Program of the 53rd Annual Meeting

Panels and Roundtables

Plenary Panel:

Sweet Master Shakespeare: Sugar, Books, and Shakespeare

Panel Organizer Brandi K. Adams (Arizona State University), with Kim F. Hall (Barnard College) and Emma Smith (Hertford College, University of Oxford)

Shakespeare Futures Panel:

Theatrical Labor and the Audience

Panel Organizer Nora J. Williams (University of Essex), with Peter Kirwan (Mary Baldwin University), John R. Proctor III (Tulane University), and M. J. Kidnie (University of Western Ontario)


Joseph Papp’s Legacy and the Question of American Shakespeare

Panel Organizer Louise Geddes (Adelphi University), with Paul D. Menzer (Mary Baldwin University) and De’Aris Rhymes (Arizona State University)


Performance as Research: Scholar/Theatermaker Collaborations at the Red Bull

Roundtable Organizer Jean Elizabeth Howard (Columbia University), with Jesse X. Berger (Red Bull Theater), Barbara Fuchs (University of California, Los Angeles), Musa Gurnis (Baruch College/Red Bull Theater), Noémie Ndiaye (University of Chicago), and Tanya Pollard (Brooklyn College, CUNY)


Playgoing and Privilege

Panel Organizers Eoin Price (University of Edinburgh) and Simon Smith (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham), with Erika T. Lin (Graduate Center, CUNY), Miles P. Grier (Queens College and Graduate Center, CUNY), and Lauren Robertson (Columbia University)


Private Utterances in Shakespearean Drama

Panel Organizer Connie Scozzaro (Brown University), with Colleen R. Rosenfeld (Pomona College) and Steven Swarbrick (Baruch College, CUNY)


Reimagining Law and Literature: Critical Approaches to Shakespeare Today

Roundtable Organizers Stephanie Elsky (Rhodes College) and Penelope Geng (Macalester College), with Todd A. Borlik (University of Huddersfield), Andrew Bozio (Skidmore College), Urvashi Chakravarty (University of Toronto), Colby Gordon (Bryn Mawr College), and José Villagrana (Santa Clara University)


Rethinking Masques

Panel Organizers Sharon J. Harris (Brigham Young University) and Elizabeth Zeman Kolkovich (Ohio State University), with Julie A. Crawford (Columbia University) and Lauren Shohet (Villanova University)


Shakespeare and the Ends of Learning

Panel Organizer Adam Zucker (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), with Catherine Nicholson (Yale University) and Alan Stewart (Columbia University)


Shakespearean Fictionality

Panel Organizer Benedict S. Robinson (Stony Brook University), with Lorna Hutson (University of Oxford) and Ayesha Ramachandran (Yale University)


Shakespearean Infinities

Panel Organizer Benjamin Parris (Rice University), with Julia Reinhard Lupton (University of California, Irvine) and Jenny C. Mann (New York University)


What’s Romance Got to Do with It?

Roundtable Organizer Margo Hendricks (University of California, Santa Cruz), with Jonathan Correa-Reyes (Clemson University), Yasmine Hachimi (Newberry Library), and Brittany N. Williams (New Orleans, LA)

Seminars and Workshops


01. Abridging Shakespeare for the British and American Stage

Ronan James Hatfull (University of Warwick), Rebecca MacMillan (Impromptu Shakespeare), and Tom Wilkinson (Oxford, UK)

This seminar invites scholarly papers and creative pieces which respond how Shakespeare’s plays have been abridged for the British and American stage, in forms such as clown, drolls, improvisation, parody, and pop music. We seek critical and creative responses which will encompass historical, ethical and political aspects, and address questions regarding the formal properties and theoretical implications of compressed texts to present a rewarding retheorisation of Shakespeare in adaptation.

02. After King Lear

Jessica Rosenberg (Cornell University) and Laurie Shannon (Northwestern University) 

This seminar invites new approaches to King Lear from a range of perspectives: textual, theatrical, philosophical, ecological, political. How might Shakespeare’s markedly ancient play be understood from our own moment of convergent crises and waning institutional authority?

03. Anne Southwell and Early Modernisms

Victoria E. Burke (University of Ottawa), Danielle E. Clarke (University College Dublin), and Christina Luckyj (Dalhousie University)

Channeling The Winter’s Tale‘s outspoken Paulina, Anne Southwell engages with religion, politics, and gender as well as natural philosophy and colonialism in her fiercely polemical manuscripts. Furnished with the seminar leaders’ forthcoming edition of Southwell, participants are invited to situate her within both early modern cultures and current criticism and pedagogy. All approaches, including but not limited to ecocritical, theological, historicist, materialist and feminist, are welcome.

04. Antony and Cleopatra

John M. Kuhn (SUNY Binghamton) and Heather James (University of Southern California)

We invite papers relating to any aspect of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, its sources, its contexts, and its varied afterlives in print and performance. Revisiting the play—which has not been the sole subject of an SAA seminar for decades—seems to us to be particularly timely in our present moment, given its engagement with issues of sex and gender; empire and colonialism; and race and ethnicity. We welcome papers that touch on these or any other topic relating to the play.

