Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Columbia University Annual Medieval Guild Graduate Student Conference

Saturday, October 14, 2006
Keynote Speaker: Professor Alastair Minnis

The graduate students of the Columbia University Department of English and Comparative Literature invite twenty-minute papers addressing the notion of instability in the Middle Ages. Possible topics may include:

- Textual Instabilities and the Making of Meaning: Hermeneutical works, narrative compilations, unfinished works, translations, commentaries, marginalia, poetics, genre
- Identity and Instability: Gender identity, cross-dressing, madness, monsters and monstrosity, conversion narratives, religious identity
- States of Instability: Political divides and the body politic, rebellion, treason, heresy, civil war, borders, geography and maps
- Social Instabilities: Disease and wellness, outlaws and exiles, traveling performers and performances, class dynamics, witchcraft

We will consider all papers on the topic of instabilities in the Middle Ages and encourage interdisciplinary submissions. To be considered for the program, please send an abstract (250 words maximum), along with your contact information, including active e-mail address, street address and phone number, and any requests for audio-visual equipment. Submissions must be received by **August 15, 2006** (please note extended deadline) to be given full consideration for inclusion in the program. For more information, contact

For a copy of the CFP, and conference updates, please see our website:

Conference Organizers: Mary Kate Hurley, Ruth Lexton, Kathleen Smith

Recovering Renaissance Drama

100 Years of Malone Society Publications

The Malone Society is celebrating its centenary with a one-day conference to be held in the New Music Room, Corpus Christi College , Oxford , from 10 am-7 pm on Saturday, 23rd September 2006.

The programme will consist of a dozen short presentations, each followed by brief discussion. Among those who have agreed to speak are Professor Henry Woudhuysen (on W.W. Greg); Dr. John Jowett (on Thomas More ); Dr. Ros King (on Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay ); Dr. Sonia Massai (on the Pavier Quartos); Dr Martin Wiggins ('A Midsummer Night's Apocalypse'-related to Malone Society Collections Volume III and the year 1535) and Professor Suzanne Gossett.

The day will conclude with a staged reading of the short and farcical Christmas play Gigantomachia (see Malone Society Collections Volume XIV, Jacobean Academic Plays , edited by Suzanne Gossett and T.L. Berger).

Fees: The basic fee, to cover actual costs, including coffee, lunch and tea, is £35. However, the Society's Council has agreed to subsidize the conference out of its reserves, enabling us to offer a reduced fee of £25 to conference members who are members of the Society, a fee of £15 to students (defined as those who are either working for a doctoral or other higher degree, or who completed such a degree no more than two years ago), with a further reduction to £10 for students who are members of the Society.

Because many participants will be paying heavily discounted fees, we must ask all conference members, including speakers, to pay the appropriate fee.

Further details:

The Wooden O Symposium

The Wooden O Symposium: Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern Studies
August 7-9, 2006
Cedar City, Utah, USA

Sherratt Library and the College of Visual and Performing Arts
Southern Utah University

The Wooden O Symposium is a cross disciplinary conference exploring Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern Studies, through the text and performance of Shakespeare’s plays. The symposium is hosted by Southern Utah University, home of the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespearean Festival. Scholars attending the conference will have the unique opportunity of immersing themselves in research, text, and performance in one of the most beautiful natural settings in the western U.S.

The Shakespeare Festival is noted for its beautiful outdoor theater modeled after Shakespeare's Globe Theater, the original "wooden O." Their 2006 summer season will include, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Antony and Cleopatra, and Hamlet. In addition, the festival will also produce H.M.S. Pintafore, On Golden Pond, and Room Service in the Randall L. Jones Theatre.

Details at

Monday, July 24, 2006

Collection: Crossing Borders: Women and Communities of Letters, 1500-1700

We have extended the deadline for papers for the volume Crossing Borders: Women and Communities of Letters, 1500-1700 to April 15, 2007. We would like to receive proposals by December 31, 2006.

We welcome submissions for a volume of essays that addresses issues discussed in the two-part panel sessions called Crossing Borders: Learned Women and Communities of Letters presented at the Sixteenth-Century Studies Conference in 2005.

