CFP: Shakespeare's Hamlet in an Era of Textual Exhaustion

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Allison Kellar Lenhardt; Sonya Loftis
contact email: 

Shakespeare’s Hamlet in an Era of Textual Exhaustion

The editors of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in an Era of Textual Exhaustion are reposting the CFP for the edited collection, which is now under contract with Routledge as a part of the Studies in Shakespeare series. We are particularly interested in rounding out our collection with an essay that focuses on multimedia, cognition, ecocriticism, digital humanities, and/or global performance. Please see the original CFP below and submit a CV and abstract by September 15 to

Are we reaching the end of Hamlet? (Or at least, a point of cultural exhaustion with Hamlet?) As the most frequently performed, written about, and taught play in the Shakespearean canon, Hamlet has acquired both a place of indisputable power as an icon defining “literature” in our culture and a jaded sense of scholarly (and sometimes not-so-scholarly) ennui or exasperation. This collection explores the ways in which our culture is “finished with” the Dane (the ways in which recent reiterations and homages to Shakespeare’s play have moved beyond Hamlet in its “original” textual context and interpretative history) and also those ways in which we may not be finished with him yet (the various ways in which we have kept Shakespeare’s text alive by remaking it). Using adaptation theory to approach that most adapted and performed of all English plays—the ur-text of Western theatrical adaptation—the essays in this volume approach the death of Hamlet, the idea of being post-Hamlet (or perhaps even the ultimate impossibility of envisioning English literature without Hamlet) through a variety of lenses, including performance, pedagogy, and theory.

This collection invites essays that contemplate what it might mean to be Post-Hamlet, including (but not limited to):

- Radical Performances of Hamlet (The Library of Birmingham’s Hamlets, Annie Dorsen’s A Piece of Work, Stella Mari’s Post Hamlet or After-Hamlet,Jack Smith’s Hamlet in the Rented World (A Fragment), etc.

- Radical Appropriations of Hamlet (particularly those that blatantly proclaim to “threaten” the artistic or historical value of Hamlet as cultural icon)

- Non-Anglophone productions of Hamlet (How is Hamlet made to engage with new cultural or linguistic concerns? Which cultures are [or aren’t] Post-Hamlet?)

- Digitizing Hamlet (Is Hamlet revised, reincarnated, or dismissed through social media, websites, ebooks, apps, etc.?)

- Film Adaptations and Appropriations of Hamlet (how are recent films responding to the long history of Hamlet on screen and differentiating their approach from the myriad films that have proceeded them? Or are they?)

- Hamlet in Popular Culture (in what ways are graphic novels, advertisements, video games, television shows, and even toys appropriating Hamlet as a cultural artifact? Do such appropriations suggest that our culture is tired of [or still actively engaged with] Hamlet?

- Conflating Hamlet (What is Hamlet’s original textual identity—if it has one—and what does it mean for our understanding of Hamlet-as-text when we conflate quartos and folios? Does being Post-Hamlet require that we establish what Hamlet was in the first place?)

- Cutting Hamlet (Is this the “death” of Hamlet? What happens when we cut so much that the play is barely recognizable as Hamlet?)

- Theoretical Approaches (Are we Post-Shakespeare? Has our culture reached a level of saturation with Shakespeareana?)

- The Critical History of Hamlet (What happens when all the articles about Hamlet have already been written? What are the trends in Hamlet criticism now and are those trends responding—on some level-- to the critical exhaustion of the subject?)

- The Performance History of Hamlet (where are we now, in the long and populous history of performing Hamlet?)

- Pedagogical Approaches to Hamlet (approaches to [and innovations regarding] the teaching of Hamlet--with the knowledge that our audience/students have already read Hamlet [or are at least familiar with the plotline])

Please send a 350-500 word abstract and CV as one Microsoft Word document to Allison Kellar Lenhardt at by 9/15/16.