05. Artifacts of Capitalism in Early Modern Drama

Eric Dunnum (Campbell University)

How did early moderns respond to early forms of capitalism and what artifacts did they leave behind that captured their responses? How can these artifacts (sermons, account books, husbandry manuals, etc.) help us understand the way that Shakespeare represents economic activity? Too often we fail to clearly define early or proto or emerging capitalism. This seminar will attempt to find and apply early capitalist artifacts to better understand how Shakespeare is thinking about and representing his own economic system.

06. As You Like It, As You Like It

Tom Bishop (University of Auckland) and William N. West (Northwestern University)

If you like As You Like It, what do you like about it? This seminar invites papers on new ways of thinking about As You Like It. How does this evergreen play in any of its versions explore gender/sexuality; literary genres or performance histories; structures of feeling; kinds of community, environment, humanity, animality, vegetality? We seek many ways of seeing, and we encourage participants to explore both new ways into the play and how it entertains such a variety of ways into the Forest.

07. Displacement in Renaissance Drama

Alexander Thom (University of Leeds)

Throughout Shakespeare’s drama, as James Joyce once wrote, “the note of banishment, banishment from the heart, banishment from home, sounds uninterruptedly.” Explorations of how Shakespeare handles the theme of displacement are welcome. This seminar will also encourage participants to think comparatively between Shakespeare’s dramatic strategies and those of other Renaissance dramatists.

08. Drama and Conversion

Stephen Wittek (Carnegie Mellon University)

This seminar will consider the relation between early modern drama and the fuzzy, slippery phenomenon of conversion, in all of its many colors and flavors. Projects that consider drama outside of the Shakespearean canon are particularly welcome. Potential areas of focus include political conversions, conversion and race, conversion and colonialism, conversion and performance, spaces of conversion, conversion and nationhood, the texts of conversion, and the dramatic representation of conversional activity.

09. Early Modern Cosmologies

Jane Hwang Degenhardt (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) and Henry S. Turner (Rutgers University)

This seminar reads Renaissance plays and poems for their engagements with early modern cosmology, or accounts of what constitutes a “world” at the turn of the 17th century. Looking past the early modern as the origin point for globalization or a source for humanist worldviews, the seminar invites papers that explore the more radical cosmologies of the 16th and 17th centuries to twist the epistemological and ontological settlements of modernity and seed ideas for our own speculative world-making.

10. Early Modern Foodways: New Perspectives

David B. Goldstein (York University) and Victoria Yeoman (Seneca Polytechnic)

This seminar asks what the study of foodways teaches us about early modernity. Food—as symbol, metaphor, event, object, or relationship—demarcates tensions that lie at the core of Shakespeare’s theatrical and poetic concerns. Papers are invited on any aspect of foodways, including race and cross-cultural encounter, hospitality and otherness, sex and gender, recipes as communicative forms, ecology and animal studies, social and religious politics, and the development of science and medicine.

11. Early Modern Horror

Claire M. Falck (Rowan University)

This seminar invites papers that explore horror as an early modern literary genre. Topics may include how to define early modern horror; horror as a hybrid generic mode; how horror interacts with different literary forms; and readings of early modern horror texts from a range of critical perspectives.

12. The Early Modern Undead: Zombies, Monsters, and Shakespeare

Ambereen Dadabhoy (Harvey Mudd College) and Carol Mejia LaPerle (Wright State University)

What is the afterlife of an undead author? How is the Shakespearean corpus a monstrous text? What do monsters reveal about the culture that produces them? How do early modern anxieties about decay, horror, and loss of self-sovereignty anticipate the figure of the zombie? This seminar exhumes the early modern undead to consider how it informs Shakespeare and his contemporaries’ concerns with collapsing civilizations, the biopolitics of survival, and the affects of fear, desperation, and disgust.

13. Early Modern Underworlds

Joel E. Slotkin (Towson University)

What does it mean to posit a world beneath this one, and what calls us down into it when we are supposed to look up to higher things? We will investigate various underworlds in the early modern imagination, including subterranean afterlives as well as criminal underworlds. Early modern writers also sometimes called our own world an underworld. What cultural work do these underworlds perform? How might one type relate to another? Why are these spaces so fascinating?

14. Ecofeminist Approaches to Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

Aurélie Griffin (Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle) and Claire Hansen (Australian National University)

How might we advance our understanding of the early modern relationship between gender and the natural world? Acknowledging developments in ecofeminist criticism, this seminar invites papers on ecofeminist approaches to Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Drawing on movements across ecocriticism and the environmental humanities, participants are invited to consider the intersections of gender, feminisms and materialism with the environment, place, the more-than-human and ecological systems.