The goals of this volume are to examine ways in which women participated in communities of letters, to explore how cultural, national, political, and/or religious “borders” were crossed in such communities, and to consider ways in which gender influenced the kinds of participation that occurred in such communities.

We are especially interested in essays that consider one or more of these general goals as they address such topics as the following:
--cross-cultural/transnational membership in communities of writers and readers
--perceptions of communities of writers and readers
--circles of women
--imagined or real literary circles, academies, coteries, and salons --crossing gender borders in literary circles --cross cultural/transnational influences regarding material trends and literary practices
--cross-cultural/transnational influences regarding genre and/or subject
--conflations of political and religious agendas, national and international
--relationships between women’s book production and reception --readerships of specific books or other texts
--editors with agendas
--manuscript circulation and/or editing and group authorship
--miscellanies and their relationships to specific groups
--intertextuality between works by women writers
--influence between women writers or between men and women writers

Essays should be double-spaced and should not exceed 35 pages or 8750 words, including notes. Please use Chicago Manual of Style footnotes, following the fifteenth edition. Three hard copies plus one electronic copy should be sent to Julie Campbell
Associate Professor
Department of English
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920-3099

Please address queries to Julie Campbell,, Gabriella Eschrich,, or Anne Larsen,

Friday, July 21, 2006

Vox Pop: Improvising the Vernacular Body, c. 1400-1650 - CFP

Saturday 2nd December 2006
A One Day Symposium

Vocabularies of the vernacular body are often dynamic and creative in medieval and early modern society. Vox Pop will explore this aspect of vernacularity and popular culture. Topics for discussion might include but are not limited to:

Deference and Authority

Defining the Commonweal

Dissent, Heresy and the Vernacular Body

Improvisation and Representation

Oaths and Swearing

Opprobrious language

Speech and Speaking

Symbolic and Lived Bodies

Vocabularies of the Political body

Please send abstracts of 250 words to Dawn Goldstone and Dr Elisabeth Salter ( by 6th October 2006. Work in progress and discussion papers are encouraged. This symposium is hosted by the Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies and the Department of English at University of Wales, Aberystwyth. It is hoped that bursaries for travel will be available to speakers.

Performance and Physical Memory: Call for Papers

International Medieval Congress in Leeds
July 9-12, 2007

Although often described as ephemeral, a performance leaves traces of itself in many different places˜the bodies of actors and spectators; the cities, structures, and landscapes where it is staged; and, the physical evidence that remains as 'proof' or suggestion, of the event. This panel seeks work that considers how Medieval and/or Renaissance performances linger as physical memories, both for Medieval and Renaissance communities and for 21st-century scholars. The panel is particularly interested in interdisciplinary scholarship that explores new definitions of performance and memory, and that employs unique theoretical approaches. The theme for the 2007 conference is Medieval Cities. Papers should incorporate this theme into their topics in some way.

The 2007 International Medieval Congress in Leeds, England will take place from July 9-12. You can find more information about the congress at

One-page abstracts should be submitted to Jill Stevenson at by September 15th. Please include your contact information and any AV requests with your abstract. Feel free to email Jill if you have any questions.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Shakespeare at Kalamazoo ...

... invites submissions for two open sessions:

Shakespeare and Monarchy
Shakespeare and Religion

42nd International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 10-13, 2007) will take place at Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, Michigan).

Reading time for papers should be no more than twenty minutes. According to rules established by the Congress, those submitting abstracts for one session may not submit abstracts for other sessions in the same year.

Email submissions are encouraged. Please include home and office phone numbers, complete mailing address, and e-mail address along with your attachment. If you need equipment, let us know now.

Maximum length of abstract: 500 words. Deadline for abstracts: 15 September 2006. This deadline is absolute, as we have a program-copy deadline of 1 October.

Please direct questions and abstracts to:

Anna Riehl

Courtly Literature

XIIth Congress of the International Courtly Literature Society (ICLS):
A meeting on two sites in western Switzerland (Geneva and Lausanne) in Summer 2007
29 July to 4 August 2007

An attractive region in the heart of Europe
Situated in the heart of Europe, the region around Lake Geneva provides an ideal setting for international meetings. With its airport and easy access from major European cities, it offers numerous tourist commodities and an environment that is well-preserved and justifiably famous. The cities of Geneva and Lausanne are renowned for their culture, which bears witness to the Middle Ages.

