7th World Shakespeare Congress, Valencia 2001
Seminar Programme


No. 1.1. Shakespeare's Mediterranean Plays and Renaissance Travel Writing.
Leaders: Philip Edwards  (University of Liverpool, UK) and Mary Fuller (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)

Travel narratives are now seen as an important context for drama. With specific reference to those of Shakespeare's plays which have a predominantly Mediterranean setting (for example,  The Comedy of Errors, The Merchant of Venice, Othello,  The Winter's Tale, Pericles), this seminar will seek examples of how the intersection between the two genres can most appropriately be shown. Within this general frame, attention will be given to the encounter and exchange between cultures within the plays, and to Shakespeare's use of actual travel and the metaphor of travel.

No. 1.2. Shakespeare and the Graeco-Roman World.
Leaders: Supriya Chaudhuri (Jadavpur University, India) and Coppelia Kahn (Brown University, USA)

Shakespeare's construction of the Graeco-Roman world refracts in diverse ways humanistic ideas of antiquity--ideas driven in part by humanism's political agendas.  Interpreting Shakespeare's appropriations of the classics is no longer a matter of tracing sources but of charting various ideological investments in the classics, and in Shakespeare as a ‘classic’.  The Graeco-Roman plays and poems have themselves helped constitute modern notions of the classical, and have entered into nationalist, colonial, and post-colonial political discourses.  We will engage both with Shakespearian representations of  classical antiquity and with later treatments of them in translations and in poetry, narrative, theatre, film and video, in the context of multicultural reception and reappropriation.

No. 1.3. Staging the Stranger.
Leaders:  Carol Chillington Rutter (University of Warwick, UK) and Boika Sokolova (University of Sofia, Bulgaria)

On the 'Typus Regionum' illustrating Lucan's Pharsalia, Britannia hugs a corner.  The map's centre spreads out the Mediterranean, and names roll off it like stops on Othello's travels: Libya, Mauritania, Nasamonia; then Troy, Athens, Illyria, Venice.  Cyprus stands opposite Alexandria; Rome, in line with Carthage.  The Mediterranean, from little Britain's marginal position, maps the civilized world, but also maps the 'other', the 'antres vast and deserts idle' where desire and fear play out dark fantasies.  This seminar will investigate the representation of strangeness -- cultural, racial, political -- in performance on Shakespeare's stage.  And how do contemporary productions on international stages perform 'otherness'?

No. 1.4. Shakespeare and the Romantic Ideal of Italy.
Leaders: Michele Marrapodi (University of Palermo, Italy) and Murray Levith (Skidmore College, USA)

This seminar will  consider early modern Italian novelle and theatre as direct, indirect and deep sources for, as well as analogues and paralogues to, the construction of Shakespeare's drama, particularly in his comedies, romances, and other Italianate plays. Other cultural transactions, such as travel and courtesy books, the arts, fencing, dance, and fashions, will also be considered. Emphasis will be given to the manner in which the dramatist adapted Italian materials to suit his theatrical agenda, creating new forms and stretching the definition of the romantic ideal of Italy.

No. 1.5. "...I other accents borrow/ That can my speech diffuse": Accents, Pronunciation and Dialects on the Shakespearian Stage.
Leaders: Charles Edelman (Edith Cowan University, Australia) and Andrew Gurr (University of Reading, UK); Respondent: Peter Holland (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham)

We invite contributions on subjects such as: Was there a standard English heard in the London playhouses of Shakespeare's time and, if there was, what did it sound like?  Did Shakespeare's audiences hear a variety of 'Englishes', depending on where the actor came from, or on the regional or foreign associations of the character? Were variations in speech heard according to the class of the character? Were foreign or regional varieties of English limited to instances indicated by phonetic spelling in the early texts? Do these factors have any implications for the editing of texts today? What are the implications of all these factors for modern performances? This is a broad topic and the points given here are not seen as setting limits to the discussion.

