Seminars and Workshops
Enrolment in WSC seminars and workshops is now open. All Congress delegates will be able to enrol in one of the thirty-four seminars or five workshops offered.
Convenors: Helen SMITH (University of York, UK) and Valerie WAYNE (University of Hawaii, USA)
This seminar welcomes all forms of work on ‘book’ history as it relates to Shakespeare and his global contemporaries, including new research in areas such as communications circuits; playbooks, printed books, and theatrical manuscripts; authors, printers, publishers, owners, and readers; editions and works assembled from multiple source texts; and the materiality of the text and the circulation of ideas. How can we follow the lead of critical race scholars to open up book history to questions of race and ethnicity? If most models of the field have been androcentric, how can we expand our research to attend more fully to gender and to sexuality, including questions of queer philologies, embodiment, collaboration, and conflict? What new developments are made possible by recent digital resources and by forensic tools that use technologies from chemistry, radiology, and DNA analysis? Where would we like book history to go in the next decade?
Convenors: Márton BÁRSONY (Károli Gáspár University, Hungary) and Halyna PASTUSHUK (Ukrainian Catholic University, Ukraine)
This seminar invites investigations of the carnivalesque in Shakespearean plays and performances: traces of pageants, fooling characters, temporal and spatial liminality between fictional world and theatrical event, plays-within-plays, references to acting and actors, equivocations and puns, low laughter and scatological language, play of identity, eavesdropping scenes, and other meta-theatrical techniques. How do liminal actor-characters function at ‘the border line between art and life’? What happens to the audience when the fourth wall collapses? How did carnivalesque elements contribute to multiple dimensions of performance reception by the hodge-podge London public? Can they serve the same purpose today in different cultures which translate, adopt, and appropriate Shakespeare’s plays? How have other global traditions of carnival and the carnivalesque been imported into Shakespeare criticism and performance? Is it possible that many stagings today, while being excessively faithful to the original texts, miss the dynamic ambivalence and polyphony of Shakespeare’s plays?
Convenors: Darryl CHALK (University of Southern Queensland, Australia) and Rebecca TOTARO (Florida Gulf Coast University, USA)
In this seminar, we invite methodologically self-conscious and generous papers seeking to expand our understanding of the circuits of infectious disease and keeping care for others in Shakespeare’s time. Papers might address one or more of these subjects: caregiving or disease as represented by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, including women writers; specific characters in contagious and/or caregiving networks of exchange; responses to mortality crises amid the loss of Catholic charitable relief efforts; local, transatlantic, and other circuits of disease transmission and care management; the role of families and parish communities in managing extra-familial disease; infectious disease and the history of emotions; quarantine laws and other travel restrictions; London’s bills of mortality, the press, and the quantification of disease; male and/or female care networks; infrastructure-related issues; associated socio-cultural economies; traveling players escaping from or carrying disease with them; continental translations of disease and care manuals; and archival manuscript finds.
Convenors: Sophie TOMLINSON (University of Auckland, New Zealand) and Deanne WILLIAMS (York University, Canada)
This seminar draws inspiration from the conference theme of circuits by highlighting the social, political, and commercial networks in which female performance circulated in the early modern period and continues to circulate today. In Shakespeare’s time, women and girls performed in plays, masques, and entertainments as singers, dancers, and dramatic speakers. They authored and commissioned plays and masques and involved themselves in the financial, commercial, and material aspects of stage management and production. Papers are welcome on women and also girls in existing circuits, their establishment and initiation of new circuits and networks, and the existence of all-female circuits: circuits of family and friendship; international and diasporic circuits of dramatic performance; economic, political, and commercial circuits; the circulation of dramatic texts, songs, designs, and theatregrams; female performers in contemporary online and digital circuits; and female performance circulating in archives, at festivals, in exhibitions, and in cultural and historical contexts outside of early modern England.
Convenors: Coen HEIJES (University of Groningen, Netherlands) and David RUITER (University of California, San Diego, USA)
We all share a passion for Shakespeare. We all want to make the world a better place. Can these desires be brought together productively? Most Shakespeare conferences today aim at connecting the Shakespeare circuit with the broader circuit of today’s society and its burning issues, such as migration, racism, xenophobia, populism, poverty, and moral, social, and ecological sustainability. Shakespeare is part of an interdisciplinary approach to leadership, ethics, diversity, and cross-cultural cooperation; should such ‘significant Shakespeare’ concerns also become the foundation of our teaching, acting, and research?
For this seminar, we call on academics, teachers, and practitioners to report how they have achieved change for the better and/or to illustrate the dilemmas, difficulties, and failures that confront us on this road to significance. We also welcome papers that question the very notion of ‘significant Shakespeare’ and argue that this is or is not what we should engage in at all.