A federative theme
We would like to hold this meeting on a common theme, which would provide direction for our work, yet still allow sufficient scope for the illustration of individual research projects. We suggest:

Courtly Mythologies

This theme will be developed through four different lines of thought:

a) Exemplary figures
b) Gender definitions and courtly mythologies
c) Rites and performances of power
d) Questions of style and rewriting

We will gladly welcome proposals for thematic sessions organised by individual participants or groups of participants. To register and present a proposal go to web site

The official languages of ICLS are French, English and German. In line with Swiss linguistic tradition, communications in Italian will also be accepted.

A fertile collaboration between universities
The plan to hold this colloquium around Lake Geneva arose from the fruitful scientific collaboration between the departments of medieval studies at Geneva and Lausanne universities in a bid to strengthen their mutual interests and further their cooperation.

A congress with a rich and varied programme
Sessions on the first three days of the congress will take place on the beautiful site of the University of Lausanne, situated on the edge of Lake Geneva and linked to the centre of Lausanne by an underground train.
The last three sessions will take place at the University of Geneva, whose campus is situated in the heart of the city, at the foot of the old town. The congress will close in Geneva (where the airport is situated).
On the fourth day, there will be an optional excursion. Participants in this excursion can benefit from the means of transport at their disposal to go from one place of stay to the other.

The deadline for the registration is december 31, 2006. For further informations, see:

Early Modern Automata

Edited by Wendy Beth Hyman

Proposals sought for a new book of essays on Early Modern literary “automata”: inanimate objects of all kinds, brought to life on the stage or the page. While several studies have examined the role of hydraulics, pneumatics, and clockworks during the scientific revolution, this book will take a broader scope, looking at the incredible fantasies of animation that proliferated in an era poised between mysticism and empiricism. Essays on the engineering triumphs that thrilled spectators at court masques and Renaissance gardens are welcome, but equally welcome are essays on the merely imagined automata of Renaissance literature: e.g. Spenser’s Talus, Ralegh’s girl of “snow and silk,” Shakespeare’s Hermione. What does it mean to be human? What is the relationship between spirit and matter, or soul and body? Although mimesis may be a goal of classical aesthetics, how does one deal with the threat of art that is too real? Is it the logical culmination of human technology and imagination, or a dangerous expression of hubris? The animated statues, machines, and succubi of the Renaissance inevitably prompt these and other philosophical questions, at the same time as they refract the era’s larger epistemological uncertainties and existential longings.

This collection will approach these heterogeneous issues by bringing together the perspectives of literary scholars, art historians, and historians of science and technology. I welcome essays on any of these general topics, particularly—although not necessarily exclusively—addressing British and European automata c. 1500-1700.

If you are interested in contributing to the volume, please email an essay title, a 500-word proposal, and a brief CV by September 15th to:

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Theatre for a New Audience (New York), 2006-2007 season begins January, 2007, at The Duke on 42nd Street with Academy Award winning actor F. MURRAY ABRAHAM as Shylock in Shakespeare’s THE MERCHANT OF VENICE and Barabas in Christopher Marlowe’s THE JEW OF MALTA.

details:, or

Monday, July 17, 2006

'Exploring Pilgrimage'

A one-day interdisciplinary symposium on the theme of pilgrims and pilgrimage to be held under the auspices of The University of Sheffield's Medieval Discussion Group.

The event will take place at The Department of History, at The University of Sheffield on Saturday 25th November 06. Papers on all aspects of pilgrims and pilgrimage are invited from all disciplines. Proposals for 20 minute papers and abstracts of 250 words should be forwarded to Morn Capper or Geoff Little by 1st Oct 2006. Please be imaginative in your interpretation of this theme. Possible areas could include: religious practices, political processes, social and economic dynamics, landscape study, illness and healing, travel, logistical support structures, hostels, shipping, armed protection, literary and artistic culture. 