No. 1.6. Shakespeare from the 21st-century Left: Or, Material Shakespeare for the New Millennium.
Leaders:John Drakakis (Stirling University, Scotland) and Hugh Grady (Beaver College, USA)

For Karl Marx and for generations of critics of capitalism, the works of Shakespeare have served as sources for and allegories of social and political critique. The very same texts have been deployed in the service of a variety of  political, and humanitarian causes. With the challenge to established leftist discourses on the subject of Shakespeare, and at the point of entering a new century, we invite papers exploring the relevance to the study of Shakespeare of emerging critiques of contemporary world capitalism from a number of perspectives. The 1980s saw the emergence of leftist political criticism of Shakespeare as a major component of contemporary Shakespeare studies via feminism, cultural materialism, versions of Marxism, psychoanalytic criticism and the new historicism, and this trend has evolved but continued throughout the 1990s. Furthermore, the presence at a World Conference of representatives of many nationalities, each with a unique leftist tradition, promises further to enrich the discussion.

No. 1.7. Shakespeare and Sonnets: The English Form and the European Tradition.
Leaders: Mario Domenichelli (University of Florence, Italy) and Katherine Duncan- Jones 'Shakespeare and Sonnets: the English form and the European Tradition'

By combining close analysis of Shakespeare's own sonnet-writing, both within plays and in the 1609 Shakespeare's Sonnets, with wide-ranging explorations of Petrarchan, post-Petrarchan and anti-Petrarchan traditions in Renaissance Europe, we will seek to illuminate the rich cultural and historical penumbra of Shakespeare's use of the form. Rather than searching for specific sources or analogues, we shall aim at the widest possible contextualization, including discussion of translations of Shakespeare's Sonnets, and other sonnets, into other languages.

No. 1.8.  A Boundless Sea: Shakespeare’s Mediterranean on Film.
Leaders: Peter Donaldson (Massuachusetts Institute of Technology, USA ) and José Ramón Díaz-Fernández (University of Malaga, Spain)

From The Comedy of Errors to The Tempest the Mediterranean has figured prominently in Shakespeare's works. The present seminar welcomes papers dealing with representations of the Mediterranean world in Shakespeare film adaptations and derivatives. Papers should not be restricted to the plays specifically set in the Mediterranean. Among other possible topics, papers may also explore the development of national film traditions in the area (the Italian Shakespeare films or the Turkish Hamlet: The Angel of Vengeance are just a few examples) and the works of filmmakers closely associated with the Mediterranean such as Orson Wells' Chimes at Midnight and Zeffirelli's Hamlet.


No. 2.1. Shakespeare and Opera in the Mediterranean Milieu: Rewriting Texts, Staging Polyphonies, and Acting the Music.
Leaders: Marga Munkelt (University of Muenster) and Giovanna Silvani, University of Parma, Italy)

This seminar will focus on musical treatments of Shakespearian drama in Mediterranean countries with particular emphasis on Italian-language compositions. Attention will be given to the range of operatic responses (including libretti) and the effects of their fidelity to -- and divergence from -- the original play-texts, especially with regard to the way in which they enhance or diminish issues raised by Shakespeare, alter the dramatic thrust of the plays, and/or change the importance or the nature of principal or major secondary roles. Performance history and production recovery/reconstruction are related concerns .

No. 2.2. Moving around the Mediterranean in the Plays of Shakespeare and his Contemporaries.
Leaders: Anthony Parr (University of the Western Cape, South Africa) and Chong Zhang (Nanjing University, China)

The seminar will examine the representation in English Renaissance drama of travel, exotic spaces and cultural encounter in the Mediterranean world.  Participants are invited to address topics such as: the staging of travels and voyages, the setting of plays in Mediterranean locations, the portrayal of contemporary geo-political struggles in the region, the ways in which distinct areas are represented in drama, and so on. We also welcome papers that reflect on the implications of 'travel' material for narrative and dramatic form; on the audiences for such plays; and on the role played by public stages in shaping English attitudes to the foreign.  An instructive comparison would be with drama from other regions which brings a different perspective to bear on the Mediterranean world.

