Shakespeare Association of America

Recent Calls for Papers

Theatre, Anatomy and the Early Modern Doctor On Stage


University of Oxford


10 March 2022


This interdisciplinary symposium plus theatre performance will explore the theatrically performative nature of early modern medicine, and the representation of doctors on stage, through an academic, medical, and theatrical lens. A keynote lecture will be delivered by Vishy Mahadevan, Professor of Anatomy at the Royal College of Surgeons of England (‘The Surgical Operation and Anatomical Dissection as Theatre’), followed by a panel of short papers on the topic of doctors and medicine in the early modern period.This afternoon symposium will lead to an evening performance by King Edward’s Boys—a Stratford-on-Avon theatre company specialising in boys’ company plays from the sixteenth century—who will perform a thematised medley of extracts about doctors on stage in early modernity, from English drama and Moliere.The full call for papers, with proposal guidelines, is available here

Please submit your abstracts (max 250 words) and a short biography (max 100 words) by January 31 2022 to Jennifer Edwards ( and Laurie Maguire (

Wooden O Symposium


Southern Utah University – Utah Shakespeare Festival


August 8-10, 2022


The 2022 Wooden O Symposium invites panel and paper proposals on any topic related to the history, text and performance of Shakespeare’s plays. This year’s meeting will be a hybrid with both face-to-face and virtual presentations addressing the 2022 theme: Weathering the Storm: Survival, Hope and Redemption. We also encourage papers and presentations that speak to the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2022 summer season: All’s Well That Ends WellKing Lear, and The Tempest along with Sweeney ToddThe Sound of Music, and Trouble in Mind. Abstracts for consideration, both panels and individual presentations, should be sent to deadline for proposals is May 13, 2022. Session chairs and individual authors will be informed of acceptance no later than June 1. Please include a 250-word abstracts or session proposal (including individual abstracts) and the following information:


  • name of presenter(s)
  • participant category (faculty, graduate student, undergraduate, or independent scholar)
  • college/university affiliation
  • mailing address
  • email address
  • audio/visual requirements and any other special requests.

For more information go to

2022 Shakespearean Theatre Conference: “Shakespeare in a Changing World”


As we slowly return to in-person activities after the great interruption of the pandemic, we might say to our world, as Snout does to Bottom, “thou art changed.” And while it may be tempting to say with Demetrius, “It seems to me / That yet we sleep, we dream,” we did not dream the last two years. The 4th Shakespearean Theatre Conference will ask how the study and performance of Shakespearean drama might respond to the  rapid and very real changes we are witnessing, while also investigating the relationship of this drama to the similarly rapid changes of Shakespeare’s time. To this end, we invite proposals for 20-minute papers, full sessions, and workshops on all aspects of Tudor and Stuart drama, while especially encouraging proposals that focus on historical change, old and/or new. Proposals might, for example, consider Shakespearean drama in relation to the histories of race, religion, gender, sexuality, emotion, and the body; to climate change; to changing performance and editorial practices; to the changing forms of oppression and liberation, including authoritarianism, economic exploitation, free speech, and democratic enfranchisement; to transglobal migration and diasporic change; to the changing media landscape; to language change; to scientific, cognitive, and epistemological revolutions; and to the many other factors that shape the history of its transmission and reception.


Plenary speakers:

Antoni Cimolino (Artistic Director, Stratford Festival) 

Brian Cummings (University of York) 

Alexa Alice Joubin (George Washington University) 


The conference, to be held June 15-18, 2022, in Stratford, Ontario, is a joint venture of the University of Waterloo and the Stratford Festival, and will bring together scholars and practitioners to talk about how performance influences scholarship and vice versa. Paper sessions will be held at the University of Waterloo’s Stratford campus, with plays and special events hosted by the Stratford Festival. The Festival has announced a 2022 season that includes HamletRichard IIIAll’s Well That Ends Well (the last two in the beautiful new Tom Patterson Theatre), and Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman, as well as two world premières:  Hamlet-911, by Ann-Marie MacDonald, and 1939, by Jani Lauzon and Kaitlyn Riordan.  For conference updates, see  


By January 31, 2022, please send proposals to


Please note: The 4th Shakespearean Theatre Conference, originally scheduled for June 2021, was postponed until 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will observe all Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, and University of Waterloo pandemic restrictions and protocols in place at the time of the conference, and we will let participants know what these are closer to the conference dates. If it proves necessary to postpone the conference again, we will do so no later than six weeks before the scheduled dates. Because attending live performances is an important part of the conference experience, we will not move the conference online.


