Early Modern Reception of Shakespeare on the Continent in Context; 12-15 November 2009

full name / name of organization: 
Pavel Drábek / Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
contact email: 

An international seminar on
Early Modern Reception of Shakespeare on the Continent in Context
Masaryk University (Faculty of Arts), Brno, Czech Republic
12-15 November 2009

As early as 1585, professional English travelling players started performing in Europe, an activity lasting well over a century and one that turned out to be crucial for European drama. Shakespeare's plays occupied an important position in the itinerant repertory, complementing the collateral literary influences that Shakespeare's works had on early modern Europe. This crucial moment in cultural, literary and theatre history has been studied by a number of influential scholars since the middle of the 19th century, most importantly by Albert Cohn, Anna Baesecke, Ernest Brennecke, Otto G. Schindler, Adolf Scherl, Bärbel Rudin, Jerzy Limon, and M. A. Katritzky. It may also be illustrated that the influences were reverse, and moreover, that originally Continental matter was later brought back by the English travelling players and by books to the Continent.

The seminar, consisting of invited lectures as well as incoming papers, is aimed at presenting new findings as well as the current state of knowledge of the early modern continental influence of Shakespeare, the context in which these processes take place, and offering possible approaches and research opportunities in further investigation of the field – papers on the diaspora of Italian and other travelling actors and performers are welcome, as well as on literary and intellectual influences. Relating to the current research in transnational theatrical exchange (the Theater Without Borders research group, the EuroDrama research team) and early modern theatre history of Central Europe (Theatre Institute, Prague), the seminar is envisioned to stimulate further academic interest, especially in the Czech lands where the topic has not yet been sufficiently addressed.

Invited lecturers (confirmed to date): M.A. Katritzky, Richard Andrews, Christian Billing

Call for papers The papers may address a variety of topics that corroborate a contextual perspective of the early modern European theatre, performance, literature and culture that are relevant to the reception of Shakespeare's (and other English) dramatic works. Of interest are also dramatic and literary works that were not influenced by Shakespeare but deal with the same material (story, plot elements), thus preparing a way for the reception. As the seminar will be oriented both towards the scholarly participants as well as students, contextual papers are welcomed.

Deadline for proposals (200 words): 31 August 2009

Deadline for auditors' applications: 15 October 2009

Seminar languages: English, German (detailed synopses of papers in English/German will be provided)

Seminar convenor: Dr Pavel Drábek (drabek@phil.muni.cz)

Accommodation: accommodation will be arranged in a partner hotel nearby for approximately 40 EUR/night (incl. breakfast)

Seminar fee: 75 EUR (students 50 EUR)