No. 2.3. Messengers and Communication in Shakespearian and Renaissance Drama.
Leaders: Lloyd Davis (University of Queensland, Australia) and Michael Dobson (Roehampton Institute, London, UK); Respondent: Philippa Kelly (Australian Defence Force Academy, University of New South Wales, Australia)

This seminar will explore the social-historical conditions informing representations of communication and travel in Shakespearian drama. It will examine the ways in which Shakespeare and others stage the interplay among commissioning, delivering and interpreting messages, shifts in location and context realized by travel, and personal and social relations. The seminar leaders seek papers that analyse and interpret a wide range of communicational genres, from personal to political, economic, colonial, sexual and gendered exchange. The dramatic significance of messages and travel make the plays crucial texts for understanding early modern communications,   transport and the various relations they construct and reveal.

No. 2.4. Shakespeare in Non-Anglophone Countries.
Leaders: Sukanta Chaudhuri (Jadavpur University, India) and Chee Seng Lim (University of Malaya, Malaysia)

The cultivation of Shakespeare in non-Anglophone countries has acquired a new importance in recent years. Serious attention is being paid to translations, appropriations and critiques of Shakespeare in these countries, and to their cultural absorption  of Shakespeare generally. However, this new interest can impose cultural stereotypes, even a ghetto mentality or neo-colonial segregation. Non-Anglophone Shakespearians may confine themselves to these dispersions, eschewing direct engagement with Shakespeare's text and times, or other geographically non-specific issues that still constitute 'mainstream' Shakespeare studies. The dilemma operates both in pedagogy and in the wider cultural field. This seminar intends to address both sides of the debate.

No. 2.5. "Here I am...yet cannot hold this visible shape": Early Modern Man.
Leaders: Bruce Smith (Georgetown University, USA) and Martin Orkin (University of Haifa, Israel); Respondent: Avraham Oz (Universities of Haifa and Tel Aviv).

This seminar hopes to complement feminist projects by exploring, against  assumptions about a uniform and consistent patriarchy, the possibility of  heterogeneity in constructions of masculinity in Shakespeare's plays and/or those of his contemporaries. Concern with masculinity may involve a wide range of perspectives including subjectivity, sexuality, the body, gender, transgression. How does this concern intersect with questions of nation, cultural difference, twentieth-century notions of masculinity? Is the masculinity represented in Shakespeare's plays located in Mediterranean countries different from Shakespeare's other plays or those of his contemporaries? How do countries in the Mediterranean now read Shakespeare's construction of 'man'?.

No. 2.6.  Shakespeare's Nineteenth-century Performers.
Leaders: Gail Marshall (University of Leeds, UK) and Mariangela Tempera (University of Ferrara)

Shakespeare's renown in the nineteenth century is profoundly bound up with that of his performers, primarily responsible as these actors often were for editing and production decisions.  This seminar aims to examine the specific contribution made both to Shakespearean stage productions and to the Shakespeare-phenomenon by 'mediterranean' performers, the most internationally-renowned of whom are Ristori, Salvini, Bernhardt and Duse. Issues to be considered might include those of translation (both cultural and linguistic), the nature of the relationship between performer and playwright, Shakespeare's intervention in European repertoires and stage-practices,  and the broader cultural resonances of specific performers' interpretations of Shakespeare.

No. 2.7. Theory and Methodology in Authorship/Attribution Studies.
Leaders: Jonathan Hope (Middlesex University, UK) and David Kathman (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Despite several recent well-known controversies, the field of authorship and attribution studies remains fragmented.  Methodologies are typically associated with a particular authorship claim, and often stand or fall on that claim, rather than being assessed on their own merits.  Furthermore, scholars working in the field have tended not to engage with the theoretical approaches to 'authorship' current in literary studies.  Rather than retread debates about specific texts, this seminar aims to provide a forum for authorship scholars to debate general principles of methodology, and for attribution and literary scholars to debate their often very different notions of what 'authorship' is, with particular reference to Shakespeare's plays.

