[UPDATE] Shakespeare and the Natural World, March 29-31, 2012 (Abstracts due October 1, 2011)
Recently Shakespeare studies have taken a "natural" turn. With the advent of ecocriticism and posthumanist thinking, a "green Shakespeare" has begun to emerge. The purpose of this conference is to consider the construction, politics, and history of the trope of "nature," both in Shakespeare's works and in current Shakespeare scholarship. Papers for this conference may consider animal studies, early modern zoology, bio-politics, climate theory, geohumoralism, food, medicine, botany, demonology, and more. Our aim will be to discuss a variety of questions: What constitutes early modern environmental studies? How did early modern writers define "nature," as opposed to supernature, or preternature, or culture? In what ways did travel, global exchanges, or economic shifts affect the construction of early modern "nature"? What role does gender play in conceptions of "nature"? What was natural knowledge? Who had access to it? How do these questions, and others, inform the worlds represented in Shakespeare's plays?