15. Future Fletchers

José A. Pérez Díez (University of Leeds), Clare McManus (Northumbria University), and Michael M. Wagoner (United States Naval Academy)

Four hundred years after the death of John Fletcher, how have developments in our field altered our reception and interpretation of the playwright who was in many ways the heir to William Shakespeare? How has the study of Fletcher historically intertwined with or diverged from the study of Shakespeare? Finally and most importantly, how does Fletcher’s global, feminocentric, queer, and trans drama offer an alternative sense of the early modern, and what does that alternative promise for future directions in early modern scholarship, editing, pedagogy and performance practice?

16. The Gender of Paratexts

Heidi Craig (University of Toronto) and Andie Silva (York College, CUNY)

How does gender influence the form and content of early modern paratexts? How might their liminal status and framing functions help us complicate and expand notions of gender? We invite papers or DH projects that explore the historical, political, or rhetorical roles of gender for authors, translators, and stationers; as well as the gendering of readers, dedicatees, book buyers, or even books, themselves. Work that subverts gender binaries and gendered reading practices is especially welcome.

17. Global Performance and Adaptations of Richard III

Juan F. Cerdá (Universidad de Murcia), Paul Prescott (University of Warwick), and Jennifer Ruiz-Morgan (University of Extremadura)

Sponsored by the European Shakespeare Research Association

We invite contributions that chart Richard III‘s non-anglophone reception from the sixteenth century to the present in any media or format: stage, operatic, cinematic/televisual/digital performance, translations, adaptations, appropriations, rewritings. We particularly welcome papers that relocate the play’s ideological and identity boundaries within specific historical and theoretical contexts, while also connecting local interventions to broader regional, national or transnational concerns.

18. Habit—Inhabit—Habitation—Habitat

Joseph Campana (Rice University)

An ecology of cognates derived from <i>habeo</i>: to have, hold, keep, possess, cherish, occupy, enclose, contain, inhere, dwell. Take any of these four terms individually or create networks. What logics and erotics govern indwelling dispositions? How to understand dwelling and dwellings, human or not? Does “habit” inform “inhabit”? Does the early modernity of habit and inhabit prepare for later terms—habitat or environment? Augustine’s consuetudo? Nests or houses? Bourdieu’s habitus? Other cognates?

19. How Not to Be a Misogynist

Lilly Berberyan (Northwestern State University of Louisiana)

How might scholars of the early modern period inadvertently engage in “reading as a misogynist” by reinscribing narratives of oppression, patriarchy, and of course, misogyny? How do such narratives create a false sense of historical transformation that comforts us about the present, while undermining our ability to read beyond or against the “discovery” of men’s anxiety and women’s disempowerment? What social and political ends are served by this subtle misogyny and how can less biased reading advance different interests and agendas?

20. Imperial Shakespeare

Philip Goldfarb Styrt (St. Ambrose University)

This seminar invites papers that reconsider the relationship between Shakespeare and empire in light of new and emerging ideas about power, race, identity, and dramatic production in the early modern period. Work on non-Shakespearean authors in collaboration with or intertextually linked to Shakespeare is also welcome, as are papers that consider the impact of Shakespeare and his contemporaries on more recent time periods and other nations.

21. Magic, Science, Knowledge, and Popular Belief

Rebecca Bushnell (University of Pennsylvania)

In early modern Europe new philosophical trends and novel technologies increasingly influenced people’s understanding and uses of the natural world. However, magic still flourished, undergirded by everyday beliefs about that world. This seminar invites papers that address magical beliefs and practices (elite and common), technology, and new modes of inquiry, with their implications for understanding the natural world we inhabit.

22. Matter in Time: New Theater Histories

Nicole Sheriko (Yale University) and Emma M. Solberg (Bowdoin College)

Theaters are full of things: ruffs, rats, swords, snacks, papers, players, weather, wood. Performance culture is sustained by the inter-theatrical recycling of objects, bodies, and spaces. This seminar invites critical approaches to the temporality of theatricality materiality, considering forms of reuse and repurposing, of remembering and forgetting, of rebirth and haunting in order to open up new directions for studying theater’s material history across the medieval/early modern divide and beyond.

23. Mind(ing) the Stage

Heather A. Hirschfeld (University of Tennessee) and Nathalie Rivere de Carles (Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès)

This seminar considers how the Shakespearean stage (re)presented the nature of the mind, its cognitive/emotional capacities, and its relation to the body and world. We invite essays on early modern theatrical “minding” from multiple perspectives, including the staged mind in its spatial environments; the mind as a locus of intention and personhood; the centrality of mind games to plot and character; the use of dramatic conventions to affect the cognitive experiences of actors and audience.

24. Mourning, Memorializing, and Grieving in Shakespeare’s World

Lesel Dawson (University of Bristol) and Kaara L. Peterson (Miami University of Ohio)

Our seminar asks what constitutes the relationship of the living to the dead. How are mourning, memorializing, and grieving represented in Shakespeare’s works and across early modern culture? Do novel therapeutic and philosophical models of adaptive grieving shed light on early modern bereavement—or discover important disjunctions? Participants may explore grief and memorializing in Shakespearean texts and in dialogue with other literature, art, effigies/material objects, cultural practices, and/or as construed across disciplines.

