Seminar and Workshop Descriptions for 2019
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01. 5PP: Players, Playwrights, Playhouses, Plays, and Parishes
Alan H. Nelson (University of California, Berkeley)
Early Modern playhouses were built in parishes; playhouse owners, players, and playwrights often served as parish officers. Printers resided in parishes, usually in or near their shops. Records of Early English Drama (REED) has shown that parishes produced, consumed, and opposed plays and players. This seminar invites papers on parishes as sites of theatrical activity. Especially welcome will be papers citing parish documents: registers, churchwarden’s accounts, vestry books, etc.
02. Approaches to Aphra Behn’s The Rover: Text, Teaching, and Performance
Elaine Hobby (Loughborough University) and Claire Bowditch (Loughborough University)
This seminar aims to examine Aphra Behn’s best-known play, The Rover, from a range of perspectives, so as to develop new interpretations through the cross-fertilization of methods and contexts. We welcome diverse approaches, from book historians, theatre historians, theater directors, those teaching Behn on undergraduate survey courses, literary historians, and those wishing to relate The Rover to other works by Behn. How might we best approach The Rover in 2019?
03. Art-Religion in Shakespeare
John L. Parker (University of Virginia)
Is there a meaningful difference in Shakespeare between religious devotion and aesthetic appreciation? Iconoclasts at the time argued that the difference, whatever it was supposed to have been, had for centuries been all but lost and that many of their contemporaries mistook the traditional, material props of Christian worship for the object of worship itself; or worse, gave to secular, aesthetic experience their fullest veneration. How does this easy slippage play out in Shakespearean drama?
04. As You Like It: Motley Approaches
Rob Wakeman (Mount Saint Mary College)
Inviting a wide range of critical approaches to As You Like It, this seminar will explore the crosstalk among residents of Arden, female and male, high and low, human and nonhuman. What do the incongruous representations of the forest landscape tell us about the instability of erotic desire? How does the portrayal of human-animal relations inform the play’s take on class consciousness? Does unified nature continuously recede past the horizon, or can we conjure a wholeness from Arden’s disjointed motley?
05. Class as Intersectional Phenomenon in Shakespeare
Laurie Ellinghausen (University of Missouri, Kansas City)
This seminar aims to explore class as an intersectional phenomenon in the texts of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Papers treating dramatic and non-dramatic genres, as well performance contexts, are welcome. How do imaginative texts use other social categories—such race, religion, or gender—to complicate conventional ideologies of blood, wealth, and occupation? How do non-English settings, within or outside the British Isles, place particular pressure on English class hierarchies?
06. Collecting Shakespeare
Aaron T. Pratt (University of Texas, Austin)
1619 saw the publication of a group of nine playbooks (ten plays) either by or attributed to William Shakespeare. These, the so-called Pavier Quartos, represent the book trade’s first major attempt to position Shakespeare as an author to be collected. This seminar takes their 400th anniversary as an opportunity to consider ways individuals and institutions have collected Shakespeare and other early modern texts in commercial editions and custom assemblages, in excerpts and complete works, and in manuscript, print, and digital forms.
07. Desire and the Nonhuman
Jean E. Feerick (John Carroll University) and Shannon Elizabeth Kelley (Fairfield University)
This seminar addresses wonder, desire, and love for nonhuman life across plant, animal, and mineral kingdoms. How did humans express desire for creatures, plants, or landscapes? And how did nonhuman life express melancholia, joy, or eros? What cognitive and passionate exchanges rippled across species “divisions,” and how does such evidence recalibrate narratives of the early modern period? Possible critical approaches include psychoanalysis, queer theory, disability studies, and ecocriticism.
08. Disability and Its Intersections
Allison P. Hobgood (Willamette University) and Jonathan Hsy (George Washington University)
How does premodern disability studies intersect with critical race studies, queer theory, and other minoritarian modes of analysis? This seminar invites “crosstalk” among premodernists working on disability and identitarian intersections. It brings together medievalists and early modernists across discipline and periodization schemes to examine how disability interacts with race and other identities, and it centers intersectional approaches that transform our understandings of the past.