Convenors: Nathalie Rivere DE CARLES (University of Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France), Anne Sophie REFSKOU (University of Surrey, UK), and SHIMAZU Naoko (Yale-NUS College, Singapore)
This seminar discusses Shakespearean cultural diplomacy and its participation, theoretically and practically, in reconfiguring the global. Participants will seek to decentre the origin by detaching Shakespeare from ‘this sceptred isle’ in order to consider the diplomatic agency of the global South, new definitions of North/South and lateral relationships, and Shakespeare as an artistic language already possessed by cultural / linguistic others. Papers may consider the ethical, historical, and political limitations of a diplomatic use of Shakespeare (unequal power structures, misappropriations, misuses, the (im)possibility of separating hard and soft power); material diplomacy (Shakespearean gift-giving, objects, performances, exhibitions, museography); nodal points as spaces of intercultural and para-diplomatic exchange (centres of cultural heritage, physical and digital archives); dialogic choices by festivals, performances, and intermedial adaptations (multilingual/multicultural, accessible and/or specific cultural markers); rewritings (Shakespeare, diplomacy, and national representation, including representations of the nationless and stateless).
Convenors: Yu Jin KO (Wellesley College, USA), KUWAYAMA Tomonari (Kyoto University, Japan), and Linda MCJANNET (Bentley University, USA)
Choreographed movement is a foundational element of South and East Asian theatrical traditions, including Chinese opera, Noh drama, and Korean popular theatre. Movement-inflected and body-centred productions of Shakespeare have recently experienced an upsurge in North America and Great Britain. We can also look to contemporary Asian genres and the influence of globalization, including the popularity of video games, animé, and Bollywood films. The freedom opened up by the many forms of transposition in intercultural performances combine to mount new and provocative challenges to the dominance of the text in Shakespearean performance. We solicit papers exploring a variety of approaches to dance and movement in Shakespeare performance in any part of the globe: performance theory, stage history, cultural and post-colonial studies, adaptation studies, gender and queer theory. We also welcome contributions from theatre and film practitioners, including video clips with an accompanying artist’s statement rather than conventional essays.
Convenors: Hardin AASAND (Purdue University Fort Wayne, USA) and Paromita CHAKRAVARTI (Jadavpur University, India)
Hamlet’s request that Horatio ‘tell my story’ foretells the way in which his name would travel and negotiate global circuits of memory. Much of the action of the play is occupied with Hamlet’s attempts to figure out his own wiring, his internal circuitry of behaviour and identity as informed by personal recollection, Danish pressures, and familial expectations. This circuitry has also defined the historical record of responses during the past four hundred years. For the twenty-first century, Hamlet has attained the level of a cultural meme, a node in a circuit defined as a cultural, organic, generative platform for exploring and promulgating cultural and ideological agendas that undergird personal and national identities. This seminar invites essays from the expansive scholarly circuit on the editorial, performance, and cultural impacts of Hamlet’s circuitry. Especially welcome are digital incarnations of this play, the various platforms upon/into which Hamlet has been performed and inserted.
Convenors: Christian SMITH (Independent Scholar, Germany) and James W. STONE (American University, USA)
This seminar proposes to investigate circuits of psychoanalytic Shakespeare studies in the present world. Papers are invited on Shakespeare’s influence on Freud and the development of psychoanalysis; critiques of psychoanalytic theory in light of Shakespeare’s influence on the theory; international critiques, rereadings, and re-developments of psychoanalytic Shakespeare studies; elucidations and critiques, using Shakespeare, of subfields in psychoanalysis (Lacan, Laplanche, Jung, Reich, Frankfurtschule, Klein, Winnicott, feminist, LGBTQ+, eco-criticism); interdisciplinary explorations, using Shakespeare, of links between critical and clinical psychoanalysis; presentist readings of problems of our time (misogyny, racism, the rise of the far right, attitudes towards migrants, populist politics) through psychoanalytic Shakespeare criticism. Also welcome are readings of Shakespeare’s plays using any variant of psychoanalytic theory, psychoanalytic readings of contemporary Shakespearean adaptations (including films, graphic novels, and pop culture), critiques of translations of Shakespeare using psychoanalytic theory, and readings of Shakespeare through psychoanalytic theory developed in Asia and the Global South.