25. New Psychoanalytic Methods: Race, Sex, Sexuality

Christine Varnado (University at Buffalo, SUNY)

For anyone interested in using psychoanalytic interpretive frameworks to investigate questions of race, sex, desire, affect, embodiment, gender, and sexuality in early modern literature. Welcome approaches include: reading marginal thinkers/texts; experiments with form, method, and history; paranoid and/or reparative reading practices; the history of criticism; the intersections of psychoanalysis with studies of colonialism and racialization; queer and trans studies; the problem of the human.

26. New Paradigms of Embodiment

Beatrice Bradley (Muhlenberg College)

This seminar invites papers that generate new lenses for thinking about the body in early modern studies. Participants might examine anew how contemporary theory can be brought into conversation with premodern texts, and/or they might draw on histories of medicine and the body that have escaped notice from existing humoral-materialist scholarship. Rather than arrive at a definitive paradigm, the seminar will develop a multiplicity of models that reflect the variety of ways in which bodies are conceptualized, defined, and experienced.

27. Novelizing Shakespeare

Katharine Cleland (Virginia Tech) and Paul J. Zajac (McDaniel College)

This seminar invites papers that examine the novelization of Shakespeare‘s work and life to any extent. We will explore how novelists appropriate Shakespeare‘s themes, plots, and characters, while also asking what happens when his plays get adapted specifically as novels. What is the purpose or appeal of novelistic adaptations? How do changes in genre relate to changes in cultural context? How might novelistic adaptations contribute to our reconsideration of Shakespeare’s relevance in 2025?

28. Performing Bodies in Early Modern Drama

Harry R. McCarthy (University of Exeter) and Eleanor K. Rycroft (Bristol University)

Bodies multiply in early modern drama. This seminar will examine the staging of bodies in historical and contemporary performance, questioning the singularity of “the body” on a stage which bodied forth, and resisted, dominant ideas and assumptions. Participants may wish to consider bodies in plural or in part/s; bodies stilled or in motion; racialized/classed/disabled/gendered/animal bodies; the material cultures of bodies; and bodies at different points of the lifecycle, including corpses.

29. Personation

Emily MacLeod (Penn State Harrisburg) and Bailey Sincox (Princeton University)

This seminar foregrounds how early modern theories and practices of acting (or “personating”) shape and are shaped by constructions of character and/or identity. Its objective is to re-theorize the ways in which perceptions of (fictional, performed) character and (real, lived) identity overlap and diverge in a play’s stage history. The seminar especially encourages work in premodern critical race studies, early modern trans studies, theories of gender and sexuality, and disability studies.

30. PlayTime: Theatre History and the Question of Staging Time

Liam Thomas Daley (University of Maryland, College Park) and Melanie Rio (University of Maryland)

What challenges or opportunities lie in representing time onstage? How did pre-modern playwrights explore questions of temporality? Building on theatre history approaches, this seminar examines time in early modern performance. How were theatrical elements (such as space, props, or costumes) used to convey the passage of time or a sense of historical setting? How might conversations between critical theories of time and theatre history offer new insights? And how does our chronological distance from the archive shape our research?

31. Public Shakespeare/Public Humanities

Katherine Steele Brokaw (University of California, Merced) and Sean Keilen (University of California, Santa Cruz)

What role has and does Shakespeare play in the public humanities, and what role should it play? What kinds of audiences or communities have the most to benefit, or lose, from these projects? And do Public Shakespeare projects take up too much space when it comes to funding, marketing, and prestige, to the determent of more marginalized writers and artists? This panel invites traditional research papers, first-person accounts of public work, proposals for new projects, and thoughts on “best practices.”

32. Race and Place in Shakespeare and Spenser

Dennis Britton (University of British Columbia) and Hillary Eklund (Loyola University New Orleans)

33. Racial Slavery in Early Modern Theatre and Its Afterlives

Hassana Moosa (University of Cape Town) and Sandra Young (University of Cape Town)

This seminar explores depictions of racial slavery in early modern drama and subsequent revivals and adaptations. It considers how the theater, as an imaginative and historical site of popular culture, participated in the formation of discourses of racial slavery, uncovering but also unsettling the logics of this institution. It asks how theater practice, viewed across time and space, might complicate and enrich critical understanding of racial slavery and its legacy in early modernity and after.

34. Reimagining the Female Life Cycle in Shakespeare’s Time

Anna Susan Graham (Dublin, Ireland) and Edel Lamb (Queen’s University Belfast)

This seminar explores portrayals of the female life cycle in early modern literature to consider how, when and to what effect women’s roles were defined by age rather than marital status. It invites papers on the importance of women’s life stages, women’s appropriation of models of ageing, sources for re-evaluating life cycles, and how methodologies of transgender studies, critical race theory and disability studies amplify or complicate understandings of gendered ageing in Shakespeare’s time.