'Exploring pilgrimage'
Call for papers deadline: 01-10-06
Registration deadline: 17-11-06

Morn Capper <>
Geoff Little <>
The Department of History,
The University of Sheffield,
387 Glossop Road,
Sheffield, S10 2TN 01142222586/7

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Entertainment!: CFP

The 16th Annual Cultural Studies Conference at Kansas State University, March 8-10, 2007

TOPIC: Entertainment
CONFERENCE DATES: March 8-10, 2007

Keynote Speaker: Judith Halberstam, author of The Transgender Moment: Gender Flexibility and the Postmodern Condition, The Drag King Book, Female Masculinity, Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters, and Posthuman Bodies.

Live Performance by El Vez, "the Mexican Elvis"

Conference Description:

“Anyone who tries to tries to distinguish entertainment from education doesn’t know the first thing about either”

–Marshall McLuhan

Entertainment and the entertainment world continue to vex academics, even after the rise of Cultural Studies and its willingness to break down cultural hierarchies. It is time to address this often marginalized topic head on. Despite our disciplinary anxiety, there are increasing attempts to theorize entertainment and “entertainment value,” as Richard Dyer has done for the musical. What is it exactly that happens when we say we are “entertained?” And what does this experience have to do with all our usual categories and criterias” aesthetics, politics, culture, identity, ethics, value? When video games are used to train troops, journalism goes for ratings and pretty faces, and political parties and corporations manufacture seductive and pleasurable images? Do we find ourselves perforce choosing between a liberatory “fandom” and the horrors of the seductive, distracting, capitalist ‘culture industry?” Is there a progressive understanding or use of entertainment for democracy and the public sphere? We welcome papers and panels on any topics and modes of entertainment, from any culture, in any historical period.

Some topics and questions for possible consideration, not intended to be an exclusive list:

entertainment in the high “arts” (theater, opera, classical music and art)
docudrama and “reality” entertainment
education and entertainment, education vs. entertainment
“children’s” vs. “adult’s” entertainment (cartoons, animation, etc.)
the “adult entertainment” industry
elevating the stupid and shallow (Jackass, Paris Hilton)
Hollywood and anti-Hollywood
Rupert Murdoch
global television
entertainment and propaganda
Barthes, Debord, Baudrillard, Zizek
early modern entertainment (jigs, bear-baiting, public execution, Shakespeare)
serious clowning: Michael Moore, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert
jokes, racial and ethnic and misogynist
“The Aristocrats”
violence, cruelty, and sadism
religious entertainment and ritual
entertainment, fear, and national security
entertainment with social messages
the construction and use of boredom
material entertainment: sugar, caffeine, drugs
amateurism and the local
transnational entertainment and cultural imperialism, from Disney to McDonalds
spectators and participants, couch potatoes and athletes
critics and reviewers
horror, gothic, perversity
Standard conference format: panels of three papers; each paper a 15 minute oral reading/presentation. Alternate session formats may also be proposed.

Please send a 1 pg proposal (or 1 pg per paper for a panel proposal) to Michele Janette, Director, Program in Cultural Studies, English Dept, Kansas State University, Manhattan KS 66502. Email submissions strongly encouraged: Please include return email address for all submissions.

Proposal Deadline: September 20, 2006

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tacitean thought in Elizabethan and Jacobean England

Fulke Greville at Kalamazoo is sponsoring a session on Tacitean thought in Elizabethan and Jacobean England one session at the 2007 International Congress of Medieval Studies.

This is an open session on any aspect of the influence of Tacitus during the English renaissance. Papers addressing the influence of continental figures like Justus Lipsius and Antonio Perez are welcome, as are studies involving prominent English courtiers like Francis Bacon, Fulke Greville, Robert Sidney, or studies touching on lesser-known English intellectuals like Henry Cuffe, Henry Savile, and Matthew Gwinne.

Please send abstracts (under 300 words) and abstract cover sheets by or before September 15, 2006. Abstract cover sheets may be found at:

Notification of acceptance will be sent by October 13.