Convenors: Cyrus R. K. PATELL (New York University Abu Dhabi, UAE) and Kevin RIORDAN (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
This seminar aims to bring together three different but interlinked approaches to the study of ‘global Shakespeare’. Papers may, first, rethink traditional Shakespeare studies based on influence and intertextuality by investigating the ways in which Shakespeare was already a ‘global’ author in his own time, using stories, ideas, and settings from beyond his local and national contexts. Second, they may investigate the transformation of ‘Shakespeare’ into a global cultural commodity as the result of a material history of performance, publication, pedagogy, and translation. Third, they may examine Shakespeare’s plays as the focal point for a shared cultural heritage. ‘Shakespeare’ is a marker of both cultural difference and universal values, a cultural force that brings new work into being through a mixture of inspiration and antagonism. Approaches may include close reading, influence study, reader-response theory, literary historiography, history-of-the-book analysis, translation studies, materialist approaches, cultural studies, world literature theory, and digital humanities.
Convenors: Jim CASEY (Arcadia University, USA) and Amrita SEN (University of Calcutta, India)
For many, the essence of Shakespeare’s plays and poems is found in the language, but translations must identify some other element that constitutes the essential qualia of ‘Shakespeare’. A rhizomatic model, which approaches Shakespeare as a node on the rhizome rather than the central trunk of the literary tree, liberates the adaptations scholar from questions of textual fidelity and focuses the critical impulse on those ever-changing cultural processes that make up ‘Shakespeare’. This seminar addresses the relationship between traditional Shakespeares and newer Shakespeares (digital and real-world) within a global, non-Anglophone context, as well as the impact of these adaptations and new media on teaching Shakespeare. We welcome papers that explore circuits of translation in specific film, stage, and/or new media performances of non-English-language Shakespeare, with special attention paid to the qualities that make up ‘Shakespeare’ and what that means for adaptation studies and/or a particular adaptation itself.
Convenors: Mark BAYER (University of Texas at San Antonio, USA) and Jeanne MATHIEU (University of Toulouse, France)
This seminar explores the origins of institutions that perpetuate and maintain Shakespeare studies as an academic discipline in different national cultures. Shakespeare’s plays are formally studied and taught in almost every country in the world, but the ways in which they entered academic culture differ radically based on distinct national, cultural, and historical circumstances. How should we understand the vigorous academic commitment to Shakespeare in various nations? How has Shakespeare become an indispensable part of academic culture in nations that do not share an Anglophone heritage? Papers might explore Shakespeare’s place in the curricula in different countries; the figures instrumental in making Shakespeare studies plausible, possible, and desirable; the different emphases in Shakespeare scholarship in various cultural traditions; the special emphasis placed on specific plays in certain national contexts during times of crisis.
Convenors: Todd BORLIK (University of Huddersfield, UK), Ari FRIEDLANDER (University of Mississippi, USA), and Karen RABER (University of Mississippi, USA)
How do Shakespeare’s plays or their appropriations in other media trouble traditional ideas of ‘human identity’? By deconstructing both ‘humanism’ and ‘the human’, recent work has discovered convergences between the weirdly entangled objects that are Shakespeare’s texts and the embedded, extended, enmeshed, embodied posthuman global frameworks described by posthumanist and ecocritical theory. We invite papers detailing any dimension of this process that results in a challenge to the traditional definitions of humanism and the human, including those focused on disability, biopolitics, non-human actors, and the agency of non-human other animals, plants, machines, objects, systems and processes. Papers might deal entirely with Shakespeare’s world or might engage with cross-currents and influences among the plays and periods, between languages and cultures, or among diverse media. Particularly welcome are papers that look at adaptations outside the Anglosphere to interrogate Eurocentric conceptions of the ‘human’.
Convenors: Olivia COULOMB (Aix-Marseille University, France) and Marta Cerezo MORENO (National Distance Education University, Spain)
This seminar welcomes contributions that explore the ‘turn to religion’ in Shakespeare studies. Papers may consider how Shakespeare’s works have been reinvented in religious terms and used as religious ideological instruments; how Shakespearean explorations of spiritual themes can become pivotal in religious discourses worldwide; whether the religious instrumentalisation of Shakespeare and his work may contribute to the resolution of current religious conflicts; how circulations between secular and religious energies are propelled by Shakespeare’s religious afterlives; how diverse and inconclusive interpretations of Shakespeare’s religious beliefs and practices may have triggered different literary, religious, and political appropriations of the author and/or his work; how theology, divinity, and religious studies make use of Shakespeare. Possible contexts for the religious use of Shakespeare may include religious ceremonies and commemorative acts, politics and diplomacy, educational activities and institutions, fictional and biographical representations of Shakespeare, the complexities of translating and editing Shakespeare between cultures.
