Thursday, October 18, 2007

Call for Papers: Hamlet-Reception in European Cultures

Cardiff University, 11-13 September 2008

Conference organisers: Prof Gerrit-Jan Berendse, Dr Ruth Owen

Shakespeare's _Hamlet_ exemplifies a source text prolifically appropriated by countless national cultures throughout Europe. The Cardiff Conference will examine adaptations and transformations of storylines, characters, motifs, and text from the play. Papers are invited that examine the reception of _Hamlet_ in one or more instances of literary or visual culture. Plays, poetry, novels, films, and graphic art have all engaged with _Hamlet_. Adaptation makes the _Hamlet_ material fit for new cultural contexts and different political ideologies to those of Shakespeare's time and place. Many of these works are iconoclastic, talking back to Shakespeare. The relationship to the original remains present and relevant, but a grafting takes place, to produce an entirely new artifact.

The reception of _Hamlet_ is a form of collaboration across time and across languages. It can involve the revaluation of a character, provide a back-story, or offer a voice to figures originally marginalized. The movement into a different genre can present a re-reading of _Hamlet_ from a revised viewpoint. We are thinking of prolonged engagement, rather than passing allusion. A political or ethical commitment often shapes a writer's or artist's decision to re-interpret _Hamlet_. Theoretical concerns from post-colonialism, feminism and queer studies figure in many of the adaptations. With this in mind, the aim of the conference is to consider the processes by which aspects of Shakespeare's play have been transmitted and received within European cultures.

We welcome papers which relate to cultures operating in every European language. However, we can only accept papers given in English.

We welcome submissions in the following areas:

I. _Hamlet_ -reception and language; and gender; and images of war; and the body; and current affairs; and aesthetic innovation
II. Shakespeare as a European icon; as a vehicle of literary evolution/revolution; as representative of Britishness
III. Hamlet and various individual modern European texts
IV. Hamlet in European visual arts

Please submit your abstract to Ruth Owen, as an email attachment.

Deadline for the submission of abstracts: 14 January 2008
Submission address:
Other expressions of interest in the conference may also be made to the same address.

Conference website:


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