Submit to:
Joel B Davis, Assistant Professor, Department of English
Stetson University, 421 N Woodland Blvd #8300, DeLand FL 32721

Tel. 386.822.7724
FAX 386.822.77333

Shakespeare and the Queen's Men

Victoria College
From October 26-29, 2006, scholars and theatre artists will gather at Victoria College, University of Toronto, to combine research and practical expertise in our international conference on Shakespeare and the theatre of his times.
The conference will feature keynote addresses by Roslyn Knutson (University of Arkansas at Little Rock), Tiffany Stern (Oxford University) and Martin White (Bristol University). The addresses will be followed by thematically organized seminars on the Queen's Men and their theatrical contemporaries, including questions of repertory, acting styles, and touring, and ensemble and casting issues.
Participants will have the rare opportunity to see three Queen's Men plays (King Leir, Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, and The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth) in different venues in Toronto and Hamilton reflecting the range of playing spaces available to Elizabethan touring companies.
Conference proceedings will conclude with a round-table discussion of the Shakespeare and the Queen's Men experimental performances.
Visit the conference website:


Saturday 4 November 2006

An international conference is to be held at the University of Northampton to coincide with the centenary year of the birth of Benjamin Franklin, whose family originated from the Northamptonshire village of Ecton.

Proposals for papers are invited on any aspect of Franklin’s career in Britain and the wider Trans-Atlantic links of his era.

The deadline for submission of outlines of proposed papers is 30 June 2006.

David Waller
School of Social Sciences , University of Northampton
Boughton Green Road, Northampton NN2 7AL, England
Phone: +44 (0)1604 892096
Fax: +44 (0)1604 722067

Monday, July 10, 2006

John Donne at Kalamazoo

The John Donne Society welcomes papers for a sponsored session at the ICMS, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 10-13, 2007. Please send hard copy of (300 word) abstract and cover sheet as per ICMS form ( by September 15, 2006 to Scott Vander Ploeg at the address below. Submissions should also be sent by email attachment (MS Word preferred) to Scott's email address.

This is an open session on any aspect of Donne's works, prose or poetry, and all theoretical orientations are welcome.

Submission indicates willingness to attend and present. Full papers are welcome, though not required at time of submission. Notification of acceptance will be sent by mid-October.

John Donne Society (1): John Donne Studies

Dr. Scott D. Vander Ploeg
Madisonville Community College
2000 College Dr.
Madisonville, KY 42431

Phone: (wk) 270-824-8684; (hm) 270-821-8923; fax: 270-824-1866

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Society for Textual Scholarship


President: George Bornstein, University of Michigan
Executive Director: Robin Schulze, Penn State University
Fourteenth Biennial International Interdisciplinary Conference
March 14-17, 2007, New York University
Program Co-Chairs: Nicholas Frankel, Virginia Commonwealth University; Marta Werner, D’Youville College

Deadline for Proposals: October 31, 2006

The Program Chairs invite the submission of full panels or individual papers devoted to interdisciplinary discussion of current research into particular aspects of contemporary textual work: the discovery, enumeration, description, bibliographical analysis, editing, annotation, and mark-up of texts in disciplines such as literature, history, musicology, classical and biblical studies, philosophy, art history, legal history, history of science and technology, computer science, library science, lexicography, epigraphy, paleography, codicology, cinema studies, media studies, theater, linguistics, and textual and literary theory. The Program Chairs are particularly interested in papers and panels, as well as workshops and roundtables, on the following topics, aimed at a broad, interdisciplinary audience:
Textual environments
Textual cultures
Textual ruins
Textual arts, including the book arts
Digital texts and editing projects
Papers should be no more than 20 minutes in length. Panels should consist of three papers or presentations. Individual proposals should include a brief abstract (one or two pages) of the proposed paper as well as the name, e-mail address, and institutional affiliation of the participant. Panel proposals, including proposals for roundtables and workshops, should include a session title, the name of a designated contact person for the session, the names, e-mail addresses, and institutional addresses and affiliations of each person involved in the session, and a one- or two-page abstract of each paper to be presented during the session. Abstracts should indicate what (if any) technological support will be requested.
Inquiries and proposals should be submitted electronically to:
Associate Professor Nicholas Frankel, email address:
Department of English
PO BOX 842002
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond VA 23220 USA
FAX: (804) 828-6048
Assistant Professor Marta Werner, email address:
Department of Liberal Arts
D’Youville College
320 Porter Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14201
FAX: (716) 829-7760
All participants in the STS 2007 conference must be members of STS. For information about membership, please contact Executive Director Robin Schulze at or visit the Indiana University Press Journals website and follow the links to the Society for Textual Scholarship membership page. For conference updates and information, see the STS website.