09. Early Modern Disability Methodologies
Genevieve Love (Colorado College) and Katherine Schaap Williams (New York University, Abu Dhabi)
This seminar encourages participants to push early modern disability studies beyond Richard III, and beyond Shakespeare, to consider disability representations and methodologies that exceed the indexing of subjective or historical experience. We invite papers that theorize the future of early modern disability studies, thinking about disability in relation to, for example, form, theatricality, temporality, affect, poetics, textual studies, periodization, and aesthetics.
10. Early Modern Sexual Knowledge
James Bromley (Miami University)
This seminar focuses on the construction and obstruction of early modern sexual knowledge. How does sexual knowledge circulate in/through early modern literature and culture? How do absences and asymmetries of knowledge shape representations and interpretations of early modern sex? Papers might consider early modern representations of the nexus of sex and knowledge and/or examine the present-day conditions that foster and frustrate efforts to produce knowledge about early modern sex.
11. Ecomaterialism and Performance
Todd Andrew Borlik (University of Huddersfield) and Randall Martin (University of New Brunswick)
This seminar invites papers that traverse the crossroads of ecocriticism and performance studies. Contributors will be encouraged to explore the confluence of place, matter, and motion in theatrical performance to consider how the Shakespearean stage can enact a new environmental ethics. We especially solicit papers that approach Shakespearean drama as encompassing more-than-human assemblages or ensembles that blur the distinctions between person, place, and thing.
12. Environments of Justice
Chris Barrett (Louisiana State University) and Sarah Higinbotham (Emory University)
This seminar invites work on the intersections of environment and justice in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century British literature and its contexts. How do the representations of place, nature, animals, and ecology intertwine with law and legal discourse? Topics might include the administration of justice in green spaces; the laws of the forest; litigation and public discourse of pollution, deforestation, or other landscape interventions; animal trials and animal justice; and more.
13. Fellowship in Shakespeare’s Time
Nathan Szymanski (Simon Fraser University) and Stephen Guy-Bray (University of British Columbia)
This seminar aims to recover early modern ideas of fellowship as they overlap with or are distinguished from ideas of friendship, alliance competition, and rivalry in the period. We welcome diverse approaches to the above topic, from queer and philological to affective and historical. How might early modern ideas of fellowship (and cognate terms and ideas, including “fellowships” between women) animate or challenge broader theories of same-sex relations in the period?
14. First-Personal Shakespeare
Sara Coodin (University of Oklahoma) and Ambereen Dadabhoy (Harvey Mudd College)
From Montaigne’s remarks on selfhood in “Of Friendship” to Othello’s plea to “speak of me as I am,” the first-personal has both underwritten claims to knowledge and been seen as a source of limitation. In what ways are claims to authority and moral insight grounded in or troubled by the first-personal in the work of Shakespeare and his critical interpreters? How has the first-personal been viewed as a locus for bias or ethnic difference? Papers are welcome on both early modern and modern contexts.
15. Iberian Romance and Its English Afterlives
Joyce Boro (Université de Montréal) and Louise Wilson (Liverpool Hope University)
This seminar examines the impact of Iberian romance on the literary culture of early modern England with a particular focus on the interconnections between the romances, their translations, and the drama of Shakespeare, Beaumont, Fletcher, and others. The aim is to open up transnational approaches to early modern drama and popular reading. Potential topics include: the romances as dramatic intertexts; publication and reading; translation and transmission; transnationalism and national identity.
16. Invisible Presences: Detecting the Unseen in Renaissance Drama
Jonathan A. Walker (Portland State University) and Andrew Sofer (Boston College)
Invisible and unseen phenomena in drama create perceptual, affective, and epistemological tensions with the ocular proofs of the stage. This seminar probes the relationship between onstage and offstage action and spaces; between dramatic and narrative forms, time, and ways of knowing; and between materially absent but dramatically essential events and what playgoers see and hear. Participants may consider how unseen events make their way to the stage and into the consciousness of playgoers.
17. Jacobean Hispanophilia and English Drama
Eric John Griffin (Millsaps College) and Alexander Samson (University College London)
This seminar seeks papers that explore what the drama of the Jacobean period reveals about 17th century England’s fascination with things Spanish, whether in the literary sphere or in other cultural fields. We are particularly interested in papers that work comparatively, between English dramas and their Spanish sources, or between Jacobean views of Spain and earlier Elizabethan constructions of Spain by Shakespeare and other playwriting contemporaries.