No. 2.8. Creative and Critical Appropriations of Shakespeare.
Leaders: Sonia Massai (St Mary's, Strawberry Hill, University of Surrey, UK) and Barbara Sebek (Colorado State University, USA)

Engaging recent work that regards performances and adaptations as critical appropriations on a level with materialist and/or post-structuralist critical analyses, this seminar invites papers that analyse how a particular production or adaptation speaks to the distinctive interests or perspectives of a given audience. Participants may focus on a stage or film appropriation, drawn from any period -- Restoration and early Augustan, Victorian, twentieth-century, etc.  Papers should reflect on how the writers’ own critical practices speak to a particular set of interests, or wrestle with the premise that all creative appropriations are ‘interested’ ones.  We also invite papers that challenge or problematise this premise.


No. 3.1. Staging the Boundaries of Law in Early Modern Drama: English Dramatic Presentations of Continental European Justice.
Leaders: B. J. Sokol (Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK) and Barbara I. Kreps (University of Pisa, Italy)

Many conflicts represented by Shakespeare and contemporary dramatists involve legal issues such as inheritance, bastardy, defamation, wardship, marriage-formation, women's  property  rights, rape, adultery, mercantile law, larceny, witchcraft, debt, torture, murder, treason.  During the early modern period English law increasingly differed from other European legal systems.  To what extent do plays set outside of England show independence of the Common Law system, or imaginative freedom from any specific legal system? Papers might for instance compare English and continental treatments of specific legal topics, discuss whether English law stands behind plays set in Mediterranean countries, or investigate staging of justice in relation to issues in real legal systems.

No. 3.2. Shakespeare’s Illyrias: Heterotopies, Identities, (Counter)histories.
Leaders: Mladen Engelsfeld  (University of Zagreb, Croatia) and Martin Procházka (Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)

The seminar will discuss ‘other spaces’ in several Shakespeare's plays vaguely located  in the Mediterranean (Twelfth Night, The Winter’s Tale, The  Tempest) and in related plays situated elsewhere (As You Like It, Measure for Measure, etc.). It will distinguish between Illyrias (and Shakespeare's Illyrias) as geographical and historical loci and as themes disclosing a specific status of human existence and theatre action. While the former topic opens up a field for a more traditional research focusing on the ancient, medieval and Renaissance topography and history of the regions in question (Croatia including Dalmatia / Albania), their relations to Bohemia (the legendary founder of the Czech nation was called "Illyriae Dux") and their possible knowledge in England of Shakespeare's time, the latter topic provides opportunities to discuss Shakespeare's plays in relation to diverse notions of the pastoral and utopia and to novel and other non-dramatic genres.

No. 3.3. Re-framing Othello: Contexts, Para-texts, and Critical New Directions.
Leaders: Michael Neill (University of Auckland, New Zealand) and Edward Pechter (Concordia University, Canada)

Othello, a play set in the Mediterranean, has a special contemporary appeal, as evidenced not merely by the amount of critical attention recently lavished upon it, but by the way in which its narrative has been reworked by a remarkable range of contemporary novelists and playwrights from Tayeb Salih and Murray Carlin to Salman Rushdie and Caryl Phillips -- not to mention the authors of the musical 'Catch My Soul'.  Yet the historicist bent of much current criticism has also reminded us that, as the artefact of a culture very different from our own, Othello’s concerns are bound to be remote from, if not discontinuous with, current concerns.  This seminar invites submissions addressed to either of these apparently contradictory kinds of interest, or  to the special problems associated with their convergence.

