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CFP: Shakespeare Institute Review – Death

May 16, 2012

The Shakespeare Institute Review is a new online academic journal, which is funded by the University of Birmingham College of Arts and Law. It is run by four research students at the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK.

Students at this institution, and on other postgraduate Shakespeare programmes, are invited and encouraged to contribute short papers for publication. Each issue of the journal will be themed.

We thought it exhilaratingly inappropriate, and so irresistible, to signal the birth of this journal with an issue looking at death.

Students are encouraged to submit papers, between 1,500 and 2,500 words, on topics relating to death, mortality and religion in Shakespeare’s plays, or elsewhere in the Early Modern period.

Possible topics might include, but are not restricted to:

  • Critical examinations of the way that various of Shakespeare’s characters deal with death, or die. This could include close-reading, comparative analysis, and analysis from a specific theoretical position (Marxist, feminist, etc.).
  • Historical studies of how mortality or religion was understood in the early Modern period, and of how Shakespeare makes use of (and plays off) those understandings in his plays.
  • Considerations of the political, ethical, religious, spiritual and existential significances of mortality or religion in the Early Modern period, and for Shakespeare’s characters.
  • Comparisons between how Shakespeare understands mortality, and how other creative artists and philosophers–-of Shakespeare’s time, or before, or after–-have understood it.
  • More intensely personal and experientially engaged writing on how Shakespeare’s plays have helped you deal with death–-with your own mortality, or with the death of people that you know. How does Shakespeare make you look at death, and is this vision comforting or distressing? Does Shakespeare get to the truth of death, for you, or not?
  • Reflections on metaphysical and spiritual truths that arise from Shakespeare’s plays.
  • More provocative reflections on how the writing that is produced by the Modern academy–-writing that is critical, theoretical, historical—does not deal adequately with death in Shakespeare’s plays, and suggestions as to how this inadequacy can be rectified.

Suggestions of other topics will be warmly received.

Papers should be submitted to shakesreview@gmail.com, with a deadline of 20 May 2012.

All submissions will be reviewed by the editorial board, and those submissions that are selected will be published in our first online issue. Please contact us for further information.

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