18. The King’s Men and Their Playwrights
James J. Marino (Cleveland State University) and Meghan C. Andrews (Lycoming College)
This seminar examines drama written for the King’s/Lord Chamberlain’s playing company by playwrights other than Shakespeare. Papers are invited on non-Shakespearean plays in light of a range of topics, such as the company’s repertory, membership, status, and resources. Contributors may also consider Shakespeare’s plays in dialogue with the rest of this company’s repertory and corporate history.
19. Law, Literature, and Constitutional Authority
Stephanie Elsky (Rhodes College) and Rayna Kalas (Cornell University)
This seminar will explore literature’s involvement in constitutional principles, crises, and debates. What is the constitution’s life beyond political institutions? Is there a connection between premodern and modern constitutionalism? Possible topics: common law and the “ancient constitution”; rights and liberties; collective authority and consent; race and nation; rhetorics of “native” and “foreign”; literary form in relation to law and/or governance; constitutions and periodization.
20. London as Theatrical Space
Tracey Hill (Bath Spa University) and Andrew Gordon (University of Aberdeen)
Theater history is a field that is generating much fresh knowledge and interpretation. It thus seems timely to explore the reciprocity of theater/performance and London space. This seminar seeks to go beyond the citation of topographical references in stage plays to consider theatrical and spectacular uses of space more directly. We are interested in work that reflects on the nature of urban performance and how that impacts on our understanding of early modern theatricality.
21. London Incorporated: Theater and Institutional Life
Christi Spain-Savage (Siena College) and Jordan Windholz (Shippensburg University)
This seminar invites papers on the material or discursive exchanges between the theater and London civic or economic institutions. Essays might trace the material relationships between London playhouses and the prisons, hospitals, halls, or churches of their respective neighborhoods. Also welcome are papers that address this topic more broadly: how were discourses within institutions shared, absorbed, or transformed by other institutions and what was the theater’s role in this process?
22. Manuscripts and Early Modern Drama
Ivan Lupić (Stanford University) and Misha Teramura (University of Toronto)
What can manuscripts say about the production, performance, transmission, and reception of early modern drama? Possible topics include: playhouse documents and manuscript plays; authorship and anonymity; scribes, censors, patrons, collectors, playgoers; manuscripts and the dramatic canon; the editing of manuscript drama; excerpts and marginalia; forgeries. What are the challenges of producing scholarship based on manuscript sources? What role does technology play in manuscript studies? Can dramatic manuscripts be studied in transnational contexts?
23. Minor Affects and Feelings in Early Modern Environs
Tripthi Pillai (Coastal Carolina University)
This seminar focuses on minor feelings and affective hinterlands in early modern environs. How are minor feelings like boredom, irritation, unhappiness, playfulness, and willfulness connected to affective experiences of temporal and spatial belonging and unbelonging? How do minor affects inform broader notions of objecthood and personhood? Participants are encouraged to adopt and/or combine diverse theoretical, historical, and aesthetic approaches to explore any variety of minor affects or feelings.
24. Modern Scholarly Editions: Challenges and Opportunities
Martin Butler (University of Leeds) and Jennifer Richards (Newcastle University)
This seminar invites papers on how the idea of the “complete works” has changed for Shakespeare and other writers. What opportunities, obstacles and pressures are now encountered by collected editions? What are the consequences of the need to make authors look new? How has digital or multiple-platform editing changed the landscape? Can the ethos of single-author editions survive new thinking about collaboration, revision and production? What might be the future shape of a collected works?
25. Navigating Early Modern Interfaces
Meaghan J. Brown (Folger Shakespeare Library)
This seminar invites participants to think about the history of information organization in the early modern period and how early modern books and other informational objects are being remediated and reused in digital environments. Beyond transcribed texts, how do users encounter maps, volvelles, wax tablets, and tally-sticks online? How can the functional affordances of a range of early modern media inform new digital interfaces for exploring and understanding early modern cultures online?
