The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0666  Monday, 8 October 2007

From: 		Andy Mousley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Sunday, 7 Oct 2007 17:36:54 +0100
Subject: 	CFP: Shakespeare and the Meaning of Life

Shakespeare and the Meaning of Life
Leicester, UK, October 2007

Global Call for Contributions to a Special Issue of Shakespeare (the 
journal of the British Shakespeare Association) on 'Shakespeare and the 
Meaning of Life'

Deadline: March 31, 2008

Have specialisation and historicism killed off the existential 
significance of Shakespeare's work?

Is the 'meaning' of Shakespeare now only conceivable in culturally 
specific terms or can he still help us to think about what it is to be 

The legacy of anti-essentialist thinking within literary criticism and 
theory has made it difficult to broach such questions, but if concepts 
of dehumanisation and alienation are to retain any ethical force, then 
they demand our attention. The traditional vocabulary of humanism may be 
embarrassed and exhausted, but perhaps now is the time to reinvent a 
'humanist' Shakespeare who questions what is natural at the same time as 
he works against the total alienation of human beings from themselves. 
Such a task seems especially important given the enclaves which 
anti-humanist and humanist perspectives have in recent years tended to 
form: the one (anti-humanism) by caricaturing humanism as naive and 
uncritical, the other (humanism) by failing to deal adequately with the 
sceptical challenge and by ignoring the albeit covert humanism of at 
least some of its antagonists.

Essays of approximately 6000 words might address (though not 
exclusively) the following areas: past, present and/or possible future 
conceptions of Shakespeare's humanism; the relationship between 
historicist and humanist approaches to Shakespeare; the nature of the 
existential questions that Shakespeare can be seen as confronting; 
Shakespeare and current scientific accounts of human nature; Shakespeare 
and ethics.

Deadline: March 31, 2008

Please send submissions, by post or email attachment, to

Dr Andy Mousley
Department of English
Faculty of Humanities
Clephan Building
De Montfort University
Leicester, UK

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

S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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