35. Rethinking Fidelity in Adaptations of Shakespeare

James T. Newlin (Case Western Reserve University)

This seminar invites papers that rethink what it means to be faithful to Shakespeare. How might even a “slant” or “wild” adaptation of Shakespeare recall the text, performance history, or historical context of Shakespeare’s original? Papers that consider Shakespeare’s engagement with his own sources, as well as the reception and staging of Shakespeare’s works, are both welcome. Approaches might include either individual case studies or broader theorizations of fidelity and difference.

36. Re-weirding and/as Re-wilding in Shakespeare

Darryl Chalk (University of Southern Queensland) and Laurie Johnson (University of Southern Queensland)

How do early modern plays invoke weirdness in the encounter with the wilderness? Do weird phenomena speak to an uncanny overlap between the natural, supernatural, and preternatural dimensions of life and world? We ask if some modes of literary ecology have made us too familiar with the natural world in the plays, losing sight of the strangeness of this world and the stage’s engagement with it. Can “re-weirding” in criticism or performance thus be used to recapture early modern senses of the demonic, fated, magical, spiritual, and just plain “wild” forces beyond human control?

37. Ruderal Shakespeare

Nandini Das (University of Oxford)

This seminar invites participants to examine and theorize the place of undesired and undesirable vegetal presence in Shakespeare’s texts and within early modern literature and culture in general. Not Ophelia’s posies nor Perdita’s flowers, but weeds and leaf-meal: what can attending to both their persistence and their erasure tell us about both the natural and conceptual worlds of early modernity?

38. Shakespeare among the Poets

Ted Tregear (University of St Andrews)

For his contemporaries, Shakespeare was as much a poet as a playwright. Still, in placing him among his contemporaries, we tend to think of other dramatists. This seminar invites papers that read Shakespeare alongside the poets he read, imitated, and rejected. It asks how Shakespeare engaged with Spenser, Donne, Daniel, Chapman, and others; how those engagements informed his poetic practice or theory; and how questions of poetic technique might open onto broader issues in early modern studies.

39. Shakespeare and Ireland in the Cultural Imagination

Emer McHugh (Queen’s University Belfast)

As we gather in the largest Irish American stronghold, this seminar invites new perspectives on Shakespeare and Ireland studies that build upon literary and theatrical representation, inviting dialogue with: transnational Shakespeares and the Irish diaspora; PCRS and whiteness studies; nationalism (both in the Irish and American senses of the word); queer and trans studies; trauma studies; histories of acting; accent/ism and verse-speaking; the transmission and reception of Irishness worldwide.

40. Shakespeare and Islam

David Currell (American University of Beirut) and Islam Issa (Birmingham City University)

How do we read Shakespeare with Islam? This seminar will foster explorations of a topic at the intersection of global Shakespeares and studies of race and religion. We invite papers on Shakespearean representations of Islamicate worlds; dialogues between Shakespeare and Islamic traditions; Islamic receptions and Muslim reader responses; Islam in Shakespeare pedagogy; orientalism and Islamophobia in critical or performance history; and comparative studies of race, Islam, and early modern culture.

41. Shakespeare and Mental Illness

Leslie C. Dunn (Vassar College) and Avi Mendelson (London, UK)

This seminar explores depictions of mental illness in early modern drama. Topics might include: intersections of madness with race, class, gender, sexuality, or disability; diagnosis and treatment; early modern doctors. Also welcome are topics examining the interplay between the history of early modern madness and modern conceptions of mental illness, such as: Shakespeare and psychiatry; Shakespeare as dramatherapy; early modern madness re-imagined in modern performances and adaptations.

42. Shakespeare and Neurodiversity

Bradley J. Irish (Arizona State University), Nathan Pensky (Carnegie Mellon University), and Bríd Phillips (University of Western Australia)

Scholars of early modern disability are starting to consider the topic of neurodiversity: the fact that human minds have different forms of cognitive processing, such as in the mental styles designated by modern labels like autism, ADHD, Tourettes, etc. What does it mean to think about neurodiversity and neurodivergence in the world and works of Shakespeare and contemporaries? All approaches to the topic are welcome, from theoretical speculations to the analysis of particular case studies.

43. Shakespeare and Obsession

Katherine B. Attié (Towson University)

This seminar invites papers that explore representations of obsession in Shakespeare and his contemporaries. How do we know when a character is in the grip of an obsession? How would obsession have been understood by the early moderns? Formalist approaches might anatomize an early modern poetics of obsession as Petrarchan legacy. Alongside discussions of obsession in Shakespeare, the seminar welcomes discussions of obsession with Shakespeare—the man and his works as cultural obsession.

