CFP Shakespeare Inside-out: Depth/Surface/MeaningMarch 10, 2011
5th Biennial British Shakespeare Association Conference
n behalf of the Board of Trustees and the BSA Events Committee, we are delighted to announce that the 5th Biennial British Shakespeare Association conference will take place at Lancaster University on 24th-26th February 2012. Building on the success of our previous conferences at King’s College, Warwick, Newcastle and De Monfort, this conference will provide an opportunity for Shakespeareans from a variety of backgrounds to come together and discuss their work. By moving the conference date to February, we are also able to celebrate the BSA’s 10th birthday. We very much look forward to working with Professor Alison Findlay and her team at the University of Lancaster on this major event for the British Shakespeare Association.
The title of the conference is Shakespeare Inside-out: Depth/Surface/Meaning. Shakespeare’s texts produce meaning by turning insides out. We are drawn into the plays and poems from the outside through surfaces: books, screens, words, objects, costumes, the surfaces of actors’ faces and bodies, retellings or adaptations, teaching spaces and theatres, and via our experiences of immediate effects like music, laughter, tears, movement. The texts, meanwhile, turn deep human questions, emotions, subjectivities outwards by projecting them as words and performance. This conference will ask how the relationship between surface and depth operates in Shakespeare’s work. How does it function in different types of performance practice from live theatre to film? In the traces of the past that have come down to us? And in our practices as teachers and critics? The conference will explore ‘the deep value of surfaces’ (Shusterman), the dynamic relationship between surface and depth across a range of practices: reading, watching, editing, teaching, performing.
The conference programme includes lectures, workshops, seminars and performances of Much Ado About Nothing at Lancaster Castle (and Love’s Labours’ Lost by Northern Broadsides). Speakers include Barrie Rutter (Northern Broadsides), Professor Jean E. Howard (Columbia University); and Professor R. S. White (Centre for Excellence for the Study of History of the Emotions, University of Western Australia).
How do rituals and ceremonies in Shakespeare work as superficial orderings of emotion and violence?
Do Shakespeare’s texts offer ‘deeper’ rewritings of source texts or do the inter-textual relationships themselves deserve more in-depth study than they have received to date?
How do adaptations or retellings of Shakespeare act as gateways to and from the texts?
Does music in Shakespearean performances add depth or is it the ‘icing on the cake’?
How much deeper can we dig behind the fairly sparse documentation of early modern theatre practices – playing and watching?
Does learning about Shakespeare happen on an immediately-measurable level or at more intangible cognitive, affective and spiritual levels or both at once?
Is it possible (or even desirable) to quantify what goes on as the result of a performance, a film, a teaching session?