YSLS: Celebrating Shakespeare!

deadline for submissions: 
September 29, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Shenandoah University: Young Scholars Literary Symposium
contact email: 

Shenandoah University Young Scholars Literary Symposium

Call for Proposals: Celebrating Shakespeare!  - DEADLINE EXTENDED to SEPTEMBER 29!!!

Saturday, October 28, 2023: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST

Hosted by Shenandoah University’s Department of English in Winchester, Virginia

The SU Young Scholars Literary Symposium is a one-day academic and creative expression conference held on SU’s Winchester campus.  This event brings together outstanding high school and undergraduate students from the region to share their academic and creative work related to the symposium’s annual theme. This year marks the 400th anniversary of the First Folio, the original compilation of William Shakespeare’s complete works. We invite you to celebrate the ongoing importance and influence of the Bard’s works at our second annual event.

Why do we continue to read and perform Shakespeare’s poems and plays? How has our engagement with the Bard evolved with the changing times? In recent years, authors, actors, artists have continued to explore wide-ranging interpretations of these texts through innovative stage and film performances as well as creatively reworked fiction. We seek papers and creative projects that explore these and related questions. 

Possible topics for investigation include, but are not limited to:

  • Shakespeare’s texts and textuality

  • Mythologies, origins, and traditions

  • Shakespeare’s politics and economies

  • Hybridity, monstrosity, and belonging

  • Rationality and irrationality

  • Community and alienation

  • Race, racism, and modern rewrites

  • Health and trauma in the plays and poems

  • Spiritual growth and religious experience

  • Renaissance lifestyles and identifications

  • LGBTQIA+ in Shakespeare

  • Child and young adult characters

  • Laughter, comedy, and tragicomedy

  • Adaptation, receptions, and legacies

  • Family (parent/child; sibling rivalry, etc.) 

  • The power of love

  • Nature or the natural world

  • Fate versus self-determinism

  • Nationalism and geography

  • Leadership questions

  • Women in Shakespeare

  • Shakespeare’s sources

  • Creative interpretations or revisions

  • Tragic heroes and tragic flaws

Sessions will be organized in 1-hour blocks with 45 to 50 minutes of presentations and 10 to 15 minutes for discussion.  We seek proposals for individual 10- to 15-minute presentations or preset panels of 3 to 4 presenters.  Creative approaches and special panels are encouraged; please contact the conference email (ysls@su.edu) for more information.  Each conference participant may submit only one abstract for academic presentation and only one for creative work.

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO SEPTEMBER 29, 2023.  Accepted presenters will be required to register in advance. You may submit your proposal via the Undergraduate Submission Form.

Please visit the Young Scholars Literary Symposium website for more information.