44. Shakespeare as Conversation Partner

J. F. Bernard (Montreal, Canada) and Paul Yachnin (McGill University)

The seminar invites work undertaking the task of talking with Shakespeare. What do we get when we live with Shakespeare? Conversely, what does he get from us? What can Shakespeare offer as a conversation partner in terms of intersectionality, cultural production, or personhood? What is to be gained from approaching complex issues by way of a personal connection? We invite work that, by way of personal conversations with Shakespeare, interrogates, confronts, and contemplates such questions.

45. Shakespeare from Below

Derek Dunne (Cardiff University) and Kim Gilchrist (Cardiff University)

How did, and how does, Shakespeare circulate outside elite theatre circles and educational contexts, among disenfranchised, marginalised, or otherwise precarious groups? How are these groups represented in early modern drama and modern productions? With a span of 450 years, this seminar brings together work on homelessness, itineracy, asylum, prison contexts, the precariat, amateur drama including apprentices, and other cultural groups pejoratively deemed “lower.”

46. Shakespeare Performance Studies Now

W. B. Worthen (Barnard College, Columbia University)

Is Shakespeare performance distinctive, changing with new modes of theatricality, through refined forms of cultural critique, and in emerging and obsolescing technologies from Original Practices to algorithmic theatre? Papers (10 pp.) should address the theoretical purchase of Shakespeare Performance Studies; exploration of individual productions should precipitate the critical terms helping to locate or orient a wider conception of the field.

47. Shakespeareans’ Other Selves: Cultivating the Creative Life

Alice Dailey (Villanova University) and Amy L. Tigner (University of Texas, Arlington)

This seminar invites participants to share their other selves as creative artists and to reflect on their creative lives beyond their work as early modernists. Seminarians will present their creative projects and observations about creativity. How do our academic and creative selves inform one another? Is our creative work inflected by early modern aesthetics? Projects include but are not limited to creative writing, fine arts, film, digital media, theater, music, and performance art.

48: Shared Forms

Adhaar Noor Desai (Bard College) and Dianne Mitchell (University of Colorado, Boulder)

How might critical and pedagogical methods respond to form’s sharedness across time and space? How do memes, meter or tune repurposing, or the authorial identity “anon” rupture monovocality? How might the flexibility of form afford us more flexible conceptions of authorship, periodization, or literariness? Papers might study specific instances of a borrowed literary device, imitation, parody, or repurposing, or they might broadly theorize early modern views of genre, convention, or commonality.

49. The Soft Power of the Shakespearean Cameo: National Identities and Political Utility

L. Monique Pittman (Andrews University)

This seminar examines the ideological utility of Shakespearean cameos–citations, slant references, and quotations—within film and television, focusing attention on the ways such Shakespearean cameos define national identities and human belonging. In the charged contexts of New Nationalism’s rise in liberal democracies and a backlash against the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, this seminar situates Shakespearean cameos on film and/or television within these geopolitical power flows.

50. Song in Shakespeare

Nicholas Bellinson (St. John’s College, Annapolis)

This seminar welcomes all approaches to songs and singing in Shakespeare but particularly seeks new approaches to the dramatic questions, “What can songs do in Shakespeare?” and “What can singing mean to characters in Shakespeare?” Paper topics might include analysis of the songs in one play or across various plays; songs and sonnets; meter and music; birdsong; singers’’voice changes; non-English songs; missing songs; performance history. Our goal will be to expand our picture of Shakespearean song’s various features and functions.

51. The Sports of Nature: Games and the Play of Science in Early Modernity

Mary T. Crane (Boston College) and John Yargo (Boston College)

How does the playfulness of the natural world resist or enable scientific apprehension? While research on literature and science has focused on nature and the cosmos in the early modern period, scholars are increasingly attending to how play, playfulness, and games are woven through ideas about the natural world and methods for studying it. Paper topics might include: empirical observation as a form of play; “lusus naturae” or nature’s jokes; wonder cabinets; optical devices; educational games.

52. Staging Soldiers

Sarah E. Johnson (Royal Military College of Canada)

This seminar invites papers that consider soldierly identity on stage in the 16th and 17th centuries. For what purposes could this identity be appropriated? How flexible was the identity of soldier: did it encompass notions of both Amazonian transgression and Roman virtu? How was soldierly identity imagined in relation to gender, race, disability, and class? Topics might also include: civilians acting like soldiers; conduct literature; reluctant soldiers; veterans; combat as sex; soldier-poets.

53. Theatricality and the Space of Violence

Emma K. Atwood (University of Montevallo) and Alexander Paulsson Lash (National Taiwan University)

This seminar invites papers on the spaces in which violence was committed, adjudicated, or resisted in early modern England. How did the early modern theater represent and respond to other spaces in which violence transpired, such as the colony, the plantation, the courtroom, the prison, or the bedroom? By considering the space of violence, to what extent does this allow us to explore the theatricality of violence? We welcome perspectives from both established and emerging fields.

