The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0316  Monday, 8 July 2013


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

Date:         July 4, 2013 11:30:19 AM EDT

Subject:     Correction: CFP Shakespeare in Slavic/Eastern European Countries


Dear Shakespearian colleagues,


We would like to make a slight modification to the previously published CFP regarding Shakespeare 450 anniversary in Paris. Our previous title “Shakespeare in Slavic Countries” seems inadvertently to leave out countries such as Hungary, even though we do speak of “Eastern and Central Europe” in the text of CFP. Thus we think it is best if we change the title to “Shakespeare in Slavic/ Eastern European countries”, and likewise add  “Eastern European” to all other references to the subject of the panel.


Unfortunately there is also a typo in the text, as you might have noticed. After Sandor Petofi’s quote which is from Zdeněk Stříbrný’s book, Shakespeare in Eastern Europe, the year mentioned should of course be 1847 not 1947.


We hope that these changes will soon appear on the conference website.


In the meantime we thank you for your understanding and attention.


Best regards

David Fanning and Michelle Assay



This is the corrected CFP.


Panel: Shakespeare and Slavic/ East and Central European Countries


‘The Slavs’ great capacity for hero worship, particularly for the man of intellect, has given Shakespeare as high a place in their estimation as we would give a military hero returning from a victory’ (Cyril Bryner, 1941).

‘Shakespeare. Change his name into a mountain, and it will surpass the Himalayas…Before his appearance the world was incomplete’ (Sándor Petőfi, 1847).

This panel will study Shakespeare’s adoption and adaptation within the countries of Eastern and Central Europe, including those comprising the former USSR. Angles such as the historic, cultural, political, theatrical, and translation studies will be considered.

Shakespeare’s journey in Central and Eastern Europe goes as far back as tours of English comedians during his lifetime and soon after his death to the court of Zygmunt III of Poland. The 18th century saw the first attempts at appropriating and adapting his work in the Russian language, with Sumarokov’s first quasi-translation of Hamlet. The age of National movements in European cultural and political life continued well into the 19th century, as did admiration for Shakespeare. In Russia of the Romantic era, Shakespeare and Byron were two major sources of inspiration for poets, artists and composers. Tchaikovsky dreamt of composing an opera based on Hamlet, but he found the Danish Prince’s irony untranslatable into music. However, he did not shrink from composing incidental music and symphonic pieces based on Shakespeare’s plays. Apart from productions, translations, and adaptations, studies and analysis of Shakespeare’s plays began to appear. The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and the arrival of Socialist doctrines brought more overtly political shades into Shakespeare productions, along with experimental interpretations especially during the avant-garde 20s and early 30s. Wartime Shakespeare took various shapes and colours to fit the purposes and morale of the various nations - for example, certain more introspective plays such as Hamlet were absent from most Soviet stages. The Thaw saw two great cinema adaptations of Shakespeare by Grigori Kozintsev, as well as many key Shakespeare studies, such as Jan Kott’s, Shakespeare our contemporary (1964).

Discussion topics for the panel include but are not limited to:

  • History of Shakespeare translations into Slavic/ Central and Eastern European languages
  • Shakespeare stage productions in the (former) Eastern Bloc
  • Shakespeare and the Soviet Union
  • Shakespeare and Russian/Soviet music
  • Shakespeare and cinema in the (former) Eastern Bloc
  • Shakespeare studies in Slavic/ Central and Eastern European countries

Please submit abstracts (200-300 words) and brief biography (c.150 words) including your affiliation by 1 August 2013 to the panel convenors: Michelle Assay (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Professor David Fanning (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 


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