Friday, July 07, 2006

“Mulieres Religiosae. Women and Religious Authority from the Middle Ages to the Present”

University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp (UCSIA)
March 1st-2nd 2007
International Workshop


Eligibility Criteria
Applicants should:

〈 be a graduate student or scholar in theology, history, the humanities (religious studies, medieval studies, gender studies, philosophy, art history, linguistics, literature, ) or the social sciences (anthropology, sociology, political sciences, law and economics) or other disciplines if engaged in relevant research
〈 have relevant previous experience and be active in relevant area of specialisation
〈 have a good command of English
〈 respect formal requirements of the application process

Application Procedure

Application documents should be submitted by October 10th 2006.
The application documents include:
1. Application form completed in English
2. Curriculum vitae, in English, with attached list of publications (if available)
3. Statement of purpose, maximum one page, in English, explaining applicant's current professional goals, and reasons for applying for participation
4. An outline of your proposed paper of maximum 2 pages, in English

The application package should be addressed to the address indicated at the end of this announcement.

Selection Process
The selection of participants will be made on a competitive basis. In the selection, the
profile of the selected group of participants as a whole will be taken in consideration. The purpose is to select a team that is as complementary, multidisciplinary and multicultural as possible.
The applications will be reviewed by the selection committee headed by Dr. Christiane Timmerman, Director of Academic Affairs. The selection committee will include scholars and researchers of the University of Antwerp.
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Additional information may be requested from qualified candidates in order to ensure competitive assessment of the candidates.

Selection Criteria

〈 Fulfillment of formal eligibility requirements
〈 Academic qualifications
〈 Strong motivation for participation in the seminar
〈 A well written paper, representative of your research work and related to the topic of the Seminar


UCSIA will fund the following for selected participants:

〈 tuition fee
〈 study materials
〈 lodging (except for Belgian residents) and meals while in Antwerp

Successful candidates will be informed on the admission decision by mid-November.
Participants should pay for their own travel expenses to Antwerp.

15th Annual CSU Shakespeare Symposium


Fifteenth Annual California State University Shakespeare Symposium
CSU Long Beach, 90840, Saturday November 4, 2006

Abstracts for 15-minute papers are invited for the Fifteenth Annual California State University Shakespeare Symposium.

Papers may discuss, but are not limited to:
Shakespeare and theory;
Shakespeare in a global environment;
Shakespeare and non-print media (including film);
Shakespeare and performance; Shakespeare and the internet;
Shakespeare after 1623; Shakespeare’s contemporaries;
Shakespeare and the playing companies;
Shakespeare and the visual arts;
Shakespeare and London;
Shakespeare and the question of Britain;
Royal Shakespeare;
Shakespeare’s theaters;
Transmission of play-texts;
Editing Shakespeare.

There will also be one or more pedagogy roundtables, depending on submissions (organized around genre, topic, or method), to discuss teaching Shakespeare at two-year and four-year colleges in survey and specialized courses.

Please send 200-300 word abstracts with a title and clear thesis or working argument and a 1-page resume by Saturday September 16, 2006 to:

Lloyd Kermode at
Associate Professor, Department of English
Co-Director, CSULB Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

(Abstracts submitted before September 1 will beacknowledged by return. Abstracts submitted between September 1 and September 16 will all be acknowledged on September 16.)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

CFP: The Monstrous and the Uncanny: Figuring the Macabre

Kalamazoo 2007

The fourteenth century in Europe was marked by the appearance of the macabre, both in artistic and in literary production. Scholars submitting proposals for this session are encouraged to address different expressions of the macabre in medieval and early modern periods.

