"Protean Shakespeare: Adapting, Tradapting, Performing Early Modern Plays" , (10/1/12-06/26-29/13), Montpellier, France

full name / name of organization: 
European Shakespeare Research Association
contact email: 

CFP:Panel: "Protean Shakespeare: Adapting, Tradapting, Performing Early Modern Plays"
Montpellier University, France, 26-29 June 2013
European Shakespeare Research Association International Colloquium

Pavel Drábek, Masaryk University
Pascale Drouet, University of Poitiers
Nathalie Rivere de Carles, University of Toulouse

Shakespeare's plays are "mobile, fluid, and subject to change" (Andrew Murphy, The Shakespeare Myth [1987], 196) and were sometimes the result of a collaborative process that deepened their metamorphic adaptability to stylistic as well as scenic variations. Shakespeare drew his inspiration from translations of the Classics as well as from the original text and initiated the double movement associated nowadays with his plays of translation and adaptation. This seminar offers to explore three interlinked issues underpinning the creation and the circulation of the Shakespearean mythscape: adaptation, tradaptation and performance.
An essential aspect of Shakespeare as Protean myth is the inherent adaptability of his plays to a different historical, social and cultural context. This is what motivated the move from pure translation to a distant filiation which is adaptation. Mark Fortier defines adaptation as "a process of savaging and salvaging the undead who resides in the present" (Shakespeare in Canada: a world elsewhere, 2004) and underlines the ambiguity of the process regarding the original plays. This is what Djanet Sears has defined, after Salman Rushdie, as "writing back, talking back", and that is at stake in her palimpsest of Othello, Harlem Duet (1997). The seminar invites proposal about intralingual, interlingual and intersemiotic adaptations of Shakespeare and other early modern playwrights.
We would welcome papers considering plays in English (Paula Vogel's Desdemona, a play about a handkerchief, Djanet Sear's Harlem Duet, Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead, etc...) or in other languages—such as Jacinto Benavente's Cuento de Amor, Comedia Fantastica de Shakespeare refundida y puesta en castellano (1899)—and their relationship to a now elliptic Shakespearean script. Papers could study the genealogy of the metamorphosis of a particular play from practical and theoretical points of view. Choices of topic should not be limited to adaptations for the page (prose, poetry, dramatic forms), but could confront the original texts and various performance practices and performance contexts and theatre architectures. However, examples of stage adaptations should not be confined to theatrical ones but could include operatic, post-dramatic... performances.
The transformation of Shakespeare's Macbeth into Nikolai Leskov's novella A Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (1865) which inspired Shostakovich's opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk illustrates a new type of exchange, "the 'Tradaptation' of Shakespeare" (Leanore Lieblein), as the ultimate form of refashioning of the Shakespearean mythscape. A tradaptation is neither a literal translation of Shakespeare nor an adaptation that largely modifies the content of the source text. It involves both translation and adaptation in such a way that it defies distinctions between the two practices (Denis Salter, "Acting Shakespeare in Postcolonial Space").
Tradaptation will be observed in terms of linguistic differences and historical context as well as in the perspective of the timelessness of Shakespearean plays. The panel will examine adapters' choices regarding the original works and also how Shakespeare can be turned into a palimpsest to write new stories (the topic of prequels or sequels to Shakespearean plays). It will also be interesting to reflect on tradapted plays as born from Shakespearean ellipses (translating or adapting as filling in the blanks of the original texts).

Non-exhaustive list of suggested topics:
• Dramatic and/or Non Dramatic Adaptations of Shakespearean plays in English and non-English languages on the page and on the stage. Intersemiotic adaptations of a particular
play: Theatre, opera, prose, poetry, post-dramatic forms etc...
• From the "anxiety of influence" (Bloom) to the "death of the author" (Genette): theoretical approaches of the relationship between Shakespeare and early modern playwrights and their adaptation; adaptation as evolution?
• Tradaptation and spectrality: prequels, sequels of Renaissance plays...
• Shakespeare, his works and multiculturalism: adapting, tradapting, performing
Shakespeare for a multicultural audience, writing back / talking back
• Shakespeare, his contemporaries and new performing conditions: adapting Shakespeare and his contemporaries to other dramatic and non-dramatic media, non European dramatic traditions, multilingual audiences. The issue of surtitling as a new vector of adaptation of Shakespearean plays could be tackled as well.

Deadline for Paper Proposals:
Please submit an abstract (200-300 words) and a brief bio (150 words) by 1st October 2012 to Nathalie Rivere de Carles (nrivere@univ-tlse2.fr).

(All participants will be notified about the acceptance of their proposals by 1st November 2012.
The deadline for accepted seminar participants to send their completed paper is 1st April 2013.)