54. A Troilus for Our Times

Jyotsna G. Singh (Michigan State University) and Michael Ullyot (University of Calgary)

How do recent performances and scholarship contend with Troilus and Cressida as a play for our times? Do its morally flawed characters, its politics, its warfare and myth-making, its appetites, and its rhetoric deserve revaluation through a presentist lens? And why has it remained on the margins of the Shakespeare canon? Participants are invited to interpret the play as a complex, anti-heroic text whose language can be strained and opaque.

55. Troubling Freedom in Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama

Thomas Ward (US Naval Academy) and Emily Weissbourd (Lehigh University)

This seminar hopes to trouble celebratory readings of freedom in the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Topics might include freedom in the context of emergent global slave trade; “free speech” and the right to silence; (mis)appropriations of Shakespeare as a figurehead of freedom in the neoliberal university; and early modern England’s self-definition as a site of freedom in a larger European context. We particularly welcome papers that employ transnational or comparative approaches.

56. Violent Women in Early Modern Drama

Lara Ehrenfried (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) and Nikolina Hatton (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

How is violence committed by women represented in early modern drama? Under what circumstances is it condoned and how are motivations for violence gender-coded in the period? What roles do genre and performance context play in directing the audience’s reaction to female violence? This seminar explores the framing and reception of violent women and the contours of the woman-as-perpetrator dynamic, with a special focus on lesser-known early modern plays, including closet drama.

57. Who Cares? Care, Caring and Disability in Shakespeare

Susan L. Anderson (Staunton, VA)

This seminar invites participants to examine care from a disability studies perspective, asking who cares for whom, in what ways, and with what implications for social justice, identity, and power. How is care inflected by intersections with age, gender, race and class? How does care or its lack show up in performance, text and criticism? Where does it (dis)appear within Shakespeare studies itself? And how do burdens of care sit unevenly within the community of scholars who study this field?

58. Women Writing Transatlantic Slavery

Kimberly Anne Coles (University of Maryland)

Scholarship on early modern women’s writing has not always made their complicity in the English colonial project fully visible. This seminar will confront that complicity. We need to recognize women among the chief authors of the rhetoric and cultural codes that rewrote Black people as chattel and consumable goods. Emphasis will be placed on plays and masque performances written by women—or performances where women controlled the representation. Work responding to women writers is also welcome.

59. Writerly Identity: Race and Women’s Writing

Lisa Jennings (University of Houston, Downtown) and Anita Raychawdhuri (University of Houston, Downtown)

This seminar is interested in analyzing women’s writing (all women trans or cis) capaciously to consider how this category is undergirded by race. This seminar welcomes work on early modern women’s writing, women characters who write, or how books are raced and gendered. As the category of womanhood is a de facto racialized one, how is the process and experience of writing racialized for women? When does writing by women writers reaffirm white ideology? When might it offer means of resistance?


60. Book Proposal Lab

Karen Raber (University of Mississippi) and Rebecca Totaro (Florida Gulf Coast University)

In this workshop, participants will become familiar with the required components of a scholarly book proposal, develop a draft of their own proposal, and give and receive feedback on those drafts, specifically with the field of early modern literary and cultural studies in mind. By the end of the workshop, members will have produced a working draft of a scholarly book proposal and a list of presses to which they can send it.

61. From the Galliard to Gangnam Style: A Workshop in Staging Historically-Informed Dances for Different-Era Productions

Linda McJannet (Bentley University), Nona Monahin (Mount Holyoke College), Meg Pash (Mount Holyoke College), and Emily F. Winerock (Shakespeare and Dance Project/Point Park University)

Thirteen Shakespeare plays call for staged dances yet lack choreographic details. This workshop explores challenges and opportunities when staging dances in Shakespeare plays, whether one’s production is set in the 1580s or the 1980s. Participants will first learn some Renaissance dance steps and a simple choreography modified for a dramatic scene. Then participants will create a choreography for the same scene set in a different time or place such as American Appalachia or 1960s Liverpool.

62. Going Beyond Reading Aloud: Performance Pedagogy in the Classroom

Jennifer Birkett (University of Notre Dame)

Shakespeare’s plays were written for players on the stage, and yet most students only ever grapple with them cerebrally on the page. Looking beyond merely assigning students to read aloud, or memorize monologues, this pedagogy workshop seeks to present and distribute pedagogical techniques and materials for teaching early modern literature (not just Shakespeare’s plays) through performance. Specifically, we will focus on lesson plans, in-class activities, assignments, discussion questions, midterm exams, and group work. The workshop intends to bring junior scholars, contingent faculty, non-tenure track faculty, and faculty at teaching-focused institutions together to share experiences and resources. Be prepared to get out of your chairs and up on your feet!

63. Interpreting Shakespeare with ASL for Practicality and Performance (VIRTUAL WORKSHOP)

Maureen E. McCluskey (University of North Florida) and Bridget Marie Monahan (Jacksonville, FL)

We propose an interactive virtual workshop that begins with our background and process for crafting an adaptive script, ASL interpreter script/scenes, and how this process intersects the synergies of inclusivity, team building, and performance. Then we will shift to engaging the group through an exploration of curated scenes from our adaption of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (set in 1920, Athens, Georgia), and what we learned throughoutthat collaborative process. The session will offer feedback, observations, reflective analysis with a focused lens synthesizing script/ASL interpreter performer. It also provides opportunities for attendees to address specific questions.

