,
  • highlight collaborations with and creative opportunities for undergraduate students 

 

-----Abstract and Proposal Information-----

 

*Abstracts Due: ASAP, but no later than 15 July 2018

 When Submitting Abstract, Please Provide:

  • Name, degree, rank/position and affiliation, and brief bio including teaching and publication summary
  • Best email and mailing address
  • Chapter Title and descriptive sub-header (Chapter Title: “DIY First Folio: Bringing the Printing Press Alive,” and sub-header: DIY First Folio provides fresh book history pedagogy by providing a virtual printing house and faithful color reproductions of First Folio sheets)
  • 400- word summary of content, including perceived need your tool/resource/approach fills, intended audience for tool/resource/approach, pedagogical use, learning goals, and description of usable component
  • Up to 5 pedagogical keywords (for instance: lecture, group work, discussion, editing, active learning) and up to 5 content keywords (for instance, Merchant of Venice, religion, image, performance, history)
  • Description of potential figures or images included in essay
  • Send to Kyle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (in body of email or attachment as .doc) by 15 July 2018

 

Kyle Sebastian Vitale, Ph.D.

Assistant Director, Faculty Teaching Initiatives

Yale University Center for Teaching and Learning

 

Diana E. Henderson, Ph.D.

Co-editor, Shakespeare Studies

Professor of Literature and MacVicar Faculty Fellow 

 

[1] See Folger webpage, “Teaching Shakespeare to Undergraduates”: https://folgerpedia.folger.edu/Teaching_Shakespeare_to_Undergraduates,_Folger_Institute_NEH_microgrant_project_(2016-2017) 

 

 

 

Armenian Shakespeare Association International Conference 2018

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 29.0213  Tuesday, 5 June 2018

 

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

Date:         June 5, 2018 at 7:37:07 AM EDT

Subject:    Armenian Shakespeare Association International Conference 2018

 

 

http://www.armenianshakespeare.org

 

The 2nd ASA International Conference in Yerevan, Armenia

27-30th September 2018

 

“Shakespeare Between the Crossroads of East and West”

 

Dedicated to the 130th anniversary of the legendary actor

Vahram Papazian (1888-1968)

 

CONFIRMED KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:

Pr. Jerzy Limon - Director of The Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre

Pr. Lisa Hopkins – Head of the Graduate School, Sheffield Hallam University

 

The Armenian Shakespeare Association (ASA) invites academics, research students, independent scholars, critics and theatre practitioners its second international conference in Yerevan. The conference is organised in partnership with the American University of Armenia (AUA) and the National Museum of Theatre and Literature (NMTL).  Rooms in a 3* centrally located hotel are reserved for participants with a special discount. ASA has also arranged sightseeing tours (to museums, historical and architectural sites) and evening entertainment each day of the conference. Additionally, participants will be able to join:

  • Festive celebrations, including concerts, shows and exhibitions dedicated to the 2800th anniversary of the capital Erebuni at the end of September;
  • Performances at the International Theatre Festival HIFEST between the 1st and the 5th October. 

Participants are highly encouraged to organise their individual panels by registering their interest before the 30th May, and abstracts of around 300 words MUST be submitted via email before the 30th June.

 

Here are few panel topics, however further suggestions are most welcome:

 

  • 2018 spotlight on Othello: global/local variations and their significance in adoptive countries;
  • Viewing and reviewing Shakespeare: the conference will watch current Shakespeare productions and organise discussions with the cast and creative teams;
  • Translating Shakespeare: linguistic, geographic and poetic challenges: translators of any language warmly welcome;
  • Shakespearean reworkings in cinematography, opera, classical and contemporary music, art, ballet;
  • Round table: teaching Shakespeare, why and how to engage the new generation of Shakespeareans.