Convenors: SEO Dong Ha (Korea Military Academy, South Korea) and UCHIMARU Kohei (Toyo University, Japan)
While a central issue in Shakespeare studies has long been the subject of war and peace, the focus has been on western wars and, more recently, western colonialism and post-colonial politics. This seminar invites papers on any topics related to wartime experiences and post war memories, with a special emphasis on the historical events of the Pacific War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War as seen through the translation, adaptation, and performance of Shakespeare on the transnational circuit. Especially welcome is work on historical events described through Asian terminologies and local cultural traditions in the process of appropriating Shakespeare. The seminar aims to offer a comparative glance across Asian countries in a manner that explores, as the Prince in Romeo and Juliet says, more of ‘these sad things’—the textual and cultural interpretation of the wars—for the possibilities of reconciliation in our contemporary world.
Convenors: Thea BUCKLEY (Queen’s University Belfast, UK) and Rosa Garcia PERIAGO (University of Murcia, Spain)
This seminar explores Shakespearean adaptations across the subcontinent to redress the lopsided emphasis on India in postcolonial South Asian Shakespeare scholarship. Underrepresented productions in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Maldives, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka highlight shared circuits of subcontinental histories, geographies, languages, and cultures across national borders. Papers may facilitate dialogue across political borders by studying interconnected subcontinental histories of Shakespearean negotiations and transmissions; explore how subcontinental diasporic communities engage with Shakespeare; examine intermedial relationships among texts, performances, and cinemas across centuries of interregional circulation, adaptation, and appropriation; discuss South Asian Shakespeares across postcolonial fracture lines of geography, identity, and community. The seminar will not only consider how South Asian adaptations of Shakespeare highlight the social divisions of caste, religion, gender, and geopolity but also suggest ways of rethinking these divisions by using Shakespeare’s plays as a tool for promoting intercultural dialogues across polities and traditions in South Asia.
Convenors: Ted MOTOHASHI (Tokyo Keizai University, Japan) and Noam REISNER (Tel Aviv University, Israel)
This seminar analyses the dramaturgical theories and practices behind the most innovative, ground-breaking, cross-cultural, and international Shakespeare productions of the twenty-first century. How do contemporary directors incorporate, interpret, and interrogate contemporary literary and cultural theories on translation, gender, race, ethnicity, and post-colonialism? A principal concern is to give serious attention to Shakespearean productions in the non-English speaking world that have the potential to deconstruct Orientalist/Occidentalist binaries by liberating themselves from the burden of colonialist Shakespearean legacies invested with English linguistic and cultural imperialism. Participants may analyse productions by those cross-cultural and international directors who have already established their reputations as leading theatre practitioners through multilingual, cross-cultural, and politically critical dramaturgy: van Hove, Warner, Ostermeier, Hytner, Icke, Castellucci, Purcărete, Miyagi. We also seek work about African, South American, and Middle Eastern directors. Especially welcome are comparative studies of the same Shakespearean play by two linguistically, culturally, and geographically different directors.
Convenors: Susan ANDERSON (Sheffield Hallam University, UK) and Sonya Freeman LOFTIS (Morehouse College, USA)
Disability theory argues that independence is an ideological construct, bringing attention to the ways in which access follows from interconnectedness and interdependence. This seminar focuses on disability in early modern, modern, and global contexts, with a particular focus on the nodes and networks that disability studies approaches reveal. How do we connect modern disability theory to the early modern period (or should we)? How do Shakespearean characters with disabilities connect with (or disconnect from) social structures and structures of power? How do other cultures approach disability and how can we find intersections between diverse understandings of disability? What were the lived realities of early modern people with physical and mental impairments, and how do theoretical and historical approaches connect to the lived experience of modern readers, students, performers, and audience members with disabilities? How are new developments in the field of disability studies affecting access to Shakespeare—in classrooms and in theatres?
Convenors: Krystyna Kujawinska COURTNEY (University of Lodz, Poland) and Bryan REYNOLDS (University of California Irvine, USA)
Shakespearean drama appeals to people of disparate circumstances; it mediates differences of time and place, race and gender, even religious and moral convictions and values; it is receptive to shifting paradigms of ideology and practice in research and theatre. To what extent have critical movements such as new historicism, feminism, queer studies, cultural materialism, presentism, post colonialism, and trauma studies transcended—or undermined—traditional norms of praxis and local values? The aim of this seminar is to explore how engagements of the global and the local are mediated through Shakespeare studies: to what end? with what benefit? at what cost? Does Shakespeare find this articulation because the plays transcend their local production, evoking a universal sense of human value, or because they are universally subject to local production, taking on the ability to mediate values like the dyer’s hand?
