Greetings and thanks for reading The Scrivener, your source for the latest news in Shakespeare scholarship. There are lots of great calls for papers, seminars, and conference announcements that have crossed my desk this week, so let’s get to it!
The organizers of a seminar on Early Modern Materiality are seeking submissions. Per the announcement:
How do literary forms influence material forms, and how do material forms influence literary forms? This delicious chiasmus foregrounds our inquiry into how writing and its media collide in such a way as to alter them both. Early modern readers and non-readers encountered writing and its products ever more frequently, with new reading publics and a printing press that augmented a sensitivity to writing by increasing the number of letters in the world. The same might be said for objects, with a flood of new, exotic products entering England in this age of exploration. Paper, and especially books, are not the most obvious writing surfaces to early moderns.
This seminar considers how writing upon objects unlocks unexamined properties of those objects, and objects unlock unexamined properties of writing, and how particular social contexts manipulate those unlocked properties. We’ll also consider how literary writing, both in its visual and generic forms more generally (e.g. the manuscript or printed sonnet, the playtext, the pattern or concrete poem) and in content, particularly pieces that engage with the material world in order to think through and with it.
For more information, see the full call here.
A NeMLA panel seeks participants interested in exploring the complex and multi-faceted relationship between Shakespeare and Italy. Key areas of focus will be, among other things, the impact of the Italian Renaissance on England; early modern English translations of Italian works; Shakespeare’s use of Italian texts for both direct source and indirect inspiration; Italian settings and characters in Shakespeare’s plays; the influence of Italian genres, such as tragicomedy, in Shakespeare’s drama; early modern English attitudes towards Italy in general and certain Italians (such as Machiavelli) in particular; and later Italian adaptations of Shakespeare, particularly for the opera and for the cinema. This is just to scratch the surface though, as Shakespeare’s engagement with Italy (and Italy’s engagement with Shakespeare) is a topic too under-analyzed by early modern scholars. That may seem to be a strange or perhaps even a false statement, but it seems that it stands true in relation to how far many early modern scholars are actually willing to extend their gaze beyond the perfunctory nod to the importance of the Italian Renaissance. In other words, instead of just merely noting the importance and moving on, this panel really wants to grasp with the core issues at stake with this relationship, a relationship always acknowledged but rarely truly explored. Please send questions to email@example.com; abstracts are due by Sept. 30 to the same address.
James Joyce Italian Foundation
The James Joyce Italian Foundation invites proposals for the Ninth Annual Conference in Rome. It will be hosted by the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the Università Roma Tre, to celebrate Joyce’s 134th birthday. The conference will be the occasion to present unpublished papers and works in progress on Joyce to an international audience. In parallel with the conference’s usual focus on Joyce, it also intends to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death by inviting scholars dealing with the Joyce-Shakespeare connection to send proposals for a 20-minute contribution on current trends in Joyce and Shakespeare’s studies. Related topics include, but are not limited to:
– Joyce and/vs Shakespeare
– Joyce and the Elizabethans
– Shakespeare in Joyce
– Joyce Studies and Shakespeare Studies: overlaps and interconnections
– Joyce’s poetry and Shakespeare’s poetry
– Joyce, Shakespeare and Italy
– Shakespeare’s studies in Joyce’s times
– Shakespeare and the English language
– Conceptions of drama in Joyce and Shakespeare
– Metafictionality and Metatheatricality in Joyce and Shakespeare
For more suggested topics and information on submission guidelines, see the announcement here.
Are we reaching the end of Hamlet? (Or at least, a point of cultural exhaustion with Hamlet?) As the most frequently performed, written about, and taught play in the Shakespearean canon, Hamlet has acquired both a place of indisputable power as an icon defining “literature” in our culture and a jaded sense of scholarly (and sometimes not-so-scholarly) ennui or exasperation. This collection explores the ways in which our culture is “finished with” the Dane (the ways in which recent reiterations and homages to Shakespeare’s play have moved beyond Hamlet in its “original” textual context and interpretative history) and also those ways in which we may not be finished with him yet (the various ways in which we have kept Shakespeare’s text alive by remaking it). Using adaptation theory to approach that most adapted and performed of all English plays—the ur-text of Western theatrical adaptation—the essays in this volume approach the death of Hamlet, the idea of being post-Hamlet (or perhaps even the ultimate impossibility of envisioning English literature without Hamlet) through a variety of lenses, including performance, pedagogy, and theory.
This collection invites essays that contemplate what it might mean to be Post-Hamlet, including (but not limited to):
– Radical Performances of Hamlet (The Library of Birmingham’s Hamlets, Annie Dorsen’s A Piece of Work, Stella Mari’s Post Hamlet or After-Hamlet, Jack Smith’s Hamlet in the Rented World (A Fragment), etc.)
– Radical Appropriations of Hamlet (particularly those that blatantly proclaim to “threaten” the artistic or historical value of Hamlet as cultural icon)
– Non-Anglophone productions of Hamlet (How is Hamlet made to engage with new cultural or linguistic concerns? Which cultures are [or aren’t] Post-Hamlet?)
– Digitizing Hamlet (Is Hamlet revised, reincarnated, or dismissed through social media, websites, ebooks, apps, etc.?)
– Film Adaptations and Appropriations of Hamlet (how are recent films responding to the long history of Hamlet on screen and differentiating their approach from the myriad films that have proceeded them? Or are they?)
– Hamlet in Popular Culture (in what ways are graphic novels, advertisements, video games, television shows, and even toys appropriating Hamlet as a cultural artifact? Do such appropriations suggest that our culture is tired of [or still actively engaged with] Hamlet?
– Conflating Hamlet (What is Hamlet’s original textual identity—if it has one—and what does it mean for our understanding of Hamlet-as-text when we conflate quartos and folios? Does being Post-Hamlet require that we establish what Hamlet was in the first place?)
– Cutting Hamlet (Is this the “death” of Hamlet? What happens when we cut so much that the play is barely recognizable as Hamlet?)
– Theoretical Approaches (Are we Post-Shakespeare? Has our culture reached a level of saturation with Shakespeareana?)
– The Critical History of Hamlet (What happens when all the articles about Hamlet have already been written? What are the trends in Hamlet criticism now and are those trends responding—on some level– to the critical exhaustion of the subject?)
– The Performance History of Hamlet (where are we now, in the long and populous history of performing Hamlet?)
– Pedagogical Approaches to Hamlet (approaches to [and innovations regarding] the teaching of Hamlet–with the knowledge that our audience/students have already read Hamlet [or are at least familiar with the plotline])
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