Special Issue: Representing Richard: Shakespeare and Otherness in a Global Context

deadline for submissions: 
October 1, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Otherness: Essays and Studies
contact email: 

The peer-reviewed e-journal Otherness: Essays and Studies is now accepting submissions for a special issue, Representing Richard: Shakespeare and Otherness in a Global Context which will be guest-edited by Anne Sophie Refskou forthcoming Spring 2021.

Otherness: Essays and Studies publishes research articles from and across different scholarly disciplines that examine, in as many ways as possible, the concepts of otherness and alterity.  We particularly appreciate dynamic cross-disciplinary study.

Shakespeare’s two ‘Richards’ - Richard II and Richard III - share both the name of their title character and a performance history in which the representation of alterity has often been a key issue. In the case of Richard III, certain theatre and film productions have made explicit efforts to represent Richard’s physicality in a nuanced manner, including by casting disabled actors, while others have fallen into the trap of ‘cripping up’. Richard II, meanwhile, is associated with a longstanding and sometimes vexed tradition of playing the title character as gay. This raises the question of how ‘representing Richard’ on stage and screen can avoid participating in ingrained discrimination and instead find ways to critique and change prejudice.

Additionally, some productions of the two plays attempt (or fail) to address a wider and potentially intersectional spectrum, including race and gender, which is not always related to the title character, but which is in equal need of attention. Finally, the context of this discourse varies considerably depending on local geographies. A country like Denmark, which is usually viewed as reasonably progressive on matters related to equality and inclusion, is nonetheless often behind, for example the UK, when it comes to diverse representation in theatre (and cinema), and this may be said of other countries too. This highlights the importance of analysing examples across a global range, to enhance international and intercultural exchange.

This Special Issue of Otherness: Essays and Studies welcomes articles on productions of Richard II and Richard III - historical or contemporary, theatre or cinema - which analyse representation of alterity in local/global contexts. Articles that broaden the discussion to politics and processes of auditions, casting, the creation of accessible and inclusive theatre spaces and set designs, reviewing or education, are also encouraged, as are contributions involving theatre practitioners, such as conversation pieces or interviews.

Please email first draft of articles (max. 6000 words including notes and bibliography) by 1 October 2020 to Anne Sophie Refskou at annesophie@hamletscenen.dk and Matthias Stephan at engms@cc.au.dk. Questions or outlines of ideas ahead of the deadline are also very welcome. Articles are submitted to blind peer-review and publication is predicted for early 2021.

Any queries for Otherness: Essays and Studies can be made directly to otherness.research@gmail.com.