Shakespeare and Riot

deadline for submissions: 
December 1, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Journal Special Issue
contact email: 


Special Issue of Shakespeare:  ‘Shakespeare and Riot’ (planned for publication in 2018)


We invite essay submissions (c. 6000 words including notes) for a special issue of Shakespeare, the journal of the British Shakespeare Association, on the topic of ‘Shakespeare and Riot’. 

From early modern riots at Shakespeare’s theatres and beyond, to depictions of the angry mob in Coriolanus and Julius Caesar, to the Old Price theatre riots in London (1809), and the fatal Astor Place riot in New York (1849), to the production of Ing K’s Shakespeare Must Die (2012) in the midst of Thai riots, Shakespeare’s plays have been produced within, represent and have invoked riotous behaviour.   This issue aims to explore connections between Shakespeare and riot throughout history.  It will interrogate the concept of ‘riot’ and evaluate the ways in which Shakespeare has functioned as a battleground for cultural, social and national identity across media and globally.  Essays might consider (but are not limited to) any of the following topics:


  • The staging of riot by Shakespeare and his contemporaries
  • Types of riot (eg. rioting characters, theatre riots, riots beyond the sites of performance)
  • The significance of the individual, the crowd or the state in Shakespearean riots
  • Particular Shakespearean plays, genres or appropriations that have provoked riotous response
  • The ways in which Shakespeare and his works have functioned as sites of rivalry, protest and disorder in theatres, film, commemorations, and the media
  • The role of dramatist, director, performer, audience, censor or review in instigating riot
  • Studies of the geographical, social, cultural or national contexts of riots sparked by Shakespearean performances or appropriations
  • Theoretical approaches to riot in relation to its Shakespearean history
  • The political and social ends of Shakespearean riots
  • The ethics of considering Shakespeare and riot


Shakespeare is a major peer-reviewed journal, publishing articles drawn from the best international research on the most recent developments in Shakespearean criticism, historical and textual scholarship, and performance.  For more information on the journal and submission guidelines, please visit

Please send expressions of interest in the form of a 250-300 word abstract and brief author biography to the guest editors, Kate Flaherty and Edel Lamb, by 1 December 2016.  Completed essays of c. 6000 words (including notes) will be due by 1 June 2017.  These submissions will be blind peer-reviewed before acceptance.