26. Occult Agents in Shakespeare
Mary Floyd-Wilson (University of North Carolina)
Early modern texts often attribute effects, behaviors, and actions to a host of subtle influences, such as stars, planets, demons, spirits, air, and poison. This seminar examines the role of invisible forces in early modern literature. How might the presence of secret sympathies, hidden devils, or “auspicious stars” shape our understanding of personhood, gender, or emotion? How does drama represent the unseen? Theological, scientific, environmental, political, & theatrical approaches welcome.
Marjorie Rubright (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) and Kathryn Vomero Santos (Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi)
What constitutes the “open secret” in Shakespeare? In the wake of the #MeToo movement this seminar calls for rigorous reevaluation of what Shakespeare’s works offer to feminist critics. What might it mean to read for “movements” rather than “moments” of sexual empowerment? As feminism becomes more intersectional and amplifies a wider range of voices, we seek fresh methodological approaches to guide future directions of feminist Shakespearean scholarship, teaching, and community engagement.
28. Performing Women/Performing Gender in the Age of Shakespeare and Beyond
Melinda Gough (McMaster University)
What new questions are generated about gender in plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries once we take seriously the documentary evidence now available concerning early modern women’s performance history? How can knowledge of women’s performance in Italy, Spain, France, and northern Europe, and of encounters between continental mixed-gender and all-male English companies through travel or contact at court, change how we approach these plays as students and teachers, literary critics, editors, and/or theater practitioners?
29. Pleasure and Interpretation in Shakespeare and Spenser
Leah J. Whittington (Harvard University) and Joe Moshenska (University of Oxford)
Scholars of literature have recently sought alternatives to hermeneutic suspicion, arguing that criticism can be characterized by openness, receptivity, and pleasure. This seminar turns to Shakespeare and Spenser—a pairing that seems both inescapable and elusive—and asks how their works shed light on the risks and pleasures of interpretation. We seek methodologically self-conscious papers that address these two authors, emphasizing the role of affect, emotion, pleasure, and sensation.
30. Populist Shakespeare Today
Andrew R. Bretz (Queen’s University) and Wes D. Pearce (University of Regina)
At this moment of resurgent populist politics around the English-speaking world, different social groups are re-casting Shakespeare as a populist (as opposed to popular) playwright. These efforts reconceive the plays of Shakespeare as populist plays for everyone and not the singular domain of the elite, yet in doing so they query the denotation of politically charged terms such as “elite” and “popular.” We welcome all papers on the implications of Shakespeare understood as “the people’s playwright.”
31. Print, Conservation, and Waste
Sarah Wall-Randell (Wellesley College) and Lina Perkins Wilder (Connecticut College)
This seminar examines waste, re-use, conservation, and loss in print culture. Papers may consider conservation in the literal sense of the re-use of old material, as when “waste” paper like medieval manuscript leaves turns up used as paste-downs or spine-liners in printed books, for example, or when old rags are re-used to make paper; or engage with the more metaphorical re-use of content, as when writers re-tell old fictions, and when books are reprinted in new editions and different formats.
32. Provincial Shakespeare
Katherine A. Gillen (Texas A&M University, San Antonio) and Marissa Greenberg (University of New Mexico)
This seminar reclaims the provincial as a theoretical framework. Rather than seeing Shakespeare as cosmopolitan, we begin with the provincial—defined variously as regional, microcultural, and borderland. Using a transhistorical approach, we examine the provincial in Shakespeare’s period and our own. We invite position papers that provoke new ways of thinking provincially about Shakespeare and locality, identity, performance, adaptation, pedagogy, social difference, and political activism.
33. Race and/as Affect in Early Modern Literature
Carol Mejia LaPerle, (Wright State University)
What is the affective experience of processes of racialization in early modern literature? The seminar invites papers exploring the affective economies that contribute to depictions of race, constructions of difference, performances of foreignness, emotions in global engagements, and sensations that attend early modern racial ideologies. In our research and teaching, how does feeling race and racializing emotions inform and intersect with religion, gender, class, sexuality, and (dis)abilities?
