Contemporary Shakespeare Conference 14-16 June 2012

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University of Hildesheim, Germany

Prof. Dr. Stefani Brusberg-Kiermeier and her team look forward to welcoming you to this international conference at Hildesheim University from 14-16 June 2012. Scholars and theatre professionals will discuss Shakespeare's impact on culture and literature today. A variety of well-known keynote speakers will provide important insights into Shakespeare's significance for us and the enormous scope of meaning of his works. All participants are asked to join our negotiations of the Bard's works. If you would like to practice your voice and your acting or your teaching skills, please enroll for one of our workshops.

We invite contributions to the following four thematical sections which deal with special topical aspects of Shakespeare's works. Each section will consist of up to 5 speakers. Papers are to be circulated among the speakers of a section before the conference. Each speaker will have circa 15 minutes to present their theses in order to allow enough time for discussion. Please send your abstract of max. 300 words directly to the respective convenor.

Section I
"Shakespeare's Sisters"

This section is dedicated to female writers who published during the same period of time as Shakespeare or later. All papers are welcome that focus on a woman writer who struggled to establish herself as a writer in early modern times or who wrote later and claimed to have been influenced by Shakespeare's poetry or drama. Alternatively, speakers might wish to compare a female writer's work with Shakespeare's. For this section, please send your abstract of max. 300 words to Jun.-Prof. Dr. Ulrike Tancke tancke[at] by 15th April 2012.

Section II
"Body = Mind/ Mind = Body: 'Naturalist' Shakespeare Studies"

One of the more controversial trends in current literary scholarship is what could be called an emergent "naturalism." The perspectives that can be subsumed under this label use the insights from extraliterary disciplines such as the cognitive and neurosciences, anthropology and ethology as well as evolutionary biology and psychology, in order to explore how literary and cultural texts reflect upon and make use of the adaptive cognitive and emotional predispositions of human beings (what for want of a less troubled term could be called "human nature"). Shakespeare scholarship is no exception. The last decade has seen the publication of Mary Thomas Crane's seminal Shakespeare's Brain (2000), Patrick Colm Hogan's and Lalita Pandit's special issue of College Literature on the topic of "Cognitive Shakespeare in the Age of Neuroscience" (2006) and Marcus Nordlund's Shakespeare and the Nature of Love (2007), which illustrate from related but ultimately diverging angles how Shakespeare makes use of and appeals to human nature, or holds up the mirror to it. For this section, please send your abstract of max. 300 words to Prof. Dr. Anja Müller-Wood: wood[at] by 15th April 2012.

Section III and IV
"Shakespeare in Performance"

Section III - "Shakespeare on Stage"
PD Dr. Christiane Schlote
Section IV - "Shakespeare on Screen"
Prof. Dr. Stefani Brusberg-Kiermeier

As Shakespearean drama was written for the stage, the history of Shakespeare's plays runs parallel to a considerable extent to the history of their performance. These two sections are dedicated to the great scope of productions of the Bard's works on stage and on screen. We invite papers on all stage or screen productions, past and present, that are remarkable for any variety of reasons. Papers in both sections might focus on national, European or international interpretations of Shakespeare's plays or might wish to explore particular achievements by selected companies, directors or actors.

Contributors to the Section "Shakespeare on Stage" might wish to draw attention to the special requirements of the Renaissance stage, Shakespeare's particular stagecraft or the achievements of past and contemporary theatre companies. Papers are also invited on topics including but not limited to: transcultural and postcolonial adaptations, global production and reception perspectives, colour-blind casting, all-female or all-male casts. For this section, please send your abstract of max. 300 words to cschlote[at] by 15th April 2012.

Papers in the Section "Shakespeare on Screen" might refer to the history of Shakespeare film productions and focus on silent film, cinematic or television versions of Shakespeare's works. Speakers might wish to analyse cinematic means of expression in general or with regard to special filmmakers or fashions, such as the modes and codes of expressionist cinema, British heritage or Hollywood film. For this section, please send your abstract of max. 300 words to brusberg[at] by 15th April 2012.

At our Contemporary Shakespeare conference at Hildesheim University this summer we would like to give post graduates the opportunity to present their work and to practice academic discourse with peers. For this purpose we are offering a post graduate forum on Saturday, June 16 from 15.30 - 17.30 hrs., directly after the main conference.

We are interested in papers concerned with contemporary versions, readings, or interpretations of Shakespeare's work. How is it represented and wherein lies its relevance today, for example in modern media- or entertainment contexts? Presentations should not be longer than 15 minutes and there will be 5 minutes for questions. Please submit your abstract of 300 words electronically as word documents or pdfs to Heidi Schorr at schorr[at] by 15th April 2012.

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