full name / name of organization:
Modern Language Association
DEADLINE: March 15, 2014
This panel seeks papers that consider Shaw in relationship to theory,
broadly construed. Papers are invited on Shaw's significance as a
theorist---of drama, of politics, of gender, of language--as well as on how
Shaw has been used, misused, quoted or misquoted, or otherwise adapted by
subsequent dramatic, political, literary, and gender theorists. Papers are
also invited that propose new readings of Shaw's plays and prose through
theoretical lenses, e.g. affect theory, trauma theory, media theory,
performance theory, among others.
Papers might consider if there is such a thing as a "Shavian" reading of a
text: did Shaw establish an analytical method or a sensibility that has been
useful to others? (For example, have Shaw's views on cutting plays, on
writing plays, and on publishing plays informed debates about theatrical
production and playwriting? Have Shaw's representations of female agency
enriched feminist discourse?)
Alternatively, papers might evaluate Shaw's legacy through his contributions
to other thinkers, movements, and disciplines. Developmental psychologist
Erik Erikson, for instance, took Shaw's account of his upbringing as a
founding example of adolescent self-fashioning. Philosopher and literary
critic Stanley Cavell positions Shaw as an advocate of "moral perfectionism"
alongside figures like Emerson and Nietzsche. Literary and social critic
Frederic Jameson has argued that Shaw was a founder of politically serious
science fiction. Scholar and journalist Germaine Greer has interpreted Shaw
as a sophistical pseudo-feminist. How have theorists from a variety of
fields appropriated Shaw, and how have their readings either opened up new
possibilities for understanding Shaw or (tactically) misconstrued his ideas?
Finally, papers might propose how recent theoretical trends can contribute
to the study of Shaw.
Please send questions and abstracts of around 250 words to
See www.shawsociety.org/Shaw-at-MLA-2015.htm for details and developments.