CFP: [Renaissance] Collection: Renaissance in Film and Pop Culture

full name / name of organization: 
Gregory M. Colón Semenza
contact email: 

A Call for Papers for a New Collection of Essays:

Given the proliferation in recent years of work on Shakespeare on film and popular culture, it is
surprising to note how little attention has been paid either to popular engagements of the
Renaissance -- as an imagined historical period, culture, or concept -- or to popular adaptations
of non-Shakespearean Renaissance texts. The purpose of this collection will not be to shun
Shakespeare, of course, especially since many of the richest modern engagements of the
Renaissance have been inspired by his poems, plays, and historical legacy. Instead, _An Age for
All Time_ seeks to extend and apply the methods of pop-Shakespeare scholarship beyond
Shakespeare and into filmic and popular cultural confrontations with the history, thought, and
figures of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, including Shakespeare.

Rather than focusing on how particular literary texts or characters (_Hamlet_ or Hamlet) are taken
up in popular culture, this book will encourage readers to think about how the very concept of
Renaissance is adapted, appropriated, perpetuated, or transformed by modern popular cultural
texts of various kinds. Ranging from period-oriented films (_A Man for All Seasons_, the
Shakespeare films of Olivier), to films that appropriate Renaissance events and figures (_V for
Vendetta_, _The Filth and the Fury_), to television (_The Tudors_ or _Monty Python_), to popular
literature (Neil Gaiman, Peter Ackroyd), and music (Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan), the rich and varied
essays in this collection will focus both on how popular culture engages the Renaissance and
how our understanding of the Renaissance is influenced by popular culture. How are largely
period-specific concepts such as “Reformation” or “humanism” communicated visually or even
musically to modern audiences? In what ways have popular adaptations of Shakespearean drama
served to inform or infect wider popular ideas about what the Renaissance was actually like? And
how have these popular notions about the Renaissance, in turn, affected, limited, or enabled our
teaching, and our students’ learning, about early modern literature and/or history?

Please note that, based on essays I have received so far, I am especially interested in essays that
consider how major authors other than Shakespeare and Milton (such as Spenser and Marlowe)
are taken up by popular and mass cultural media.

Please email detailed abstracts and a c.v. to Greg Semenza at by
September 30, 2007.


Professor Gregory M. Colón Semenza
Director of English Graduate Studies
232 CLAS -- Unit 4025
215 Glenbrook Road
University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT 06269

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Received on Wed Aug 01 2007 - 08:50:14 EDT