Slings & Arrows: Performing Shakespeare as Canada

deadline for submissions: 
January 1, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Kailin Wright (St. Francis Xavier University), Don Moore (University of Guelph), Andrew Bretz (Wilfrid Laurier University)
contact email: 

Request for Papers
Edited collection for submission to the University of Toronto Press.

Slings & Arrows: Performing Shakespeare as Canada

Edited by Kailin Wright (St. Francis Xavier University), Don Moore (University of Guelph), Andrew Bretz (Wilfrid Laurier University)


Chapter proposals are invited for a collection of essays that will explore the hit Canadian television series Slings & Arrows--a show that features Shakespeare as an enduring symbol of Canada. Slings & Arrows  televises the theatrical performance of national identity, as theorized by Alan Filewod, and in doing so satirizes both Canada as a nation and Shakespeare as a high-art object of veneration.


Papers on all topics related to Slings & Arrows are welcome, though the editors offer the following suggestions/questions for guidance:

  1. Shakespeare as Canada

  • Shakespeare has been celebrated as Canada’s most popular playwright—a conceit that addresses the significance of the Stratford Festival as well as the national relevance of Slings & Arrows. The show, then, does not merely explore Shakespeare and Canada, but rather, Shakespeare as Canada. This section will be populated with chapters that take up the premise of Slings & Arrows’ investigation of the symbolism and/or metaphor of Shakespeare as Canada.

  • Slings & Arrows and Cultural Identity

    • Though Canada is an increasingly multicultural nation and the popular performance of Shakespeare in Canada reflects that diversity, does Slings and Arrows?

    • Does Slings & Arrows represent the racial diversity, or lack thereof, in Canadian theatre today?

    • Does the lack of representation of French or of Quebecois theatre, for instance, hinder the construction of Shakespeare as Canada, understood through Slings and Arrows?

  • The Politics of Reception of Slings & Arrows

    • Who is the audience of Slings & Arrows? The question is deceptively simple. From the spectatorship of the New Burbage Festival audiences, to the real offstage audiences of the Stratford Festival who helped inform the creation of the show, to the real television audiences both in Canada and abroad, the exact character of Slings & Arrows’ audience shifts with kaleidoscopic perspective.

  • Slings & Arrows and the Canadian Theatre/Film Industry

    • The Canadian theatre industry is in some ways totally unique in the Western world and in other ways shares many of the same problems regarding funding, canonicity, diversity, and marketing as other places. Chapters in this section will investigate the ways in which Slings and Arrows both satirizes and reflects the world of Canadian theatre and film.

  • Inheritance, Adaptation, and Intermediality in Slings & Arrows

    • Slings & Arrows questions Canadian theatre’s ethical inheritance  of Shakespeare’s multiple, heterogenous spectres in whose “borrowed robes” institutions like the Stratford Festival have draped themselves as a way of also reconsidering our shared notions of artistic merit. Chapters in this section will investigate the hauntological and intermedial appropriation and adaptation of Shakespeare in Slings & Arrows.

  • Institutional Hauntings of Stratford and New Burbage

    • The relationship between the Stratford Festival and the New Burbage Festival is not one of simple identity, even though many of the actors and creators of Slings & Arrows drew upon their experiences at Stratford in the creation of the show. This section will investigate the differences, similarities, and consonances between the two festivals--one fictional, one actual--and suggest how they mutually inform each other’s histories, present, and possible futures.


    Keywords: Shakespeare, adaptation, Canada, television, theatre, nationalism, intermediality, identity, spectres, popular/high culture, satire, audience, arts industries, Stratford Festival.


    Final chapters should be between 6000-9000 words. Please submit enquiries and chapter proposals (250-500 words) to the editors:  Kailin Wright (, Don Moore (, Andrew Bretz ( by January 1, 2017. Chapters will be expected by July 31, 2017.