The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.128 Thursday, 13 March 2014
Date: March 13, 2014 at 5:30:07 AM EDT
Subject: CFP: Local and Global Myths in Shakespearean Performance
Call for Papers
Local and Global Myths in Shakespearean Performance
Senior Lecturer in Theatre, University of Bedfordshire, UK
Professor of English, George Washington University, USA
Heiner Müller observed that in Hamlet “The invasion of the times into the play constitutes myth” (“Shakespeare a Difference”, trans. Carl Weber, p. 120). Over the centuries, intrusions of history have invested Hamlet and other Shakespeare’s plays with a mythical status on stages in Europe and beyond. Shakespeare has been used to construct the sense of nationhood, to voice political anxieties, and to address social tensions. The mythical position of Shakespeare’s plays has encouraged the perpetuation of set images, ideas, and values originating in the works themselves but also reflecting the times and cultures, into which they have been appropriated. As Müller explained, “Myth is an aggregate, a machine to which always new and different machines can be connected” (p. 120). Having achieved a mythical status, Shakespeare’s plays have continued to generate myths that contribute to the development of contemporary performance and culture.
The topic encourages both case studies of performances of myths rooted in local contexts, as well as investigations of the global nature of Shakespeare’s myths. We welcome articles that critically examine specific productions or engage more broadly with global and local myths in Shakespearean performance. The following questions provide possible points of departure for the discussion in the essays:
- What myths have been generated locally and globally around Shakespearean performance?
- Can we trace common patterns across different regions of the world, comparing, for example, European, Asian or American myths generated by the intrusion of history into the staging of Shakespeare?
- Do myths help us to comprehend the world and communicate with audiences across cultures, or do they impose patterns of interpretation onto Shakespeare’s plays and our experience of history?
Senior Lecturer in Theatre
Course Co-ordinator BA (Hons) in Theatre and Professional Practice
Course Co-ordinator BA (Hons) in English and Theatre Studies
University of Bedfordshire
Performing Arts and English