34. Race: Comparative and Transnational Approaches
Noémie N’Diaye (Carnegie Mellon University) and Emily Weissbourd (Lehigh University)
This seminar examines race and ethnicity in early modern English culture from comparative and transnational perspectives. Papers might address the difference and resemblance between English and continental racial cultures; the circulation, (mis)translation, and repurposing of racial tropes across cultures; and the role of visual, musical, and performance cultures in fostering a transnational dissemination of racial ideas and representations. Co-authored and interdisciplinary papers are welcome.
35. Refuge in Shakespeare’s Europe
Stephen O’Neill (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
This seminar invites papers exploring the intersection of Shakespeare and Europe’s refugee crisis. Participants might consider how we can ethically apply Shakespeare to humanitarian crisis. Is there a principle of refuge and empathy for the displaced in Shakespeare? What European values, histories and futures are modeled there? Historical and theoretical contributions are welcome, as are those that address a range of media and practices that forge direct engagements with stories of refuge.
36. Shakespeare and Cultural Appropriation
Vanessa I. Corredera (Andrews University) and Geoffrey Way (Washburn University)
This seminar considers varied forms of cultural appropriation, or misappropriation, within and of Shakespeare. What cultures does Shakespeare use or mis-use? Where can we locate cultural appropriation in modern re-tellings of Shakespeare? What cultures appropriate Shakespeare and why? What can these cultural appropriations tell us about the commodity of Shakespeare to particular cultures, or the commodity of particular cultures to Shakespeare? We invite wide-ranging methods and approaches.
37. Shakespeare and Minor” Dramatists
Tom Rutter (University of Sheffield) and David McInnis (University of Melbourne)
This seminar considers the relationship between Shakespeare and “minor” dramatists of the early modern period (including “anon”). This may take the form of influence, collaboration, company affiliation, critical reception, etc.; papers may also challenge the categories of “major” and “minor,” address processes shaping canon-formation, or contest the marginalization of specific dramatists. The convenors are willing to consider proposals on minor dramatists that do not relate them to Shakespeare.
38. Shakespeare and the District
Richard Finkelstein (University of Mary Washington) and Maya Mathur (University of Mary Washington)
The seminar addresses the influence of Shakespeare’s legacy on Washington’s institutions; and how race and class have shaped Shakespeare’s legacy in the capital, both in productions of his works and perceptions of his cultural status. We invite papers on Shakespeare and the presidency; Shakespeare and government institutions; Shakespeare in Washington’s schools; appropriations set in Washington; the repertory and funding of the city’s theaters; and segregation and Shakespeare.
39. Shakespeare and Visual Cultures, Old and New
Howard Marchitello (Rutgers University, Camden) and Stephen Orgel (Stanford University)
This seminar examines visual Shakespeare across historical periods and forms—painting, portraiture, sculpture, photography, film, digital media, graphic novels—and their venues: the museum, the book, the Internet. Diverse theoretical approaches are encouraged—iconology, phenomenology, aesthetics, systems theory. Essay topics may include image-specific studies, as well as studies meant to embrace or to contest theoretical understandings of visual cultures and their strategies and goals.
40. Shakespeare at Scale
Brett D. Greatley-Hirsch (University of Leeds) and Anupam Basu (Washington University in St. Louis)
We invite theoretical papers on, and case studies of, the quantitative study of Shakespeare, his works, and/or those of his contemporaries at scale (macro, meso, micro). Topics other than authorship attribution are welcome, including (but not limited to) numerical studies of language, form, genre, and style, computational analysis of literary and theatrical networks, and quantitative histories of editing, publishing, curriculum, criticism, and performance.
41. Shakespeare in Central and Eastern Europe
William Ingram (University of Michigan) and Halyna Olexiyivna Pastushuk (Ukranian Catholic University)
In Central and Eastern Europe, Shakespeare’s plays, while used for political ends, have a life beyond politics. We ask scholars of (and from) these countries to reflect upon current Shakespearean scholarship in the region. Papers on issues of translation are welcome, as are approaches embracing literary and historical criticism, including early-modern relations between English drama and the places where it penetrated in print and performance, as occurred throughout the region.
