COLLECTION: Shakespeare: Institutional Discourse, Decadence, and Decorum.

full name / name of organization: 
Jeffrey Kahan/University of La Verne

Whether dealing with Shakespearean chotchkies, comic books, adult films, alternative authorship candidates, canonical additions, queer studies, amateur stagings, self-published studies, or just a general celebration of the tacky, a new generation of Shakespeareans seems intent on pushing the boundaries of the field. We might also assume that from time to time the field pushes back. This collection [series?] explores whether there are still limits to our discourse. How does the field regulate and renew itself? What now constitutes Shakespearean misappropriation? Are there any topics or approaches that remain unspeakable, unprintable, or inexplicable?
I suggest that this collection consider issues of academic decorum or dissect past studies that seem (or that have seemed) to be mad, bad, and dangerous to know. It is my contention that looking at transgressional practices can make us more aware of the limitations of our critical approaches. As Ludwig Wittgenstein reminds us, people who create a theory have to do some hard thinking, but practitioners of a theory have only to follow the rules: "We got to know the nature of calculating by learning to calculate . . . If you demand a rule from which it follows that there can't have been a miscalculation," then you can never be wrong about what you are doing, so long as there are enough people doing exactly the same thing in exactly the same way.
We have interest from one, major academic press but can proceed no further without a detailed proposal.
Please send abstracts of approx.. 500 words to Jeffrey Kahan, with the subject line "Shakespeare: Institutional Discourse, Decadence, and Decorum." Deadline for abstracts, December 1, 2013.