"Work, work your thoughts": Henry V revisited

deadline for submissions: 
July 10, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Sophie Chiari, Sophie Lemercier-Goddard PUBP - ENS Lyon/Université Clermont Auvergne
contact email: 

"Work, work your thoughts": Henry V revisited

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!": Harry of England's rallying cry has never ceased to resonate with forceful energy to the ears of spectators far beyond the backdrop of the Anglo-French Hundred Years' War. The climax of Shakespeare's two tetralogies, which also coincided with the opening of the newly-built Globe theatre in the summer of 1599, Henry V has galvanized its audiences with its vibrant chorus and its battle scenes alike, while also exploring the heroic self-fashioning of a Christian king who may or may not be the noble soul that he aspires to be. Significantly, Shakespeare’s dramatic piece was also performed at court during the 1604/1605 Christmas season: it was then the only history play of the King's Men's repertoire.

Henry V has often been regarded as a patriotic work. Yet for all its emphasis on camaraderie, honour, power and ‘vasty’ ambition, many of its scenes resound with the heart-rending echoes of personal loss and political division. The compelling rhetoric, variety of language, violent action, together with the complex socio-political issues at work in this history play, account for its global popularity in a post-Brexit world, on ‘unworthy scaffold[s]’ as much as on the Hollywood screen.

Following the recent inclusion of Henry V in the Agrégation syllabus in France (2021-2022), our publisher, Presses Universitaires Blaise Pascal, seeks to provide new perspectives on the play that will question issues relating to politics, gender, class, ethnicities, aesthetics, textuality, materiality, performance and adaptation. Editors welcome contributions on a variety of approaches highlighting the richness of the play and reflecting recent critical trends in early modern drama studies. 

Contributors are invited to send their proposals (300-word abstract) along with a short bio-bibliography by July 10th, to Sophie Chiari (sophie.chiari@orange.fr) and Sophie Lemercier-Goddard (Sophie.Lemercier-Goddard@ens-lyon.fr). They will be notified by July 20th.

Full chapters due by January 10th, 2021.