Kenneth Graham Laing

Dept. of English

Univ. of Waterloo


Alysia Kolentsis

Dept. of English

St. Jerome’s Univ.


Katherine Laing

Interim Director of Education

Stratford Festival


The Theatrical Legacy of Thomas Middleton, 1624-2024


Edited by William David Green, Anna L. Hegland, and Sam Jermy

With an afterword by Professor Tracey Hill


We plan to publish a collection of essays celebrating 400 years of Thomas Middleton’s legacy as a dramatist, from his final work for the commercial stage up to the present day.

When does a dramatist’s theatrical legacy begin? The answer may vary depending on the occasion. In 2016, celebrations took place worldwide to mark 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare, but further commemorative material can be expected in 2023, the year in which the First Folio, the renowned volume in which so much of Shakespeare’s dramatic canon is preserved, will similarly turn 400 years old. For Shakespeare’s contemporary Thomas Middleton, however, no such early posthumous canonization exists. Middleton died in 1627, but it was not until 2007 that the Oxford Collected Works of Middleton, the self-proclaimed “Middleton First Folio”,1 was published; and yet, celebration of Middleton’s drama can be seen to have begun as early as 1624, in the unprecedented popular response to what would prove to be his final work for the commercial theatres.


On 6 August 1624, A Game at Chess, Middleton’s scathing satire of Anglo-Spanish relations, received its first performance by the King’s Men at the Globe Theatre on London’s Bankside. Although presented as allegory, the play’s barely concealed representation of numerous real-life political figures as the various chess pieces that make up the play’s dramatis personae (including England’s King James himself) proved highly inflammatory. The play was stopped by official intervention on 16 August, and on 18 August the Privy Council opened a prosecution against the actors and the playwright. Middleton was acquitted, but never wrote another full play for the London playhouses. Yet despite bringing about a somewhat ignominious end to Middleton’s theatrical career, before being shut down the play had already become “the greatest commercial success of the early English theatre”,2 having been staged for a record nine consecutive performances (excluding Sundays) and possibly having been seen by up to twenty-seven thousand theatregoers, in 1624 more than a tenth of London’s population.3 The play also received a significant number of written responses by readers and spectators in the months and years following its initial performances.4 Middleton’s full canon may not have come to be truly defined until the publication of the Oxford Collected Works in 2007, but 1624 did mark the beginning of four centuries of reader/audience response to, and celebration of, Middleton’s significance to the history of early modern drama.


With a 2024 publication date in mind, we intend to publish a collection commemorating four centuries of Middleton’s theatrical legacy, taking the initial success of A Game at Chess in 1624 as our starting point. We therefore invite proposals for chapters to be included in this collected volume. Topics to consider might include, but are certainly not limited to:


  • The legacy and impact of the 2007 Oxford Collected Works.
  • The evolution and redefinition of Middleton’s authorial canon.
  • The importance placed upon such issues as anonymity, authorship, and collaboration in the present-day study and textual editing of Middleton.
  • The textual transmission, readership, and shelf life of Middleton’s works in print, taking into account both early and modern editions.
  • Discussions of present-day performances of and practice-based engagements with Middleton’s works, or interviews with practitioners involved in such work.
  • Online performances and other engagements with Middleton’s work from a digital humanities perspective.
  • Middleton’s work with boy players (i.e. the Children of Paul’s; the Children of the Queen’s Revels), as well as the reimagining of such work by modern troupes of boy players, e.g. Edward’s Boys (King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon).
  • Middleton’s relevance to present-day critical theories.
  • Responses to major works of Middleton criticism.
  • Middleton and the characterization of women on the stage.
  • Examining Middleton’s contemporary attitudes to race, gender, and religion, as considered from the perspective of the twenty-first century.
  • The importance of A Game at Chess to the study of early modern commercial theatre.
  • Middleton’s importance to the history of London.
  • Past efforts to celebrate Middleton (i.e. the 1972 Oxford/York revival of A Game at Chess; the Beyond Shakespeare Company’s Triumph 2021 event).

Finished chapters should be 5000-6000 words in length (including  ). Please send abstracts of 250-300 words, along with a brief bio, to by midnight GMT on 28 February 2022. We anticipate that the deadline for the submission of completed chapters will be in September 2022. Any potential contributors wishing to discuss their chapter idea before preparing an abstract are welcome to do so (well in advance of the deadline) either by contacting us at the above email address or by contacting any of the co-editors individually. Scholars and theatre practitioners from all backgrounds and of all career levels are invited to submit abstracts, and we are also eager to receive proposals from PhD students and early career researchers.