Convenors: Marcela KOSTIHOVA (Hamline University, USA) and Sara SONCINI (University of Pisa, Italy)
Lauded as a litmus test of transcendental humanism, Shakespeare has long served for nation-building and nation-subduing purposes across the globe, used flexibly by diverse entities to engage in cross-national cultural and political expression. This seminar seeks to explore ways in which ‘Shakespeare’—in translation, production, and adaptation—has responded to the sometimes headily confusing national and international policies proposed and/or practiced globally by newly emergent nationalist regimes, such as Brexit Britain, Putin’s Russia, Modi’s India, and Trump’s Great America. We particularly welcome considerations of emergent departures from traditional approaches to Shakespeare staging, adaptation, or appropriation. What role does Shakespeare play in this new political normal? What cultural positionalities are his works, his persona, and his cultural capital made to inhabit and to what ends? How is Shakespeare’s consolidated reputation as a global, transnational icon faring under the current surge in nativism worldwide?
Convenors: Simon HAINES (Ramsay Centre, Australia) and Julian LAMB (Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Philosophers argue that literature is the form of language that best corresponds to life-with-value, in all its heterogeneity. Perhaps we live in a world of unresolvable value clashes. Or perhaps our danger lies in the thinning-out of our moral articulateness, the shrinking capacity of values thought to capture our social and political experience, the isolation and polarization of values communities. Can we turn to Shakespeare to be reminded of the manifold nature of modern human being; or that human experience often just is of living with incommensurables, and that resolving them entails values loss; or that great dramatic poetry both registers and generates, deepens and broadens, our values thought, above all by recognizing, and thus encouraging us to recognize, the reality of others? This seminar welcomes contributions on the broad theme of Shakespeare and value, including from philosophical, political, legal, historical, or socio-cultural perspectives, and from Western and non-Western traditions.
Convenors: LEE Hyon-u (Soon Chun Hyang University, South Korea), HSU Yi-Hsin (National Taiwan University, Taiwan), and YOSHIHARA Yukari (University of Tsukuba, Japan)
This seminar investigates the historical, political, cultural, and social circumstances of Asia’s encounters with Shakespeare between 1816 and 1964. Amid imperialism, colonialism, and war, what was the local Asian significance of Shakespeare? And how did Shakespeare function to incorporate Asia into the global networks of the modern world? The seminar will address issues such as: the ways in which Shakespeare was introduced to Asia; the circumstances of Shakespeare’s early reception; Bardolatry and Bardoclasm in Asia; relationships between modernization or westernization and Shakespeare; how Shakespeare was accepted and adapted in Asia; Shakespeare and education; colonialism or cultural hegemony and Shakespeare; conflicts between traditional theatre practices and westernized theatre practices; Shakespeare in cultural diplomacy. Participants need not be Asian, have Asian origins, nor live in Asia to share their knowledge and insights into the ways in which Shakespeare has been globalized and localized in Asia.
Convenors: Natalia KHOMENKO (York University, Canada) and Vladimir MAKAROV (St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University, Russia)
This seminar invites investigations of Eastern European engagements with the Shakespearean canon and with Shakespeare as cultural capital, from early modern English playing companies in Eastern Europe, to early Eastern European adaptations of Shakespeare’s works, to the global influence of twentieth-century Eastern European studies and stagings, to contemporary conversations produced through these engagements today. Topics may include: Eastern European encounters with Western traditions of both Shakespeare scholarship and Shakespeare performance (visits by individual actors, such as Ira Aldridge, or touring productions, such as Peter Brook’s Hamlet); forms of cultural collaborations and exchanges among Eastern European states; Eastern European approaches to Shakespearean drama in the context of local and international political tensions, including the influence of and resistance to Soviet cultural ideologies; export of ideological approaches to Shakespeare outside of Eastern Europe; global encounters with and responses to Eastern European treatments of Shakespeare on stage, in film, or in text.
Convenors: ZHANG Chong (Fudan University, China) and Roberta ZANONI (University of Verona, Italy)
The term ‘tradaptation’ refers to the narrowing distance between translation and adaptation in contemporary cultural production. This seminar explores ways in which the two practices are merged into a single process that enriches both our understanding of Shakespeare’s works and the experiences of global audiences. Papers are welcome on the passage of Shakespeare’s words from one linguistic context to another; the losses and gains of interlinguistic and transcultural translations; interlinguistic translation of Shakespeare as a form of adaptation; the impact of new translations on traditional scenarios; translation as a tool for performance; Shakespeare ‘re-semanticised’ through translations and/or adaptations that confer new meanings on Shakespeare’s original words; trans-medial translations of Shakespeare’s poems and plays in film, advertising, musicals, opera adaptations, and sign language translations; how Shakespeare is adapted for political debate; transcultural adaptations and how they reflect (linguistic) experiences of liminal identities; the reception of contemporary Shakespearean translations and adaptations.
