CFP: [Renaissance] Call for Contributions to Special Issue of Journal

full name / name of organization: 
Dr Andy Mousley
contact email: 

Call for Essays: Special Issue of Shakespeare (the journal of the British
Shakespeare Association)
Deadline: March 31, 2008
Topic: Shakespeare and the Meaning of Life
Have specialisation and historicism killed off the existential
significance of Shakespeare’s work? Is the ‘meaning’ of Shakespeare now
only conceivable in culturally specific terms or can he still help us to
think about what it is to be human? The legacy of anti-essentialist
thinking within literary criticism and theory has made it difficult to
broach such questions, but if concepts of dehumanisation and alienation
are to retain any ethical force, then they demand our attention. The
traditional vocabulary of humanism may be embarrassed and exhausted, but
perhaps now is the time to reinvent a ‘humanist’ Shakespeare who
questions what is natural at the same time as he works against the total
alienation of human beings from themselves. Such a task seems especially
important given the enclaves which anti-humanist and humanist
perspectives have in recent years tended to form: the one (anti-humanism)
by caricaturing humanism as naïve and uncritical, the other (humanism) by
failing to deal adequately with the sceptical challenge and by ignoring
the albeit covert humanism of at least some of its antagonists.

Essays of approximately 6000 words might address (though not exclusively)
the following areas: past, present and/or possible future conceptions of
Shakespeare’s humanism; the relationship between historicist and humanist
approaches to Shakespeare; the nature of the existential questions that
Shakespeare can be seen as confronting; Shakespeare and current
scientific accounts of human nature; Shakespeare and ethics.

Please send submissions, by post or email attachment, to:
Dr Andy Mousley
Department of English
Faculty of Humanities
Clephan Building
De Montfort University
Leicester, UK

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Received on Mon Oct 08 2007 - 15:26:12 EDT