Archive for April, 2012


Shakespeare et les arts de la table

April 30, 2012

Shakespeare et les arts de la table has now been published online here. The collection includes an essay by Johann Gregory (Cardiff University) on “visualising expectations as a matter of taste”, following research in Cardiff University’s Special Collections and Archives (SCOLAR) into Healthy Reading 1590-1690.

‘Arts of the table are not far removed from performing arts. The table is a stage. It has its actors, its backstage, its sets, its props, its rules, its mises en scène, its lighting and musical effects. In English, “boards” can refer both to a table and a stage — either of which can indifferently be designated by “tréteaux” (trestles) in French. The early modern stage abundantly feeds on this spectacular and festive matter….

Ken Albala’s and Gilly Lehmann’s papers are mouth-watering appetizers to this collection. They show the existence of a “culinary style” in Elizabethan times through recipes, ingredients and food metaphors. David B. Goldstein, Johann Gregory and Tobias Döring analyse Shakespeare’s plays through a culinary prism: eating, digesting/bloating and belching. Natalia Brzozowska et Imke Pannen study the perversion of the arts of the table in some bloody banquets. Finally, Joanne Vine’s essay questions the lack of scenes representing eating and drinking in Ben Jonson’s plays for the Children of the Revels, which is particularly uncommon for such a “bon vivant”.’ Read the rest of the foreword here.


British Academy Annual Shakespeare Lecture This Week

April 29, 2012

Shakespeare and the Reformation

Professor Brian Cummings

Tuesday 1 May 2012, 6.00pm
The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH

Religion is the last great mystery of Shakespeare studies. For most of the last century he was regarded as a quintessentially secular author, and attributing religious belief to him was a kind of blasphemy. In the past few years a counter-argument has been made, associating Shakespeare with the recusant Catholicism of Elizabethan England. Such issues have run aground in the frustrating remains of his personal biography. This lecture asks whether we could take a different approach to the legacy of the Reformation in Shakespeare. Rather than seeking the miasma of individual faith as a key to dramatic meaning, it investigates instead the burden of religious change and controversy on fundamental questions of identity and the human body. Looking at a variety of different plays, it shows how the transformations in the rituals of everyday life are constantly present in the dynamic forces of Shakespeare’s theatre in performance.

About the Speaker
Brian Cummings is Professor of English at the University of Sussex and was founding Director of the Centre for Early Modern Studies, 2004-8. He was previously Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and has held visiting fellowships in California and in Munich. His books include The Literary Culture of the Reformation: Grammar and Grace (OUP, 2002), and The Book of Common Prayer: the Texts of 1549, 1559, and 1662 (OUP, 2011).  Currently, he holds a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship for 2009-12, researching his next book, The Confessions of Shakespeare. In 2012 he will give the Clarendon Lectures at Oxford University on ‘Bibliophobia’.

Find out more here:

There will also be a panel discussion on April 30th devoted to Ben Jonson: A Re-assessment – now fully booked.


CFP BritGrad Shakespeare Conference Reminder

April 25, 2012

A reminder just in from BritGrad:

We invite graduate students with interests in both Shakespeare and Renaissance studies to join us in June for the Fourteenth Annual British Graduate Conference.

The interdisciplinary conference provides a friendly but stimulating academic forum in which graduate students from all over the world can present their research and meet together in an active centre of Shakespeare research: Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Undergraduate students in their final two years of study are also invited to attend the conference as auditors.

The conference will feature talks by Peter Holland (Notre Dame), Tiffany Stern (Oxford), Paul Menzer (Mary Baldwin), and Katherine Duncan-Jones (Oxford). Delegates also have the opportunity to attend the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Richard III, part of the World Shakespeare Festival, at a group-booking price. Lunch will be provided on each day, and we will be hosting a dance and a drinks reception for the delegates.

We invite abstracts of approximately 200 words for papers twenty minutes in length (3,000 words or less) on subjects relating to Shakespeare and Renaissance studies. Delegates wishing to give papers must register by Friday 4th May, 2012. Due to the growing success of this annual conference, we strongly encourage early registration to ensure a place on the conference programme.

Download the pdf here:



Cardiff Shakespeare Events This Week

April 23, 2012

Coinciding with Shakespeare’s official birthday today, there are a number of Shakespeare events coming up in Cardiff.

The Shakespeare’s Globe  Henry V will be playing at Cardiff’s New Theatre: See here.

The Lisvane Players in Cardiff will have a special RSC Open Stages Shakespeare performance: See here.

And, finally, Eric Langley will be coming from Royal Holloway on Thursday (26th) to give a paper on “A Lucretian Comedy of Errors” for Cardiff University’s Research Seminar – MEMORI.