It has been noted that attitudes towards death changed after the Black Death epidemics, and that this change was reflected in the visual arts after the mid-1300s. However, was the appearance of the macabre related to this change? Why and how did the macabre develop? How differently did it figure death? Was it connected in some way to the continuing rise of the vernacular culture and various religious and secular reforms? In what way did oral and written discourses function in this development? What was the role of the beholder in the processes of reading and viewing the macabre? Scholars are encouraged to consider both visual and literary expressions of the macabre, and to make use of a wide range of methodologies.

Please e-mail paper abstracts to Elina Gertsman,

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Shakespeare festival

Washington DC's The Kennedy Center, the Shakespeare Theater and the Folger Shakespeare Library announced plans yesterday for a six-month citywide Shakespeare festival involving more than 20 national and international arts organizations. Starting in January 2007, the celebration will feature dance, film, theater, music and museum exhibitions. Among the offerings will be ''Richard III'' and ''Cymbeline,'' performed by the Shakespeare Theater; Verdi's ''Macbeth,'' put on by the Washington National Opera; and ''Romeo and Juliet,'' danced by the Kirov Ballet. Michael Kahn, artistic director of the Shakespeare Theater, will serve as festival artistic director.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Searching for Shakespeare

22 JUNE — 17 SEPTEMBER, 2006
Yale University

In 1856, the first portrait presented to the newly founded National Portrait Gallery in London was a work believed to portray William Shakespeare. How England's most famous poet and playwright actually looked had been a matter of national interest for the previous two hundred years. Yet whether this picture, known as the Chandos portrait, accurately represents Shakespeare's face is still a matter of debate, since there is no portrait of him that is known to have been created in his lifetime. The exhibition will examine the representation of Shakespeare and, for the first time in this country, bring together the five other contender portraits purporting to represent him. Originating at the National Portrait Gallery in London
(on the occasion of that institution's sesquicentennial in 2006), the display will present the results of the latest technical analysis and research on several of these pictures, casting new light on the search for Shakespeare's authentic appearance.

Although Shakespeare's life can only be reconstructed partially, the exhibition will examine the playwright as his contemporaries knew him by looking closely at his own circle. The exhibition will place Shakespeare in the broader context of the Elizabethan stage through the display of an extraordinary range of contemporary works of art and historical artifacts, including original sixteenth- and seventeenth-century costumes. Manuscript and printed material related to Elizabethan performance and stagecraft and early printed editions of Shakespeares plays and poetry will be featured, along with portraits
of actors, patrons, and other playwrights. This extraordinary body of material, much never before seen in this country, will allow the public a unique opportunity to see virtually all the extant material relating to Shakespeare's life and his work.

The exhibition includes nearly 150 works on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Museum of London, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and a number of private collections, with fifty additional works selected from collections at Yale. It will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Animal in 17th and 18th Century America: CFP

2007 Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture (OIEAHC) and Society of Early Americanists (SEA) Conference
June 7 to June 10th, 2007
College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia

Recent work in what is being called critical animal studies has traced the idea of the animal through both the continental and analytic traditions of western philosophy, finding it key to the production of modern and postmodern epistemology and ethics. This panel will explore the category of the animal in the 17th and 18th centuries, when it was coming into focus as
a reconsideration of Aristotelian zoology and as one among a host of colonial biopolitical projects. Contributions are hereby solicited on any subject relating to animals and animality in the Americas circa 1600 to 1800.

To what extent did writers of the time possess a concept of "the animal" distinct from the narrower "beasts" of early modern period and the broader "nature" of the systematic natural historians?

How did the experiences and specimens emerging from the colonies reinforce or trouble contemporary advances in zoology?

Do animals function differently from plants in the complex imperial economy of science?

Are there alternatives in the period to the machinic and organic models of animality from the preceding and succeeding eras?

Papers for this panel might examine wild and domesticated animals, animal communities (beyond beavers and bees), animal gender and reproduction, animal-derived commodities, animal displays (museums and zoos), and animal habitats as they appear in the historical, literary, and environmental record. This panel is co-sponsored by the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE).

Please submit a one-page proposal and a brief cv to Michael Ziser ( prior to 15 September 2006.
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