No. 3.4. Revenge as a Mediterranean Phenomenon Before and After Hamlet.
Leaders: Carla Dente (University of Pisa, Italy) and Ann Thompson (King's College, University of London, UK)

This seminar invites short papers on any configuration of its three defining terms: revenge, the Mediterranean and Hamlet.  Topics might include: the perception of revenge as a Mediterranean phenomenon by Shakespeare and other English authors; the historical reality of revenge in England and in Mediterranean countries; the specific influence of Hamlet on later revenge narratives; revenge and its geographical/cultural connotations in other works by Shakespeare; the significance of the Mediterranean in academic discussions of the revenge genre.

No. 3.5. Shakespeare and Montaigne Revisited.
Leaders: Tom Bishop (Case Western Reserve University, USA) and Peter Holbrook (University of Queensland, Australia); Respondent: Lars Engle (University of Tulsa, USA)

Any aspect of the relation between Shakespeare and Montaigne will be considered, and the Essais analysed not merely as a Shakespearean source but as a potentially significant context for Shakespeare generally. In what ways can Shakespeare be usefully compared with Montaigne, given that the Essais are products of cultured leisure while the plays are residues of  complex social negotiation? Themes for discussion may include: identity and subjectivity; cultural difference and the early modern anthropological mind; scepticism, empiricism, naturalism; religious belief and unbelief; ethics; conceptualizations of 'philosophy'; the modernity of Shakespeare and Montaigne; Shakespeare's reading; the nature of a 'source'; the difficulties (and usefulness) of drawing connections between Shakespeare and 'thinkers'.

No. 3.6.  Mediating the Mediterranean in the Drama of Shakespeare and his Contemporaries.
Leaders: Ton Hoenselaars (Utrecht University, The Netherlands) and Virginia Mason Vaughan (Clark University, USA)

This seminar takes its cue from Fernand Braudel's description of the Mediterranean as an area which ‘has no unity but that created by the movements of men, the relationships they imply, and the routes they follow’. We invite papers that address the continuing formation and reformulation of cultural identities in the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, with a special emphasis on the formative impact of views of gender, race, religion, or ethics in the broadest sense. We welcome attempts to relate Shakespeare's representation of island identities, ethnic encounters, denominational conflicts, travel experiences and such like, with the ways in which such experiences were conveyed by his fellow dramatists. Comparisons between the experience of the Mediterranean and that of, say, the North Sea basin will enhance the discussion. We impose no limitations on the theoretical approach of the papers.

No. 3.7. Shakespeare’s Biography.
Leaders: E.A.J. Honigmann (University of Newcastle, UK) and Lois Potter (University of Delaware, USA)

The seminar will concern itself with Shakespeare, his family and associates, i.e. with the great variety of biographical problems, and perhaps with biographical method in recent Lives. It may include papers on Shakespeare’s personality, development, religion, his attitude to other writers, theirs to him, the dating of the plays and poems, and, if possible, things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme by previous biographers.

No. 3.8. Editing Shakespeare's Mediterranean Plays.
Leaders: Jay Halio (University of Delaware, USA) and Charles Whitworth (University of Montpellier, France)

This seminar on editing and textual criticism will focus on a selection of Shakespeare's plays which have a Mediterranean setting, and in which that setting is particularly prominent. We have selected plays whose earliest texts are of various provenance and which pose a range of problems and questions, not only for editors but also for commentators and annotators (realizing that the same person will frequently be wearing all of those hats). We invite papers on the following works, with some reference to textual/editorial matters: The Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, Pericles, The Tempest. Contributions on editorial matters which deal primarily or exclusively with other 'Mediterranean' plays may be considered --  but be prepared to defend your choice.


No. 4.1. Machiavelli in Shakespeare and Early Modern English Playwrights up to 1642.
Leaders: Sergio Mazzarelli (Kwassui Women's College, Nagasaki, Japan) and Martin Wiggins (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, UK)

This seminar invites participants to reassess the complex ways in which Shakespeare and other early modern English playwrights responded to Machiavelli's revolutionary ideas. For example, how did they interpret Machiavelli's insights into the theatricality of power? Was the stage Machiavel simply the product of a colossal misreading of Machiavelli, as most historians of political thought seem to believe? How could the general execration of the Machiavel coexist with the celebration of heroic figures, such as Henry V, who employed Machiavellian  means to achieve their goals?
Papers may compare themes, concepts, and rhetorical strategies occurring in  Machiavelli's works with those found in early modern English plays.  It is anticipated that most contributions will deal with Elizabethan and Jacobean dramatists, though other proposals will be carefully considered.