 

For all inquiries contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Registration form and conference fees: www.armenianshakespeare.org

 

 

 

CFP: Kingston Shakespeare Seminar

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 29.0208  Tuesday, 29 May 2018

 

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

Date:         May 26, 2018 at 4:14:25 PM EDT

Subject:    CFP: Kingston Shakespeare Seminar

 

Dear Fellow SHAKSPER Colleagues, 

 

Please join Kingston Shakespeare Seminar and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for a colloquium, “Shakespeare and Presentism,” at Kingston University, London, on Sat., 28 July 2018. It’s conveniently scheduled immediately following “Radical Mischief” and ISC in Stratford upon Avon. Please see the CFP and submit an abstract by 29 June 2018 --

 

KINGSTONSHAKESPEARESEMINAR.WORDPRESS.COM

 

CFP: Shakespeare and Presentism, July 28, 2018

KINGSTON SHAKESPEARE SEMINAR 

UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA LAS VEGAS 

CALL FOR PAPERS 

SHAKESPEARE AND PRESENTISM at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, on Saturday July 28 2018 

A decade and a half since Terence Hawk…

 

Foucault and Shakespeare Symposium, June 23 [Shakespeare at the Temple]

 

with participation from Tom Brockelman, Jonathan Dollimore, Stuart Elden, Kelina Gotman, Jennifer Rust, Duncan Salkeld

 

 

SHAKESPEARE AT THE TEMPLE

 

David Garrick built his Shakespeare Temple beside the Thames at Hampton in 1755 as a place where ‘the thinkers of the world’ would meet to reflect on the plays. He hoped Voltaire would come. Now the Kingston Shakespeare Seminar is realising the great actor’s vision, with a series of symposia on Shakespeare in Philosophy. Each of these Saturday events features talks by leading philosophers and Shakespeare scholars, coffee and tea in the riverside garden designed by Capability Brown, and lunch at the historic Bell Inn.

 

On Saturday June 23 2018 the Temple symposium will be on

FOUCAULT AND SHAKESPEARE 

 

To register for the symposium go to:

https://foucaultandshakespeare.eventbrite.co.uk

 

All the best,

Evelyn Gajowski

Barrick Distinguished Scholar

Professor of English

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

 

 

 

Rose Theatre Bankside Readathon

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 29.0206  Wednesday, 23 May 2018

 

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

Date:         May 23, 2018 at 9:37:12 AM EDT

Subject:    Rose Theatre Bankside Readathon

 

Please find attached information about the Rose Theatre Bankside Readathon ‘on Saturday June 2nd at 12-6pm.

 

The main purpose of the event is to raise awareness of the history and significance of the Rose Bankside and its connection with Marlowe and Shakespeare.

 

The event promises to be great fun - the more, the merrier!

 

Best wishes,

Ildiko Solti

Shakespeare Research Fellow

Kingston University

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

 

 

THE 2018 ROSE READATHON

12noon-6pm

 

Six plays read in six hours on the stage of the Rose Playhouse! Three will be by Shakespeare [Titus Andronicus, Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night's Dream] and three by Marlowe [Tamburlaine part 1, The Jew of Malta and Dr Faustus]. For participants, roles will be drawn out of a hat. For audience members, there will be a synopsis of each play.

 

12.00 Tamburlaine 

13.00 Titus Andronicus 

14.00 The Jew of Malta 

15.00 Twelfth Night 

16.00 Dr Faustus 

17.00 A Midsummer Night’s Dream

 

A number of celebrities may make an appearance during the Readathon. Where possible, participants should arrive 10-15 minutes before the start of each play - exact timetable available through the ticketing link below.

 

A phone call to say that you're cancelling would be appreciated 020 7261 9565.

 

Readathon Tickets Link 2018

 

The Rose is an indoor archaeological site, it is advisable to dress with an extra layer as there is no heating. There are also no toilets so please use Shakespeare’s Globe just a few hundred metres away. 

Please arrive 15 minutes before the production starts to pay for or collect your tickets.

 

Readathon Flyer:  pdf Rose Theatre Bankside Readathon flyer (529 KB)

 

 

 

Release of B&L 11.2

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 29.0204  Tuesday, 22 May 2018

 

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

Date:         May 18, 2018 at 1:19:08 PM EDT

Subject:    Release of B&L 11.2

 

Christy Desmet and I are delighted to announce the release of Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation 11.2 (2018), featuring articles by Balz Engler on “A Village Romeo and Juliet”; Sarah Hatchuel and Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin on Lego Shakespeare; Jonathan Burton on The New Hamlet and the New Woman; Christian Smith on Dorothea Tieck and Shakespeare; Yousef Award and Barkuzar Dubbati on Hamlet and The Road to Damascus; Jeffrey Kahan on Vortigern; and Jennifer Holl on Drunk Shakespeare. The issue also includes performance and book reviews by Regina Buccola and Giorgia De Santis, and the release of our new section, “Shakespeare Apps,” edited by Louise Geddes, with a review by Mark Aune of the application “Stratford Shakespeare Festival Behind the Scenes.”