Follow @CardiffShakes


CFP Bonds, Lies, and Circumstances: Discourses of Truth-Telling in the Renaissance

April 20, 2012

This just in from St Andrews:

Bonds, Lies, and Circumstances: Discourses of Truth-Telling in the Renaissance

 An International and Interdisciplinary Conference

21st – 23rd March, 2013

School of English, University of St Andrews

 If a lie had no more faces but one, as truth had, we should be in farre better termes than we are: For whatsoever a lier should say, we would take it in a contrarie sense. But the opposite of truth has many shapes, and an undefinite field.

Michel de Montaigne, ‘Of Lyers’ (Florio translation -1603)

Can we say that truth has ‘no more faces than one’? Montaigne implies that human relationships with truth are straightforward, whereas our attitudes towards falsehood are complicated by its multiplicity. But how stable is the notion of ‘truth’? Does truth – like falsehood – appear in many forms, and if so, can we ever take it at face value?

Legal, emotional, and spiritual concerns — all vital to truth-telling discourses — are intimately bound in the Renaissance. This conference offers a forum for the exploration of their intersections. The study of legal culture has become increasingly central to the analysis of early modern literary texts, and legal paradigms are inescapable when scholars turn their attention, as many have recently done, to the equivocal power of language to bind people together.  We find the legal value of such bonds – in the form of oaths, promises and contracts – going hand in hand with interpersonal relationships and their emotional and spiritual dimensions.

Our objective is to foster debate about the marriage between two clearly connected fields: Law and Literature; and the study of early modern emotion. How do these fields work together?  We form bonds; we tell lies; we search for and construct truths: but under what circumstances?

Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to:

– The connections between law, emotion, and obligation, and how the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries engage with these dynamics.

– The formation and evaluation of bonds in the early modern world.

– How public/private spaces affect attitudes towards truth-telling.

– The relationship between faith, truth, and honesty in the Renaissance.

– How belief and trust are generated.

– The binding power of language and rhetoric.

– Transmissions of knowledge, belief, and emotion.


Confirmed keynote speakers are:

John Kerrigan (Cambridge), on Bonds

Andrew Hadfield (Sussex), on Lies

Lorna Hutson (St Andrews), on Circumstances


Proposals for 20-minute papers should include an abstract (of no more than 200 words), 3 keywords, and 3 citations, and should be emailed to We are happy to consider proposals for panels; in the event that we are unable to accommodate the panel, papers will be considered on an individual basis.

All abstracts must be received by July 31st 2012.

We welcome proposals from researchers at all stages of their careers, working in departments of Art History, Comparative Literature, English, History, Languages, Law, Theology, and other relevant subject areas. General questions can be directed to the conference organizers – Rachel Holmes and Toria Johnson – at

In conjunction with the Centre for Mediaeval and Early Modern Law and Literature (CMEMLL), with generous support from the Society for Renaissance Studies.



Follow @CardiffShakes


April 19, 2012


Shakespeare’s All’s Well that Ends Well has long been classed as a ‘problem play’, uneven in tone and jarring in plot resolution. What if part of the ‘problem’ stems from collaboration? In an article just published in the Times Literary Supplement, Laurie Maguire and Emma Smith have advanced a bold new theory about the play’s authorship. You can find a footnoted version on the CEMS website which you can access here.

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Richard Wilson Shakespeare Lecture: Minding the gap in ‘The Winter’s Tale’

April 17, 2012

Professor Richard Wilson (Cardiff University) recently spoke at the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford (Birmingham University). His lecture was entitled:

Monstrous To Our Human Reason:

Minding the gap in ‘The Winter’s Tale’

The podcast of this lecture on Shakespeare and the Gothic can currently be heard and/or downloaded here.

Richard Wilson will be giving the plenary lecture at the International Shakespeare Conference in Stratford this year. His paper is entitled: ‘Like an Olympian Wrestling: Shakespeare’s Olympic game’


Shakespeare Association of America Conference

April 4, 2012

Professor Richard Wilson (Cardiff University) will be presenting a paper at this year’s Shakespeare Association of America conference in Boston (April 5-7th, 2012).

He will be speaking as part of a panel on “Shakespeare and the Political Aesthetic” organised by Professor Christopher Pye.

Richard Wilson’s paper is entitled: “Powerful to Araise King Pepin: Shakespeare’s Royal Touch”

Find out more about the conference here.


Cardiff Shakespeare Postgraduate Researchers

April 3, 2012

Spotlight on some current English Literature PhD students with a focus on Shakespeare at Cardiff University:

Michael Goodman

Johann Gregory

Étienne Poulard


See all the current and recent PhD topics in Cardiff English, Communication and Philosophy here.

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