Greetings! Thanks for reading The Scrivener, your source for the latest news in Shakespeare scholarship. We hope you had a lovely midsummer, perhaps including a night full of wild romping in the forest with fairies and impish sprites. There are several new calls for papers and manuscripts that have come across our desk this week, so let’s get to it!
Individually or serially, Romeo and Juliet, Troilus and Cressida, and Antony and Cleopatra present opportunities to engage a range of critical concerns. The double protagonists in the titles foreground gender questions, however. Ladies are not first in the sequence of names, but whether or not they may be said to be first in the action of the plays is the question that this panel seeks to consider. Treating the plays individually or as a sequence, the panel welcomes papers that investigate the masculine/feminine divide. Such investigation can take any number of different approaches: whose agency is privileged in Romeo (or either of the two other plays, or in the sequence of all three plays); does the presentation of gender change from the early tragedy to the “problem comedy” to the late tragedy; are there pedagogical strategies that serve to highlight the deployment of gender in the plays; does genre play a role in the presentation of gender in these plays or in these plays by comparison to other plays, Romeo in light of Dream, for instance, or Antony by contrast to other Roman plays, or Troilus in the context of the problem comedies. A NeMLA panel is currently being formed on this topic: so long as the masculine/feminine divide remains the focus of the paper, any and all approaches to the play(s) are welcome. For more information on the panel, please see the call .
Shakespeare in the North
From the announcement:
The four-hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016 will, more than ever, focus attention on this question: where and to whom does Shakespeare belong? Much critical work has been done on Shakespeare’s global reach and ‘travels’, especially in relation to processes of colonisation and postcolonial emancipation. Through this work, Shakespeare has been shown to be ‘local’ to many environments across the globe, however problematically. Equally, thinking about Shakespeare’s role in, and appropriation and construction by the various, conflicted, diasporic, devolving and devolved communities of the British Isles has become a critical orthodoxy. Yet what of Shakespeare’s position in locations which, while not seeking independence or devolution through political means, retain a strong sense of being different and separate from official (privileged) strands of national culture? Because they do not fall neatly into the categories of either the ‘nation’ or the ‘colony’, these locations and their engagement with Shakespeare can become invisible and critically neglected. This neglect corresponds with such locations’ perceived and actual socio-political distance from sites of cultural and political power.
Potential topics include:
- When we say the ‘North’ where do we mean? What are the North’s edges and boundaries? How does addressing questions like these affect perceptions and uses of culturally central figures like Shakespeare?
- How can we extend our understanding of the tensions involved in seeing Shakespeare as a ‘universal’ writer and seeing him as a property of a particular nation, to a micro-level of regional reception, reinvention, and appropriation?
- What theoretical frameworks might be applicable to understanding ‘regional’ or local Shakespeares?
- What is at stake in the scholarship surrounding the biographical and religious controversies surrounding Shakespeare’s ‘time’ in the ‘North’?
- How did Shakespeare and his contemporaries demarcate and perceive the ‘North’ and Northern-ness?