The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1873  Thursday, 26 July 2001

From:           Michael Edgar <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thu, 26 Jul 2001 12:03:16 +1000
Subject:        Australian and New Zealand Shakespeare Association (ANZSA)

Shakespeare: Looking Before and After: A Performance Appraisal

The Seventh Biennial Conference of the Australian and New Zealand
Shakespeare Association

February 7 - 11, 2002

At the Academy of Arts, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania,


This conference aims to look at the position of Shakespeare studies and
Shakespeare performance at the beginning of the twentieth-century. It is
hoped that a number of the contributions will offer with a retrospective
look at how Shakespeare has been viewed in different societies and eras.
How has Shakespeare been appraised, who have been the appraisers and
what have been their values?
Equally, it is hoped that other papers will use the perspective of the
beginning of the twenty-first century to consider the future of

Four hundred years after Hamlet seems a good time to appraise the
performance, past and projected, of the Shakespeare industry in its
theatrical, scholastic, educational and its other continually
diversifying branches.

By most indicators Shakespeare Inc. has been a success of Coca-Cola
proportions. The original Globe product has been truly globalised,
franchised into all major languages, and is available all over the

The secondary industry of Shakespearean scholarship continues its
staggering annual output of writings and provides employment to

Educationally, numerous websites market the delights of Shakespeare to
the younger generations.
Performance of the actual scripts proceeds apace in their original form,
or on film and TV or in other contemporary media.

The closing years of the twentieth-century saw Shakespeare voted Man of
the Millennium, involved in an Oscar win and credited with the
'invention of the human.'

How did it all happen and can the boom continue? Has the value of
Shakespeare been inflated beyond reason?

Can the commodification of Shakespeare continue apace? Is the industry
self-perpetuating or is it heading for a crash? Could Shakespeare Inc.
suddenly find itself in an Encyclopedia Britannica position?

Are we still in the era of Modern English, which Shakespeare helped to
shape or are we entering a new phase of the language in which a visually
oriented and cyberspeaking generations will simply find renaissance
texts too hard.

Academically, could Shakespeare become Chaucerfied, a niche subject
fascinating a dwindling  

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