1 Gary Taylor and John Lavagnino (gen. eds), Thomas Middleton: The Collected Works (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 58.

2 Mark Kaethler, Thomas Middleton and the Plural Politics of Jacobean Drama (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2021), 153.

3 Musa Gurnis, Mixed Faith and Shared Feeling: Theater in Post-Reformation London (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), 91.

4 Michelle O’Callaghan, Thomas Middleton, Renaissance Dramatist (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009), 161; Paul Salzman, Literature and Politics in the 1620s: “Whisper’d Counsells” (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 31.

Centre for Early Modern Studies: ‘Key Things’ Blog Series


After twenty-eight fascinating contributions to Keywords last year, the Centre for Early Modern Studies is looking to commission twelve short pieces for this year’s postgraduate blog series. Each piece will be paid, of around a thousand words in length, and – in a material turn for 2021/22 – take a single object or ‘key thing’ as both its title and point of departure. The series seeks to explore the complex relationships that exist between beings and things in the world, and some of the ways in which these (and the objects themselves) shift and change through time in different historical contexts. Participants are free – indeed, encouraged – to interpret the parameters of the task in the manner that best befits their current research interests. As with Keywords last year, we hope that in issuing a call across the varied disciplines of the Arts and Humanities we can locate new and diverse points of connection within early modern studies.


If you’re interested in being involved, or have any questions, please do get in touch via the CEMS email address ( before 5pm (GMT) on Friday 5 November 2021. We ask that you include your department, current level of study, a proposed ‘key thing’ , and a brief summary of your research. The release of the series will be phased over the second and third semesters, with the first post scheduled for mid-January 2022.

Macbeth in European Culture: International Symposium

University of Murcia (Spain)

22-24th March, 2022

Despite its Scottish-Anglo setting and its close relationship to the politics of the Stuart regency, Macbeth has proven one of Shakespeare’s most suggestive plays for practitioners and artists working far beyond its original Anglophone context. The play’s potential for violence, its exploration of hierarchy and power, its conflictive gender dynamics and its supernatural dimensions are just some of the elements that have been appropriated on stages around Europe. They have also prompted the transformation of the play into different shapes, formats and media, and so this symposium intends to inspect the multiple afterlives of Macbeth beyond its initial historical and cultural resonances. We are looking for innovative work that approaches the play from regional, national, continental and intercontinental angles as we try to chart Macbeth’s reception in or in relation to Europe from the seventeenth century to the present. Among other possibilities, we invite discussions concerning the relocation of the play’s ideological, gender/sexuality, regional/ethnic/racial/religious boundaries within specific historical and theoretical contexts. Contributions on any of the following are welcome:

  • Macbeth in European theatrical, operatic, cinematic, televisual or online performance;
  • Different European versions (adaptations, rewritings, appropriations, updates) of Macbeth;
  • Translations of Macbeth into non-Anglophone European languages: the importance and impact of those translations in their target cultures and in intercultural contexts;
  • Reception of Anglophone Macbeth in non-Anglophone contexts, or the reception of non-Anglophone Macbeth in Anglophone contexts;
  • Traveling Macbeth: international tours of the play, intercultural performances of the play;
  • Macbeth in European visual cultures: from illustration to audiovisual art;
  • Macbeth in European digital cultures;
  • Theoretical reflections on Macbeth as a case study of ‘European Shakespeare’ and or versus ‘global Shakespeare’.

We particularly favor contributions which relate interventions (artistic or otherwise) to broader regional, national, transnational, continental or intercontintental concerns and to the history of Shakespeare’s reception in these contexts. A 250-300 word abstract and a brief bio should be sent to Juan F. Cerdá ( and Paul Prescott ( by December 3rd, 2021.

The symposium will be held at the La Merced Campus of the University of Murcia (Spain), yet online participation will be available for those facing travelling restrictions.

Women and Power (virtual symposium, 10 December 2022)


As part of their forthcoming Women and Power festival, Shakespeare’s Globe are bringing together scholars and practitioners for a one-day, online symposium to be held on Friday 10 December.


They are currently accepting proposals for 15-minute papers on topics such as identity, structures of power, sexual violence and exploitation, gender equality, political futures, indigeneity, and feminist storytelling as they relate to early modern drama.


How must the performance, adaptation, and reception of Shakespeare be redefined in response to #MeToo and other ongoing concerns about the status of women around the world? How might Shakespearean performance be harnessed to tell stories not yet told, giving voice to minority experiences and bodies?


Please submit an abstract (max. 250 words) and a short bio to Dr Hanh Bui, Teaching and Research Fellow ( by Friday 1 October.


