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CFP KNOWN AND IMAGINED COMMUNITIES IN THE RENAISSANCE

March 25, 2011

SINRS ONE-DAY SYMPOSIUM

IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE BRITISH SHAKESPEARE ASSOCIATION KNOWN AND IMAGINED COMMUNITIES IN THE RENAISSANCE Saturday, July 16, 2011. AT UNIVERSITY OF STIRLING CALL FOR PAPERS I’th’ commonwealth I would by contraries Execute all things. For no kind of traffic Would I admit, no name of magistrate; Letters should not be known; riches, poverty And use of service, none; contract, succession, Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none; No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil; No occupation, all men idle, all; And women too – but innocent and pure; No sovereignty – ( The Tempest , 2.1.147-157) The debate about different kinds of society, both real and fictional, was intense and wide-ranging during the 16th century and into the 17th century. In addition to the two basic types of social formation that actually existed – absolute monarchy and republic – there were, from Sir Thomas More’s Utopia onwards, accounts of ‘fictional’ communities of the kind envisaged by Shakespeare’s Gonzalo in The Tempest. This symposium aims to address the various kinds of representation of actually existing communities, covering descriptions in texts such as Sir Thomas Smith’s De Republica Anglorum, Jean Bodin’s Six Books of the Commonwealth, or Fulk Greville’s A Treatise on Monarchy, and representations in Shakespeare’s Roman plays, and those of Jonson, and other early 17th century contemporaries, of the various stages and kinds of political formation from tyranny to empire; or in Shakespeare’s two Venetian plays, The Merchant of Venice and Othello, and Jonson’s Volpone, of republicanism. Questions such as: what binds a community together; how are its values formulated and transmitted; to what extent are these ties dependent upon ‘language’ and upon an ‘imagined’ collectivity of the kind proposed by commentators such as Benedict Anderson, will form part of the discussion. But the symposium will also consider ‘imagined’ communities in the fully fictional sense of the term and as exemplified in texts such as More’s Utopia but extended to early 17 th century writers of utopian fiction. For the purposes of the symposium the terminus ad quem will be the writings of Milton and Thomas Hobbes. Papers are invited for a one-day symposium on ‘Known and Imagined Communities in the Renaissance’, and proposals should be submitted to the following address by Monday 30 May, 2011; papers should be no longer than 15 mins. duration (10pp. double-spaced typed A4):

Professor J. Drakakis

Department of English Studies

University of Stirling

Stirling FK9 4LA

Scotland

 

Email: jd1@stir.ac.uk

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