42. Shakespeare in Film History
Gregory M. Colón Semenza (University of Connecticut, Storrs)
In spite of increased sensitivity within Adaptation Studies to the importance of history for adaptation and appropriation, the literary text too often continues to dominate the conception and structure of most studies of literature on film. This seminar seeks to redress this imbalance by exploring how Shakespeare films have functioned and evolved in the context of the film industry. Papers are welcome on the cultural and political forces at work in various eras of film history from 1895-2018.
43. Shakespeare on the Contemporary Regional Stage
Niamh J. O’Leary (Xavier University) and Jayme M. Yeo (Belmont University)
This seminar focuses on Shakespeare as produced on the local stage; the impact of performance in the regional community; and the interaction of actors, academics, and audiences at the local level. How might we understand these productions’ impact on our evolving sense of Shakespeare’s work? What theories or vocabularies best contextualize regional productions? Topics may include reconsidering “the local,” embedded scholarship, digital mediations, specific productions, or pedagogical engagements.
44. Shakespeare, Race, and the Practical Humanities
Ian Smith (Lafayette College)
How practical are the humanities? The seminar engages an ongoing broad cultural conversation about the practicality of the humanities by focusing on race—stubbornly real and consequential in defining identities, relationships, and our politics in today’s increasingly demographically plural society. The seminar asks specifically: What role might the intersection of Shakespeare and race play while sharpening the conversation about the future and social relevance of the humanities?
45. Shakespeare the Documentary
Mark Thornton Burnett (Queen’s University, Belfast)
The documentary is a genre and mode tied closely to Shakespeare. A cinematic method, documentaries offer spaces for rehabilitative projects, intercultural collaboration and theatrical experiment. How does the Shakespearean documentary address questions of politics and censorship? Are there distinct traditions? What connections are there in terms of race, gender and class? This seminar will explore relevant examples, approaches and themes, making visible an area accorded little attention.
46. Shakespearean Revulsions
Claire McEachern (University of California, Los Angeles)
Many descriptions of our relations to literary characters rely on a vocabulary of affiliation and connection: identification, empathy, exemplarity, compassion, emulation and so on. Yet the coarser feelings also play a part in the kinds of connections we make (or do not make) to Shakespeare’s characters. Envy, disgust, horror and resentment (for instance) also come into play. How might we theorize the role of such antipathies in our relation to literary character?
47. Shakespearean Skies: Weather and Climate
Sophie Chiari (Université Clermont Auvergne) and Sophie Lemercier-Goddard (Université de Lyon)
To Shakespeare’s contemporaries, the sky was both a spiritual entity and a daily object of study. This seminar will favor an eco-critical perspective, exploring representations of the sky in popular wisdom, its nature, habitat, atmosphere, its materiality for geographers, cosmographers, country people or city-dwellers, as well as the “heavens” of the playhouse. Did perceptions change over the 16th and 17th centuries, and if they did, could this suggest the advent of an epistemological change?
48. Shakespeare’s Enemies
Paul D. Menzer (Mary Baldwin University) and Jeremy Lopez (University of Toronto)
This seminar invites proposals from scholars who wish to explore the labile properties of Shakespearean animus. We welcome essays on a particular writer’s agonistic engagement with Shakespeare, historical treatments of his aesthetic offenses, or presentist critiques of his cultural dominance. Ultimately, the seminar convenes a conversation about what it has meant – at various times and places – to hold in distaste or even disdain the individual at the heart of our profession.
49. Shakespeare’s Forms
Emily Shortslef (University of Kentucky) and Erin K. Kelly (California State University, Chico)
Drawing on the expansive notion of form outlined in Caroline Levine’s Forms (2015), this seminar invites papers examining patterns, shapes, and configurations of any sort (words, things, people, time, physical space) in and across Shakespeare’s works. What affordances and constraints do these forms offer? How do they shape theatrical performance? What social relations do they model? Papers on the implications of form for historicist, theoretical, and performance-based approaches are welcome.
50. Shakespeare’s Greek
Andrew J. Fleck (University of Texas, El Paso) and John Garrison (Grinnell College)
How is Shakespeare in dialogue with Greek authors and ideas? Papers might discuss his reception of ancient Greek theatrical practices, thinking about the genres, formal elements of poetics, or sexual norms, as well as address questions about history and periodization. We invite a range of interpretative approaches, including gender and sexuality studies; genre studies; literary history; performance theory; philology; and theater history.