64. Shakespeare and Blended Learning

Rachael Deagman Simonetta (University of Colorado, Boulder) and Jay Zysk (University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth)

Blended pedagogy thoughtfully combines in-person and online learning modalities. What happens when blended learning meets the Bard? This workshop explores practical strategies for teaching Shakespeare that fully integrate in-person classroom activities with digital resources and tools used synchronously and asynchronously online. We will consider how blended Shakespeare pedagogy can stimulate student engagement through active learning and create a more inclusive and accessible classroom for all.

65. Shakespearesque Leadership: Putting Humanities Skills in Practice

Ariane M. Balizet (Texas Christian University), Natalie K. Eschenbaum (University of Washington, Tacoma), and Marcela Kostihova (Hamline University)

This workshop is designed for Renaissance scholars interested in or already serving in leadership positions in higher education. Based on the unshakable assumption that humanities scholars are trained in the core skills necessary for leadership in the turbulent higher education landscape, this workshop will provide opportunities for participants to practice transferring these skills from their scholarship and teaching to administrative actions. Participants will engage in preparatory virtual brainstorming meetings followed by confidential hands-on case-study practice.

66. Suiting Action to Word: Laban Technique and Shakespeare

Theo Black (Cornell University)

An interactive session in actor-training with Laban Technique, this workshop offers participants a guided opportunity to connect dynamically, accessibly and instantly with Shakespeare’s texts through our bodies and voices. In suiting each Laban action to its specific word in Shakespeare, from close-reading a rich array of contextualized lines we will practice an evolving continuity born of original modes: translating Shakespeare’s language and characters from the page to form vibrantly staged extensions of ourselves. (Laban’s 8 Effort Actions: thrust, float, flick, slash, dab, glide, press, wring)

67. Teaching Strategies for Early Modern Literature

Jess Hamlet (Alvernia University) and Molly E. Seremet (Mary Baldwin University)

This pedagogy workshop aims to generate a wealth of multimodal classroom materials and strategies for teaching early modern literature, including lesson plans, activities, and assignment prompts. We hope to bring together junior scholars, contingent faculty, non-tenure track faculty, and faculty at teaching-focused institutions to share ideas and resources on a variety of early modern texts.

68. Testing Throughlines: The Present Moment, Premodern Critical Race Scholarship, and Teaching

Lisa M. Barksdale-Shaw (Arizona State University) and Laura B. Turchi (Arizona State University)

This workshop invites faculty to experiment with new Throughlines content and aims to build shared confidence for integrating discussions of race in literature classrooms. Throughlines is an online compendium of premodern critical race scholarship built by RaceB4Race. Designed as a multi-media home for pedagogical and scholarly resources, Throughlines supports teaching the historical arcs of race and race-making in a holistic and intersectional way—pointing students toward more inclusive futures.

69. Untitling Shakespeare with Keith Hamilton Cobb

Emily Bryan (Sacred Heart University), Jessica Burr (Blessed Unrest), and Keith Hamilton Cobb

This workshop introduces participants to Untitling Shakespeare with Keith Hamilton Cobb and his collaborators on the Untitled Othello project. 10-12 attendees are invited to join in a slow and methodical reading of the first two scenes of a Shakespeare play (TBD) and 20-30 auditors will be invited to observe and comment throughout the process. In approximately three hours of work, participants will discover how Shakespeare analysis that takes nothing for granted and challenges assumptions can create a model for pedagogy, scholarship, performance, and community building.

Special Seminar for Undergraduate Stuents

My Shakespeare, Rise: An SAA Undergraduate Seminar

Brandi K. Adams (Arizona State University) and Gillian Knoll (Western Kentucky University)

The SAA invites Boston-area faculty members to nominate one or two students to participate in the first-ever undergraduate seminar. Participants will submit a paper about any aspect of Shakespeare studies. They will then participate in a workshop in which they read and respond to each other’s work. We welcome students from a variety of backgrounds, and are especially keen to welcome first generation university and college students and systemically minoritized groups.


Articles in Progress

Louise Geddes (Adelphi University)

The Articles-in-Progress Workshop supports first-time authors preparing their articles for submission to academic journals. Authors will submit an abstract and brief biography and be paired with a senior scholar with editorial expertise. The editors will read a draft of the article and offer feedback at an informal meeting during the conference. Please note that this workshop is offered in addition to regular seminar participation. Essays must be received by 1 February 2025. Members wishing to join this practicum should email Louise Geddes ([email protected]) by 1 September 2024. Members will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. supportsfirsttime authors preparing their articles for submission to academic journals. Authors will submit an abstract and brief biography and be paired with a senior scholar with editorial expertise.