Encountering Shakespeare

deadline for submissions: 
August 15, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference
contact email: 

Inviting proposals for


The 40th Annual Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference

October 20–22, 2016

Wright State University Dayton, Ohio

Proposals accepted until August 15, 2016

Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Ayanna Thompson, Professor of English at George Washington University  

Dr. Curtis Perry, Professor of English at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 

Teaching Workshops by the professional actors of Canada’s Stratford Theatre Festival, the largest classical theatre repertoire in North America

Shakespeare Gala An innovative soirée blending Shakespeare-inspired “artistic encounters” including opera, orchestra, period dancing, choral music, musical theatre, and dramatic performance.

Call for Papers

The 2016 theme of Encountering Shakespeare invites presentations on historical, cultural, textual, and virtual experiences of Shakespeare. While an “encounter” denotes a casual meeting or fleeting exchange, it also carries the specter of adversity or discord, as in Prince Hal’s anticipation of war’s ravaging effect on the masses: “In both your armies there is many a soul / Shall pay full dearly for this encounter” (Henry IV, Part 1 5.1.84-85). We encourage papers that explore Shakespeare encounters marked by conflict and unease, as well as projects tracing Shakespeare encounters through interrogation and insight. In a less common use of the word, encounter also indicates an approach, as in Sir Toby’s question to Cesario: "Will you encounter the house?" (Twelfth Night 3.1.75). He extends an invitation to enter Olivia's domain, stirring up the creative aspirations and energetic passion latent in Illyria. Encountering as crossing or entering is of particular interest for pedagogical approaches to Shakespeare. Whether by accidental acquaintance or by violent opposition, the characteristic feature of an encounter is that it is infused with the force of relevance. In this sense, how does an encounter between Shakespeare and other literary figures, genres, and contexts infuse new meaning to the literary expression? Furthermore, as global encounters are considered foci for reading political and social intersections between cultures and across audiences, global encounters of the Shakespeare kind are also welcome. The conference welcomes a range of encounters with Shakespeare today: as conflicted hallmark of humanist education, as trigger for cultural debates, and as a fraught figure of the privileges and limits of the canon.

Proposals for papers of 20 minutes, roundtable topics, or panels of three or four members on Shakespeare’s work and that of his contemporaries are welcome. Please send abstracts of 300-500 words to 2016ovsc@gmail.com.

Undergraduate students are invited to present their work during seminar-style roundtables. Participants will be asked to submit 300-500 word abstracts, followed by 8-10 page papers for pre-circulation.

Deadline for full consideration is August 15, 2016.

The OVSC publishes a volume of selected papers each year and conferees are welcome to submit revised versions of their papers for consideration. Students who present are eligible to compete for the M. Rick Smith Memorial Prize.

Questions or submissions can be directed to Carol Mejia LaPerle at 2016ovsc@gmail.com

Conference updates will be posted at wright.edu/shakespeare