Convenors: Victor Huertas MARTIN (University of Valencia, Spain) and Reto WINCKLER (South China Normal University, China)
The reception history of Shakespeare’s works is mirrored in the trajectory of television series as a form of popular entertainment that has come to be appreciated as high culture. At both levels, Shakespeare is frequently alluded to, parodied, ransacked for characters and motifs, and emulated wholesale. This seminar welcomes theoretical papers and case studies that revise Shakespeare studies to bear on the analysis and interpretation of Shakespeare-inflected television serials; account for the proliferation of Shakespearean memes, echoes, allusions, citations, narrative structures, and references in contemporary television series; define adaptation practices in serial Shakespeares; discuss serial Shakespeares around the globe; undertake critical theory and cultural studies approaches to Shakespeare and television series; address gender, race, and class in serial Shakespeares; critically assess analogies between Shakespeare and television series; analyse the impact of television serials on contemporary Shakespeare performance; evaluate presentist approaches to Shakespeare and television; and more.
Convenors: Daniel GALLIMORE (Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan) and Vasso GIANNAKOPOULOU (University of Cyprus, Cyprus)
Freed from traditional notions of equivalence and fidelity, Shakespeare’s translators are now seen as agents in disseminating Shakespeare’s works and mediating Shakespeare’s reception. But while they may privilege certain parts of the source texts (key words, tropes, etc.), they are always constrained by the norms of their target culture. How is digital technology influencing the process in today’s global translation industry? Has it become more collaborative? More creative? How audible are the voices of translators in Shakespeare translation, and what are they saying? Is Shakespeare’s highly nuanced and stylistically rich language still the concern of the refractors? What is the future of Shakespeare translation in the twenty-first century? Possible topics include transgression and adaptation, stage translation and performativity, appropriation for traditional and digital media, dichotomies of popular and scholarly translation, domestication versus foreignization, subtext and narrative structure, political correctness and censorship, ideology and patronage, audience response and participatory culture.
Convenors: Sukanta CHAUDHURI (Jadavpur University, India) and Ruth MORSE (Sorbonne Paris Cité University, France)
Why is so much Shakespearean dialogue divided, across characters but also within the same character, between Saxon monosyllables and Renaissance polysyllables? In Macbeth’s ‘this my hand will rather / The multitudinous seas incarnadine, / Making the green one red’, the two components are juxtaposed to express the same experience of the same character. Othello and Iago speak in contrasting registers that are actually composite; they hold the complex, contrary elements of the dramatic blend in tension, subverting and deconstructing it, but also validating it at multiple levels where no single one would have sufficed. Most crucially, these tensions in the dialogue underpin the more basic, though often hidden, tensions of the action. We invite our participants to explore the play of varying linguistic registers across Shakespeare’s work. We hope that the total output of the seminar will form a rich contribution to the understanding of Shakespeare’s dramatic language.
Convenors: Peter GROVES (Monash University, Australia) and Lieke STELLING (Utrecht University, Netherlands)
This seminar addresses echoes and distortions both of the Reformation and of the Catholic Middle Ages in the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, focusing on how their art reflects, performs, and transforms religious identity on the early modern stage. Papers might explore complex relations between early modern dramaturgy and contemporary theological controversies; study how non-Christian religious identities, particularly Islamic and Judaic, are engaged with in early modern drama; uncover and elucidate meaningful connections among religious quotation, allusion, echo, revision, and reference; consider the relationship between religious group identities and other forms of identity and distinction, such as race, gender, and class in early modern drama; investigate relationships conducted via Shakespeare and his contemporaries between paganism, Catholicism, and Protestantism; explore the reception, translation, transmission, and interpretation of religious identity in drama; address other aspects of early modern religious debates and discourses, both Christian and non-Christian, in relation to group identity.
Convenors: Supriya CHAUDHURI (Jadavpur University, India) and Subha MUKHERJI (University of Cambridge, UK)
Shakespeare is the author cited most widely and variously ‘without quotation marks’: allusions and intertextual references to his works are so numerous that they are said to prove how ‘Shakespearean’ our everyday language is. The shock of familiarity and renewed attention triggered by a Shakespearean trace are unmistakable. But this is also an echo of Shakespeare's own practice—remarkable for its discursive woof of resonant but unmarked citations. Focusing on individual instances of contrapuntal allusive trajectories, this seminar will examine the cultural work that such reference can do, reading for textual traces both in Shakespeare and in later works using both his content and his method. We hope, thus, to undo the politics of the text by examining an undertext of citations that are familiar at one level and disruptive, perhaps estranging, on another.
