2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. Rhodes College, through the bequest of Dr. Iris Annette Pearce, celebrates Shakespeare's quatercentenary anniversary with a free public symposium on the year 1616 on April 21-22, 2016:
Medieval drama taught its audiences not only about virtuous living but, more importantly, a good death and a joyful afterlife. Miracle plays re-played the most significant and most spectacular deaths known from the Gospels, while morality plays, such as Everyman, imagined the act of dying and the prospects for posthumous happiness of their main characters.
Kingston Shakespeare Seminar in Theory (KiSSiT), part of the London Graduate School, is a forum for research by postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and early career scholars with an interest in Shakespeare, philosophy and theory. The program is committed to thinking through Shakespeare about urgent contemporary issues in dialogue with the work of past and present philosophers—from Aristotle to Žižek.
Following the success of its conference on 'Shakespeare and Waste', Kingston Shakespeare Seminar in Theory seeks participants for a one-day conference on 'Shakespeare and the State of Exception' to be held on Saturday 19 December, 2015 at the Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames.
I am putting together a proposal for a collection of essays for the North American Literature and the Environment, 1600-1900 series for Ashgate. The book will focus on the 16th and 17th centuries, and particularly on how religious views of the period, be they Puritan or Church of England, for example, play a role in how the environment or the colonial enterprise is represented in the work(s) of an author or authors. I am also thinking of such representation in a way that can consider broader categories beyond just theology—gender, sexuality, race, ecocriticism, etc. Topics could include, but are not limited to:
How does a particular religious worldview influence a writer's representation of the North American environment?
Near the end of the Middle English romance Robert of Cisyle, the eponymous king—who has been punished for his pride by being made to serve as his own court's fool—acknowledges the error of his former ways: "For he ys a fole [. . .] / That turneth hys wytt unto folye" (CUL Ff. 2. 38, ll. 398–9). Such condemnations of fools and folly—in Robert of Cisyle, underwritten by the pope and an angel—in no way served to stem the tide of medieval and early modern interest in fools and folly. Literary evidence shows that many premodern writers and their audiences "turn[ed their] wytt vn to folye": fools filled the stage and page, pervading multiple literary genres.
In Material Ecocriticism, Serenella Iovino and Serpil Oppermann suggest that all matter is storied matter. This session seeks to open up new ways of reading allegorical figures with the insights and methodologies of new materialism. Dante and Aquinas' exegetical levels—literal to allegorical to tropological to anagogical—move increasingly up and away from the material ground on which the allegorical figure is built. This session asks panelists to focus their attention back on the literal: the base matter of the allegorical figure that is so often passed over for readings further up the exegetical chain.
Deadline for special session proposals/abstracts has been extended to Nov. 1st.
We invite 300-word abstracts/proposals treating of any aspect of medieval and renaissance culture or thought. Equally welcome are proposals/abstracts on music, art, history, architecture, literature, linguistics, religion, philosophy, theater, and dance.
The conference will be held on the beautiful campus of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, April 7-9, 2016.
Come and join this exciting gathering of scholars celebrating all things medieval and renaissance!
Dr. Darci Hill
Send all inquiries and proposals to:
The deadline for Special Sessions has been extended to November 1st for the Second International Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Thought. Send all proposals for a special session to the conference director, Dr. Darci Hill at
We invite 250-word proposals on all aspects of medieval and renaissance culture and thought from all disciplines. Equally welcome are proposals/abstracts on music, art, architecture, literature, linguistics, history, religion, philosophy, theater, and dance.
Dr. Darci Hill