 

http://www.borrowers.uga.edu/

 

 

 

Call for Essay Proposals: Shakespeare’s Audiences

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 29.0203  Thursday, 17 May 2018

 

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

Date:         May 17, 2018 at 10:51:22 AM EDT

Subject:    Call for Essay Proposals: Shakespeare’s Audiences

 

Call for Essay Proposals for

Shakespeare’s Audiences

Edited by Dr. Matteo Pangallo, Virginia Commonwealth University

 

Shakespeare’s Audiences will collect together essays exploring the history of Shakespeare’s audiences and the reception of Shakespeare’s plays and adaptations of those plays in performance, from the sixteenth through the twenty-first centuries. The focus of the book is on the history of audience experiences of and responses to the production of Shakespeare’s plays across all performance platforms, including theatre, radio, television, film, podcast, and online, and from a range of cultural contexts around the globe. Rather than center on the productions themselves and their choices, the essays in this volume will turn a spotlight on the consumers of Shakespearean productions and their own engagements with those productions. Approaches taken by contributors might include—but are not limited to—studies of audience demographics, historical surveys of audiences at a particular venue or in a particular medium or of a particular company, case studies of playgoers’ accounts of or responses to particular performances, examinations of a particular theater critic’s evaluations of Shakespeare productions, close readings of Shakespearean fan fiction, and so forth. The essays in the collection will be divided into five sections: Original Audiences (theatrical productions up until 1642), Stage Audiences (theatrical productions from the Restoration to the present), Screen Audiences (film and television), Audio Audiences (radio, analog recordings, podcasts, etc.), and Online Audiences (websites, web series, online videos, etc.).

 

Proposals to contribute an essay in Shakespeare’s Audiences should be sent as a Word Document attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and must include an essay title and abstract (no more than 200 words), an indication of which section in the book into which the essay would best fit, and the contributor’s CV, including identification of his or her current affiliation. The deadline to submit a proposal is Tuesday, July 31. Inquiries or requests for additional information may also be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Matteo Pangallo

Assistant Professor

Department of English

Virginia Commonwealth University

 

 

 

Speaking of Shakespeare with Sir Richard Eyre

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 29.0197  Thursday, 10 May 2018

 

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

Date:         May 10, 2018 at 10:18:05 AM EDT

Subject:    Speaking of Shakespeare with Sir Richard Eyre

 

Speaking of Shakespeare

And Other Dramatic Artists 

With Sir Richard Eyre

 

Tuesday, May 15, at 7:00 p. m.

The Players (Edwin Booth's Club)

16 Gramercy Park South, NYC 

Free, and Open to the Public

 

An artist renowned for his versatility, Sir Richard Eyre is the director whose acclaimed London production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night, with Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville in starring roles, will soon be mesmerizing audiences at BAM’s Harvey Theatre. Sir Richard’s many books include a riveting memoir about his influential decade as head of the UK’s National Theatre (1987-97), and his dozens of honors include five Olivier Awards. He has worked with many of today’s leading playwrights, among them Alan BennettDavid Hare, and Tom Stoppard, and with such legendary performers as Judi DenchIan HolmBob HoskinsDaniel Day-LewisIan McKellenVanessa Redgrave, and Paul Scofield. He has directed several operas and television series (among them Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, and The Hollow Crown), and his celebrated films include Iris (starring Kate Winslet as poet Iris Murdoch), Notes on a ScandalStage Beauty, and The Other Man.   

  

For information about upcoming Shakespeare Guild engagements, among them a conversation with New Yorker favorite Adam Gopnik (Thursday, June 14 at the National Arts Club), visit www.shakesguild.org. Reservations are not required, but if you expect to attend, John Andrews will be grateful for a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   

 

 

 

 

CFP: Little stars and galloping steeds: Sex in Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 29.0189  Thursday, 3 May 2018

 

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

Date:         May 3, 2018 at 2:30:42 AM EDT

Subject:    CFP: Little stars and galloping steeds: Sex in Shakespeare

 

We have extended our deadline to May 31. 