Convenors: MINAMI Ryuta (Tokyo Keizai University, Japan) and Ronan PATERSON (Teesside University, UK)
In Britain, the (long) eighteenth-century witnessed an almost uncontrollable proliferation of Shakespeares on page and on stage that featured popular actors and actresses: Thomas Betterton’s Hamlet, Barton Booth’s Othello, David Garrick’s Macbeth, Charles Macklin’s Shylock, Elizabeth Barry’s Cordelia, Anne Bracegirdle’s Desdemona, and Mrs. Siddon’s Lady Macbeth. A plethora of notable Shakespearean actors’ and actresses’ theatrical representations were recorded, depicted, illustrated, analysed, and circulated through contemporary media artefacts. This seminar aims to consider the ways such actors and actresses visually and theatrically represented Shakespeare’s roles; the ways their performances were criticized, depicted, reviewed, or recollected; the acting theories those actors and actresses developed and/or applied in performing Shakespearean roles; and the ways their theatrical performances were painted or illustrated on canvas or pages for consumption.
Joseph STERRETT (Aarhus University, Denmark) and Helen WILCOX (Bangor University, UK)
'Early' modernity was shaped by globalisation that brought people from distant lands into contact with each other, simultaneously giving a new awareness of time across vast spaces and challenging known ways of establishing trust through objects, words, rituals, and gestures. Dramatic changes in social systems called for new ways of extending and maintaining trust while evaluating risk. ‘Chance’, ‘venture’, ‘hazard’, were part of a vocabulary that signalled cognizance of the emerging complexity of the social environment. How did Shakespeare and other dramatists interrogate the notions of trust, risk, chance, and probability? What virtues were linked to the expression of trust? What vulnerabilities did trust expose? How does the early modern stage’s engagement with trust and risk look back toward medieval values? How does it look forward to the modern? Papers are invited that address these and related issues of trust and risk in the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
Convenors: Mark HOULAHAN (University of Waikato, New Zealand) and Elizabeth PENTLAND (York University, Canada)
Twelfth Night remains a favourite Shakespeare comedy, continually performed, received with enthusiasm by audiences worldwide, and subject of a capacious ongoing criticism. Its productions attract celebrated directors and actors, with Tamsin Greig and Stephen Fry recently playing Malvolio. It has been performed in diverse languages and with Illyria imagined in highly specific, local contexts, such as Australian bush-fires. Scholars, meanwhile, have been confidently empirical about the date of composition, for which John Manningham seems to provide firm documentation, and the copy text, for which the First Folio is a sole authority. But how transparent is such evidence? Can it be revisited? This seminar invites papers engaging issues of gendering in pronouns and costumes; the play’s shifting tones of the festive, the frankly cruel, and the melancholy; paroxysms of folly that go far beyond the ‘midsummer madness’ of its central love plots; and any other topics Twelfth Night draws out.
Convenors: Heidi CRAIG (Texas A&M University, USA), Eric JOHNSON (Folger Shakespeare Library, USA), and Jesús TRONCH (University of Valencia, Spain)
How can we harness digital communications media to establish new circuits—and strengthen existing ones—across the international, multilingual community of Shakespeareans? What would a truly internationalized interface for Shakespeare’s works look like? Could English be decentred as the default language for engaging with Shakespeare? What kind of interconnections or ‘maps’ would help users locate the digital resources that are most useful to them? Is current scholarship catching up to technology or working within the paradigms of older media? How have digitized facsimiles of manuscripts and early texts transformed Shakespearean engagements across the globe? How can we continue to widen access and reach new audiences? This seminar will consider digital resources that leverage global populations’ engagement with Shakespeare by describing those engagements, linking to them, and/or providing space for outside contributions for new engagements. Participants may present their in-progress or completed digital projects, critique existing resources, or propose yet-unrealized projects.
Convenors: Victoria BLADEN (University of Queensland, Australia), Melissa CROTEAU (California Baptist University, USA), and Remedios PERNI (University of Alicante, Spain)
This seminar explores how images of women circulate in Shakespearean visual media, including film, television, and the internet; photography and the fine arts; and popular art. It envisions women and the ‘feminine’ broadly from the perspectives of gender fluidity and flexibility in performance, as represented by stage practice in Shakespeare’s age and with the understanding that gender definitions and expectations are always contextual, rooted in particular times and places. We invite papers that investigate the intermedial and intramedial circulation of imagery, themes, and aesthetics connected to women and the ‘feminine’: the representation of female characters; portrayals of ‘femininity’, gender fluidity, cross-dressing, and transsexualism; women acting in screen media (including issues of celebrity); and the experience and work of women visual artists who produce Shakespearean texts, including adaptations, offshoots, and other types of appropriation; how visual media influence and are influenced by stage productions.