51. Shakespeare’s Language: Changing Methods
Alysia Kolentsis (St. Jerome’s University) and Lynne Magnusson (University of Toronto)
With socio-historical linguistics sketching out micro-histories of language change, with ambitious digital projects re-imagining the scale of rhetorical and stylistic analysis, with renewed interest in linguistic form deriving both from cognitive science and early modern “grammatical culture,” new avenues are opening for the study of literary and dramatic language. This seminar invites papers about the language of Shakespeare and his contemporaries that engage with evolving methodologies.
52. Signs of the Sexed Body in Early Modern Drama
Kimberly A. Coles (University of Maryland)
This seminar invites essays on the forms and signs of the sexed body in early modern drama. How should we reassess the gap between embodiment and representation at a time when political discourse repeatedly breaches the distance between sign and signified (a pussyhat as a political symbol, for example)? What is the state interest in the essential body, when the body itself is contingent in its terms? How does drama reinforce or reproduce political power upon the sexed body? And how does the archive help us explore the production, uses, and limits of the category of “woman”?
53. Staging Muslims and Jews in Early Modern England
Lindsay Kaplan (Georgetown University)
The scholarship on representations of Muslims or Jews in early modern culture tends to view each group in isolation. However, early modern dramatic portrayals of Muslims often include Jews. How does our understanding of representations of religious alterity in early modern culture change if we consider Muslims and Jews in relation to each other? How do questions of gender/sexuality, race/religion and periodization inflect these representations?
54. Theatrical Skepticism
Anita Gilman Sherman (American University) and Lauren Robertson (Columbia University)
How did skepticism manifest itself in early modern playhouses? What theatrical moves incited uncertainty in audiences? This seminar investigates theatrical practices and embodied behaviors that inspired skeptical questioning. Do modes like the creative inversion of rituals, the foregrounding of gaps and silences, spectacles of wonder and specters of dissent comprise a skeptical repertoire? If so, what ethical work is this repertoire doing when it invites suspended judgment or skeptical doubt?
55. Tudor Performance: Contexts, Traditions, Afterlives
Jessica L. Winston (Idaho State University)
Performance-oriented criticism is not yet a routine part of Tudor studies. How might such work transform the field? This seminar invites exploration of a wide range of performance-oriented approaches to Tudor drama—that is, Tudor plays from before the rise of the commercial theatres. Topics include original techniques and contexts of production, traditions of Tudor playing, and post-Renaissance afterlives in performance, for instance in readings, stagings, adaptations, and teaching.
56. The Unthinkable Renaissance
Erica Fudge (University of Strathclyde)
This seminar will explore the limits of our engagement with the Renaissance by considering ideas, actions, and things from the period that are unthinkable to us: moments that mark the boundary between past and present cultures. What might thinking about and with what is impossible for us to comprehend from the past allow us to see about Shakespeare and the period that produced him? Is the Renaissance unthinkable really unthinkable?
57. Virtual Shakespeare
Rebecca Bushnell (University of Pennsylvania)
This seminar explores how the intersection of digital technology and enactment can affect our thinking about Shakespeare and theater overall. It will welcome papers about Shakespeare played digitally, including videogames, virtual performance, and cybernarrative, but also ones on general or theoretical issues concerning theater and virtuality: for example, performance through avatars, live-action roleplay, and live-streaming gameplay, or modes of experimenting with narrative and interactivity.
58. “Washed in Lethe”: Renaissance Cultures of Remembering and Forgetting
Jonathan Baldo (Eastman School of Music) and Isabel C. Karremann (Universität Würzburg)
This seminar invites contributions on the workings of cultural memory in early modern England, with a particular focus on the role that acts of remembering and forgetting play in the formation and transformation of culture. Papers for this seminar will be asked to explore ways in which a medieval and Renaissance culture of memory met resistance and challenges from the spread of print culture, the growth of nationalism, and the English Reformation.