 

Our confirmed plenary speaker is the world renown Jonathan Dollimore, author of Radical Tragedy, the book that inaugurated cultural materialism and Sexual Dissidence, a new edition of which will be published this year. 

 

https://kingstonshakespeareseminar.wordpress.com/2018/03/26/cfp-little-stars-and-galloping-steeds-sex-in-shakespeare-june-22-kissit/

 

 

CFP: Little stars and galloping steeds: Sex in Shakespeare, June 22 (KiSSiT)

 

Little Stars and Galloping Steeds:
Sex in ShakespeareKingston Shakespeare Seminar in Theory Conference

 

June 22, 2018, Rose Theatre, London.

10am – 6:30pm.

 

Call for Papers:

There is a lot of sex in Shakespeare. Some characters have sex, some brag about having it, and some do everything in their power to shun it. Some of the sex is consensual, much of it is rapacious. There is sexuality between men and women, men and men, women and women, people and animals, and people and gods. The very definition of comedy, as a genre, hinges on the sexual act.

 

Sex is also about political power. It is used to enforce gender, class, and ethnic categories through disavowal, demonisation, and displacement. However, as Jonathan Dollimore observes in Sexual Dissidence, sex can also be a form of dissident knowledge. For deviance is disobedience. As the cross-dressing Rosalind says in As You Like It, “the wiser the waywarder”! Through what Dollimore calls “the perverse dynamic”, the sexual dissident can discover the displaced Other at the very heart of the authority that attempts to disavow it.

 

For this conference, we are calling for an investigation of the role of sex and sexuality, in its political, figurative, and theatrical sense, in Shakespeare’s plays. Papers could unblushingly peer into Shakespeare’s plays and poems and perform a close-viewing of their sexuality. We welcome papers that set the sexuality in the plays’ historical period as well as papers that read the sexuality as a means to critique our present moment. We welcome papers that read the sexuality through a preferred theoretical lens; Feminism, Psychoanalysis and Queer Theory are good fits, but what about Marxism, Eco-criticism, and, well, the animal turn.

 

Confirmed Plenary speaker: Jonathan Dollimore

 

Possible topics:

  • What is the role of sexual desire and pleasure in Shakespeare’s plays and poems?
  • What can be said about Shakespeare’s ambiguity as to whether certain characters actually have sex (Bottom and Titania, for example)?
  • How have directors staged sex in Shakespeare performances?
  • What is the role of sexual refusal in the plays and poems?
  • How is sex weaponised or used in power moves such as rape (Lavinia, Lucrece), or through manipulation (Richard and Anne, Henry V and Katherine)?
  • What is the relationship between sex and court or state power?
  • What is the role of sexual deviance and perversion in the plays and poems?
  • How does the sex act of the bed trick work hermeneutically?
  • How can we read Shakespeare‘s allusions to varies types of sex acts – intercourse, oral sex, anal sex – and different parts of the sex act – wooing, orgasm, post-coitus?
  • What qualities of sex are found in Shakespeare – phallic-centred, female-centered, rapacious, BDSM, polymorphous perverse?
  • What role does sexuality play in the plays’ queer relations, in their rainbow of forms – open, mistaken, ambiguous, closeted, sublimated?
  • What role is sexual allusion playing when it is deployed by Shakespeare in violence – Samson‘s and Gregory‘s opening dialogue in Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth‘s dagger speech (2.1.33-64)?
  • What role do the sexual acts of prostitutes play in the plays?
  • How can incest be read in, say, Pericles and Hamlet?
  • How does it change the reading of a play if it is assumed that certain characters – say, Hamlet and Ophelia, Demetrius and Helena, the poet and the fair youth – have already had sex before the opening of the play/poem?
  • What role does sex play in Classical allusions – Ovid, Homer, Apuleius – in the plays and poems?

 

Please send paper proposals/abstracts to the conference organisers:

Christian Smith and Paul Hamilton by May 31, 2018.

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

 

 

All best, 

Paul Hamilton 

Shakespeare Fellow, 

Kingston University 

 

 

 

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