Convenors: Sheila T. CAVANAGH (Emory University, USA), Scott JACKSON (Shakespeare at Notre Dame, USA), and Rowan MACKENZIE (Shakespeare Institute, UK)
The use of Shakespeare in applied settings has grown significantly in recent years, as has academic interest in this area of the discipline. The field encompasses Shakespeare initiatives for those within the criminal justice system, youth and adults with learning disabilities and neurodiversity, mental health service users, veterans, and those who have experienced homelessness. The facilitators for this workshop have both academic and practical experience of working with people across these settings around the globe and with initiatives such as Blue Apple Theatre, Marin Shakespeare, Flute Theatre, Shakespeare Behind Bars, Intermission Youth Theatre, and The Gallowfield Players. We invite scholars and practitioners with related interests to bring their own experience and knowledge; to engage with theoretical, practical, and critical issues; to address the benefits and challenges of using Shakespeare with these often-marginalised groups and in non-traditional settings. The workshop focus is on creating new circuits of dialogue and collaboration worldwide.
Convenors: Miguel Escobar VARELA (National University of Singapore, Singapore) and HWANG Ha Young (Korea National University of Arts, South Korea)
There is a long tradition of using digital tools to study Shakespeare’s words: to engage in authorship disputes, to analyse his choice of words, or to understand changes in his style over time. Likewise, digital editions of Shakespeare’s original oeuvre have been central to the digital humanities. But digital tools also offer exciting new possibilities to those interested in analysing adaptations of Shakespeare’s works around the world. This workshop will offer an overview of what network analysis, geo-temporal visualization, and multimedia critical editions can offer to the study of Shakespeare adaptations. We will cover the main conceptual and technical tools that can aid in such investigations.
Convenors: Nona MONAHIN (Monash University, Australia) and Emily WINEROCK (Chatham University, USA)
For the thirteen Shakespeare plays with staged dancing, modern directors must find or create choreographies that fit the dialogue and action; for the twenty with textual references to dance, they must make the references intelligible to today’s audiences. Through a combination of discussion, examination of primary sources, and physical participation, this workshop will introduce participants to several period dance genres and gestures (bows, ‘honours’, character portrayal, rustic and courtly styles) and discuss the types of scenes and situations in which they would be appropriate. Working in small groups, and guided by the workshop leaders, participants will stage selected dance scenes incorporating the steps and choreographies learned. Participants will also reflect on how knowledge of historical dance movement can enhance an understanding of Shakespeare’s textual references, how dance scenes might be handled in productions not using period staging, and the challenges and opportunities afforded by productions in translation.
Convenors: Eric NICHOLSON (New York and Syracuse Universities, Italy) and Elena PELLONE (Shakespeare Institute, UK)
Articulations and dissolutions of borders are crucially at stake in Antony and Cleopatra, pertaining as much to ambiguities of self /other as to political and cultural confrontations. How can this dynamic tension within the script be communicated through live performance, in potentially innovative ways? What techniques can actors use to embody and communicate crises, discontinuities, and transformations, related not only to Cleopatra’s ‘infinite variety’ but also to the worlds that she alters through her performances? How might theatrical experimentation enable an opening and freeing up of circuits involving identity and difference across European and Asian cultures, circuits that historically have tended toward closure and restriction? How can diverse performance traditions such as commedia dell’arte and Kabuki, as well as different scholarly interpretations, be introduced and made to interact? Through practical exercises that encourage rotation and fluidity in ethnicity and gender, this multilingual, experimental workshop also will explore performance as research.
Convenors: Liam SEMLER (University of Sydney, Australia) and Laura TURCHI (University of Houston, USA)
How can new digital tools short-circuit sluggish pedagogical processes, help us rethink traditional curriculum structures, and prompt more lively and engaging classes? This workshop introduces participants to four intriguingly different learning platforms. Shakespeed is an open-access, gamified approach that uses a digital flipcard interface to connect students with short videos. It can be played during class to trigger lively discussion of the plays and their connection to modern issues, adaptations, and aesthetics. WordPlay Shakespeare, MyShakespeare, and Performance Plus are web-based text/performance editions enhanced with hyperlinks to video glosses and performances through which students move to make meaning. How do these tools fit within formal educational settings? What learning tasks might be associated with them? What learning outcomes might they generate? What fresh Shakespearean circuits might they facilitate within and beyond the classroom? How does enjoyment advance learning?