CFC/ To Play the Queen: Historical Royal Women on Stage and Screen

deadline for submissions: 
June 5, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
contact email: 

I am seeking proposals for essays to be included in a proposed volume exploring conceptualizations and representations of Queenship as a dramatic role or performance. In bringing together essays from different disciplinary perspectives, that focus on particular Queen or a group of them, on particular actors or other aspects of performance the volume aims to create a clearer picture of what it has meant to ‘play the part’ of Queen at different times, in different places, and across different media and contexts to shed light on the ways in which the office of Queenship in practice in real historical situations has been culturally understood, interpreted and re-interpreted. Please note that the definition of ‘Stage’ and ‘Screen’ can be broad encompassing amateur and professional performances, formal and informal spaces of performance including but also beyond theatre, film and tv. Although the interpretation of ‘Queen’ could include broader definitions such as princesses, duchesses, or other female political leaders, the ‘Queen’ portrayed must be an historical rather than purely fantastical figure. Topics might include, but are not necessarily limited to,

  • Portrayal of a particular Queen/pair/group of Queens in drama from the point of view of the written part or of particular performances
  • Censorship and portrayal of a Queen
  • Different portrayals of the same Queen
  • Comparison of a single actor’s performances as multiple different Queens
  • A Queen as a ‘signature’ part
  • A Queen as a rite-of-passage role/career-defining/award-winning part
  • The use of ‘star-power’ in portraying Queens
  • Queens who are missing from significant portrayals of historical events
  • Why some Queens are very popular whilst others are underrepresented
  • Particular characteristics portrayed in performances of Queens
  • Popular creation of Queens – Queens in civic or community pageantry/ as role-play part in Reenactment or LARP or historically set computer games/ as characters of fanfictions
  • Casting decisions and controversies
  • Dimensions of age/race/gender etc in casting and portrayals
  • Dressing up as historical queens, amateur/professional, modelling for still portrayals on canvas or film, advertising, fashion displays or tableaux vivantes etc.
  • The use of costume to further or enhance a representation
  • International performances and audiences of particular nations histories
  • Streaming services such as Netflix’s introducing ‘new’ historical Queens to new audiences
  • Adaptations of literary portrayals of Queens
  • Different Queens written by the same author/dramatist
  • Queens as parts in amateur performance
  • Costumed interpretation of Queens at historical or educational sites

Proposals of c350-500 words should be sent to Sarah Betts at by 5th June 2023. I am also happy to answer any enquiries or discuss ideas about the project in advance of this date.