No. 4.2. Venice and English Identity in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries.
Leaders: David C. McPherson (University of New Mexico, USA) and J.R. Mulryne (University of Warwick, UK)

Though in decline by the end of the sixteenth century, Venice and the myths and stereotypes attached to it continued to exercise a fascination for English commentators and playwrights. This seminar will centre on the ways in which English writers explored English identities by using various stereotypes of Venice.

No. 4.3. Shakespeare and the Mediterranean: The "Non-European" Edge.
Leaders: Emily Bartels (Rutgers University, USA) and Bulent Bozkurt (Bilkent University, Turkey)

 This seminar will explore Shakespeare's representation of the non-European worlds (of Africa and the East) that define and shape a Mediterranean culture.  We will question how the Mediterranean is bounded as an economic, political, ideological, cultural, and dramatic space and will consider how its networks complicate the differentiation between the non-European and the European as well as between various sectors of the non-European.  We will also examine the ways that  Shakespeare defines and positions England in relation to these worlds.  Papers may focus on any particular region or move, more broadly or theoretically, across relevant terrains.

No. 4.4. Shakespeare's Narrative Poems.
Leaders: Christa Jansohn (University of Bonn, Germany) and Georgianna Ziegler (Folger Shakespeare Library, USA).

This seminar proposes to take a fresh look at Shakespeare's three narrative
poems: Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece, and A Lover's Complaint.  We
invite participants to explore these texts in ways that we hope will lead to informative discussion: questions of gender and/or of love, desire and rape; the relation of these poems to other plays and poems of the time or to other works by Shakespeare; the reception of these poems in art, music and translation or in different periods (18th century, 19th century, etc.); the material text and its readership; dramatic dimensions of the poems; the poems in performance.

No. 4.5.  Spain and Early Modern Drama.
Leaders: Janet Clare (University College Dublin, Ireland) and Hiroshi Ozawa (Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan)

This seminar will address the inter-relationship between drama and nation.
We hope to attract a broad range of papers exploring the impact on Renaissance and early modern drama of historic and cultural exchanges between England and Spain. This will include questions relating to national identities, comparative studies of significant plays and cross-cultural influences on dramatic aesthetics and theatre production. Papers might also consider how political and religious pressures of the period shaped the representation of the 'other' in both Spanish and English drama.

No. 4.6. www.shakespeare.com.
Leaders: Susan Bennett (University of Calgary, Canada) and Christie Carson (Royal Holloway College, University of London, UK)

There has been a significant and exciting adoption of new technologies in the production of scholarly research and teaching tools for the study of Shakespeare. Yet it is our belief that the potential of these new technologies has not yet been tested in terms of the ways in which they might expand, revise and challenge the ways we research and teach the plays. Our seminar seeks to bring together participants from different settings and locations (the academy, the archive, the theatre, the commercial sector) to discuss and demonstrate some of the most innovative digitally-based research/teaching materials available; to criticize their integrity, usefulness and credentials and to speculate about future developments in this area.

No. 4.7. Commedia dell'arte and the Performance of Shakespeare.
Leaders: Andrew Grewar (University of Fort Hare, South Africa) and Stephen Hazell (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

This topic will be explored through both academic papers and a practical workshop. Papers can explore any aspect of the way in which the commedia dell'arte may have contributed to performance of Shakespeare's plays. The workshop is expected to include presentation of scene-work from Love's Labour's Lost, and an experimental section on commedia methods applied to scenes from a play not normally associated with commedia influence.

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