59. Webster’s The White Devil: New Directions
Lara Bovilsky (University of Oregon)
The White Devil‘s fascination with intersecting questions of gender, sexuality, race, nation, law, equity, religion, and the fruits of economic desperation makes it timely, as recent productions attest. This seminar invites new takes on these and other questions, such as: modern/early modern productions; ghost characters; Webster’s use of sources; the play’s adaptation across time/media; relation to other works; or indulgence of theatricality, in dumbshow, sorcery, supernatural, trial, or ceremony.
60. Women and Public Worship, 1500-1660
Micheline White (Carleton University) and Jaime Goodrich (Wayne State University)
This seminar invites papers that address any aspect of women’s participation in public or communal worship, whether found in literary, textual, or material sources. This includes discussions of: literary works that depict women participating in public rituals (baptisms, Churching, Processions, funerals, the Mass/ Supper); nuns or laywomen who performed in public rituals; women who wrote or sponsored liturgical or para-liturgical texts; and women who designed tombs or liturgical objects.
61. World, Globe, Planet: Macrocosmic Thinking in the Age of Shakespeare
Joseph Campana (Rice University) and Ayesha Ramachandran (Yale University)
This seminar takes up the problems of scale posed by the return of macrocosmic theoretical categories—world, globe, planet—in the age of Shakespeare. How did Shakespeare and his contemporaries conceive of these terms? What forms of political, social, epistemic and imaginative power are invested in these categories and what might they reveal about early forms of globalization, universal aspiration and ecological awareness?
62. Editing Editing
Leah Knight (Brock University)
How can we edit differently, now, with authorship decentered and new media expanding representational modes? We will explore the variant potential of different editions; edit texts in contrastive ways; and stage a scene of editing a “test text” in competing forms. At issue: how can editing enhance understanding? How do materials and media demand different responses? When is editing interpreting, an edition an adaptation, an editor an author? How can editing be expressive, creative, and queer?
63. Publishing Your Book: Proposals, Presses, and the Process
Henry S. Turner (Rutgers University) and Jane Hwang Degenhardt (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
A workshop on book publication, focused on monographs and with some discussion of edited collections: conceptualizing and planning the manuscript; techniques for writing a successful proposal; presses, editors, and series editors; readers and reports; contracts; challenges faced by scholars working on race, sexuality, and other topics that are underrepresented among academic presses. Participants will workshop drafts of proposals and accompanying materials.
64. Shakespeare on Our Hands
Jill Bradbury (Gallaudet University), Crom Saunders (Columbia College Chicago), Ethan Sinnott (Gallaudet University) and Lindsey Snyder (Silver Spring, MD)
This workshop will introduce non-signers to the history of Shakespeare in sign language and Deaf performance, basic poetic techniques of sign languages, and visual gestural communication. Activities will engage participants in experiencing how visual-gestural approaches can enhance our understanding of Shakespeare’s plays. Participants will be given scenes from the plays to stage through body movement and gesture, applying the techniques learned in the workshop.
65. Teaching the Premodern in a Time of White Supremacy
Dorothy Kim (Vassar College), Reginald Alfred Wilburn (University of New Hampshire) and Holly E. Dugan (George Washington University)
This workshop will consider both theories and praxis in how to teach the premodern and especially Shakespeare Studies during a period of overt white supremacy in our national and international politics. In light of the recent petitions from alums and undergraduates at the University of Cambridge and also Yale University, we will consider the ethics of the curriculum in light of calls to decolonize the English curriculum.
66. Teaching Shakespeare Online
Loreen L. Giese (Ohio University)
Colleges and universities offer more and more online classes. While some provide IT and design help, many do not offer pedagogical support. This workshop aims to do just that by focusing on teaching Shakespeare online. Papers are welcome on all topics whether they be best practices or cautionary tales. Possible topics include: close reading, building connections, student engagement, assignments, grading, class discussions, and challenges. Participants at all levels of experience are welcome.
67. Writing about Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama for a Broader Public
Daniel Thomas Swift (New College of the Humanities)
How might scholars translate their work on Shakespeare and early modern drama into material for a broader public? This workshop will consider the distinction made between academic and popular writing on theatre history of early modern England. Participants will discuss differences of style and content between popular and academic studies, as well as the kinds of stories scholars tell; and how, why, and whether these differ from those told and demanded by a general reading public.