NeMLA 2015: Unexpected Affect in Shakespearean Drama

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Northeast Modern Language Association
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This panel will explore the ways in which Shakespearean drama delivers emotional intensity (passions, affectations, embodiment, etc.) in unexpected places. When might certain emotional reactions be surprising in Shakespeare's plays? Are there particular characters that share their feelings unexpectedly, yet with astonishing resonance?

The significance of this session is to explore whether, after four centuries of exposure, these can still be capable of emotionally shocking. In today's academic climate, do Shakespeare's words have the potential to be so emotionally disturbing that students might/can/should expect a "trigger warning" on syllabi?

This panel will explore unexpected representations of affect in Shakespeare's works, including:
- affect in the comedies, including "comedies of humour"
- affect in unnamed characters
- affect in allusions
- affect through wordplay (punning, homonyms, and so forth)
- affect in prologues or epilogues
- affect as communicated by servants or children
- reviews of unexpectedly affective productions of Shakespeare on stage and screen
- exploring Shakespearean emotions in the classroom and online

This year, applicants will be submitting their abstracts directly to the NeMLA site (, so please allow time to familiarize yourself with the new format. Please send in abstracts for 20-minute presentations by September 15, 2014. Email with any and all questions.