Essay Collection: What's Missing in Shakespeare?

deadline for submissions: 
June 3, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Brett Gamboa

What’s Missing in Shakespeare?

Shakespeare's plays are often complicated by what they lack. Key characters go missing from scenes or drop out of the action entirely; absent characters exert influence over those onstage; mislaid or immaterial objects are pivotal to the resolutions of plots; urgent questions are settled through silences; and plays are frequently haunted by untaken roads or abandoned plot threads. In addition, contemporary performances are shaped significantly by cuts to the script, with some scenes or characters rarely realized in performance, and some plays rarely performed at all.

We invite contributions for a peer-reviewed essay collection on the value of what goes missing on Shakespeare’s stage. We envision a collection mainly focused on performance, mingling historically situated analyses and readings of the plays through contemporary theoretical concerns. Contributors might explore the foregoing (or related) topics through a variety of critical approaches, including editorial and textual studies, object-oriented ontology or actor-network theory, cultural studies and canonicity, cognitive and reception theories, genre studies, or attention to contemporary staging. Additional topics of inquiry might include:


  • deletions from or changes to source materials
  • generic irresolution
  • reported action, or ‘scenes’ occurring offstage
  • omissions from contemporary or period accounts of performance
  • syntactical omissions or elisions
  • absences brought on by representational limits (horses, weather, landscapes, etc.)
  • gaps in time or multiple time schemes


Please send abstracts of about 250 words (for essays of 5000-6000 words in length) and a brief c.v. to and by no later than June 3, 2018. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions about individual topics or the volume as a whole.