Notifications of acceptance will be emailed by late October.

Home and Early Modernity (Graduate Conference 25-26 February 2022)


The London Shakespeare Centre and Shakespeare’s Globe are delighted to announce their third biennial graduate conference: ‘Home & Early Modernity’. Our collective retreat inside due to the COVID-19 pandemic prompted, for many of us, a re-examination of our relationship with what we call ‘home’. ‘Home’ has come to mean many things: a fortress against infection that shields us from the dangers of the outside; a place where we might feel imprisoned as lockdowns are imposed; somewhere that is now distant and inaccessible with the closing of borders; perhaps home feels rather unhomely, unheimlich. 


This two-day hybrid conference seeks to reflect on the ways in which the early modern period engaged with ideas of ‘home’, broadly construed, through a diverse range of disciplines, methods and approaches.


We invite submissions for 15-minute papers and 5-minute lightning talks from postgraduate students and early career researchers on early modernity and any aspect of the ‘home’ (literal or metaphorical).


Presentations may explore, but are by no means limited to, the exploration of ‘home’ in the following areas:


Whose Home: National and religious identities; Travel and Encounter; Anti-racist scholarship; Global Shakespeares; Language and linguistics; The region and the metropolis; Ecological and environmental studies.


Who’s Home: Domesticity and sociality; Book ownership and material texts; Manuscript production and circulation; Performing and enacting gender; Bodies, souls, sense and emotions; Stage culture and performance practices; Queer theories.


New Homes: Archives and afterlives; Contemporary performance; Interdisciplinary approaches.


The full call for papers can be accessed here.


The deadline for submissions is 30 October 2021. Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words and a brief bio via the submission form here.


For any enquiries about the conference, please contact

Theoretical Futures in Shakespeare Studies (virtual symposium, 21 February 2022)


“Theoretical Futures in Shakespeare Studies”: This virtual symposium offers graduate student members of the Shakespeare Association of America the opportunity to present 3-minute mini-papers with their peers. These presentations will discuss a specific theoretical lens as it pertains to the future of the study (including teaching and/or performance) of Shakespeare’s works.


Possible topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • The future trajectory of a specific theoretical lens’s role in Shakespeare studies.
  • A theoretical lens’s relationship to a common goal such as antiracist Shakespeare pedagogy or decolonizing Shakespeare performance.
  • A theoretical lens’s relationship to an emerging trend in Shakespeare studies.
  • The significance of a theoretical lens for a yet-to-be-addressed area of inquiry (or vice-versa).

“Theoretical lens” is here used broadly, to gesture towards particular ways of approaching, framing, and understanding topics.


Proposals should be approximately 150 words in length and submitted, via the SAA’s online form (link below), no later than 11:59 PM CST on Monday, December 12, 2022. A graduate student committee will review proposals and notify those to be included in January (exact date TBD).


Symposium Date: Monday, February 21, 1:00-2:30 PM CST, on Zoom.


Click here to make a submission.


Regarding questions or accessibility, contact Bridget M. Bartlett at

Early Modern Asexualities (edited collection)


We are soliciting abstracts for 5,000-6,000-word papers to be included in an edited collection entitled Early Modern Asexualities. We invite people to propose papers that draw on the insights of asexuality studies to investigate early modern English literature and culture. Essays might explore how an understanding of asexuality and aromanticism can complicate and complement historical figurations of celibacy, chastity, abstinence, and intimacy in early modernity, or bring the lens of asexuality to a range of texts and historical figures. We invite our contributors to model different ways that early modern studies can be deepened by the theoretical tools of asexuality studies, including attention to differentiated attractions and to forces of hypersexualization and desexualization, especially as those forces come to bear on racialized and disabled bodies. Papers might offer readings of genre asexually; offer meta-reflections on the omission of asexuality from scholarship on early modernity; or consider the uptake of early modern figures in contemporary ace culture. We also invite essays that explore how the particular shapes of asexuality that we find in early modern texts might help us rethink modern allonormativity (the assumption that everyone experiences sexual attraction) and amatonormativity (the assumption that most people should be striving to be in romantic partnerships or couples). View the flyer here.


If you are thinking of submitting something but want to run an idea by us first, please feel free to be in touch with any of the three editors (Liza Blake, Catherine Clifford, and Aley O’Mara) individually, or with all three of us by emailing


Potential contributors are also welcome to consult our Early Modern Asexualities Bibliography, available at


*Abstracts due Oct. 1, 2021*
*Draft essays due June 1, 2022*


Questions? Email the editors at