Shakespeare Association of America
 

2022 Ballot

With thanks to the members of the Association who forwarded suggestions, the Nominating Committee of the Shakespeare Association of America, chaired by Jyotsna Singh (Michigan State University) including Matthieu Chapman (SUNY New Paltz), Tripthi Pillai (Coastal Carolina University), and Emily Weissbourd (Lehigh University) presents the following candidates for office in 2022:

Vice-President Candidates

Bio:

Emma Smith is Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Oxford, UK. Her work focuses on Shakespearean reception, in print, on stage, and in criticism: her books include Shakespeare’s First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book (2016), and This is Shakespeare (2019), as well as a production history of Henry V (2002). Her work has also appeared in Shakespeare Quarterly, Shakespeare Bulletin, The Review of English Studies among other journals and collections. She is Associate Scholar with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and a regular contributor to newspapers and other media, and her podcast “Approaching Shakespeare,” has featured in classrooms in universities, prisons, schools and for those engaged in lifelong learning outside of academia. She has taken a leadership role in Oxford University’s library refurbishment, fundraising, diversity, and digital education projects and is currently editor of Shakespeare Survey where she works with fellow editors and the RaceB4Race executive on developing fairer, more constructive and more diverse publishing practices and scholarly career support. For the SAA Professor Smith has led seminars in 2013, 2015 and will lead again in 2022; she also served on the 2016 Program Committee.

Statement:

The SAA’s strength is its membership across different countries, institutions, careers, and critical and professional priorities. Engaging both our internal conversations and those outside the discipline, would be my focus, working closely and effectively with the President, the Board of Trustees and the Executive Director and her team, and with the membership. In particular, we must attend to those to whom our institution has not always listened, especially precariously employed scholars and scholars of colour. Building back from the pandemic will be a continued challenge. We want the SAA annual meetings in person, but we also now have a clearer sense of how a hybrid conference might and should work, and an increased appreciation of the need to be more inclusive in our planning. Digital scholarly meetings will continue to grow in importance as budgets, carbon footprints, and time are squeezed: we need to be the best we can be in this new space. In recent years a number of member initiatives have enriched our offering: I’d want to encourage such innovation and experimentation. In addition, I would like to develop the association’s connections with schools, non-academic groups, and theatremakers, building SAA members’ confidence as public Shakespeareans working beyond the academy. Instituting some kind of public engagement event – with a school, theatre, museum or bookstore – could help to bring our scholarship to new audiences and give our annual meetings a sense of the local, as well as the international.

Bio:

Ian Smith is the Richard H., Jr. ’60 and Joan K. Sell Professor in the Humanities in the department of English at Lafayette College. He is the author of Race and Rhetoric in the Renaissance: Barbarian Errors (2009) and collaborator on Othello Re-imagined in Sepia (2012). His current monograph, Black Shakespeare: Reading and Misreading Race will be published in 2022. He is the founder of the Keefe Colloquium in the Public Humanities and, since 2017, has co-organized its “Shakespeare and Race” series at Lafayette. He is the recipient of multiple fellowships in support of his scholarship, being invited most recently to hold the Los Angeles Times chair in the History and Culture of the Americas at the Huntington Library (2022-23). He also serves on the editorial boards of Shakespeare Quarterly and ELR and the advisory board of Global Shakespeare Inverted. He has published numerous articles and book chapters mainly on Shakespeare and early modern drama. For the SAA, Professor Smith has served on the 2013 Program Committee and the 2016 Sexual Harassment Committee as well as the Executive Director Search Committee in 2017; he led seminars in 2002, 2014 and 2019, and organized the plenary panel for 2022.

Statement:

Over recent years, the SAA has been active in addressing a broad range of issues affecting the current state of the academic job market. Practical, skill-based, person-centered interventions will continue to maintain the organization’s viability for graduates planning on entering and remaining in the profession or for whom pursuing alternate careers is the fruitful option. This endorsement of the practical extends to the recent scholarship the SAA has supported, such as the work in early modern race studies. While supporting research is critical to the organization’s mission, research does not exist in a social vacuum, and members are engaged daily in teaching students for whom the importance of understanding Shakespeare’s relevance for the practical urgencies of our time is not debatable. Teaching spaces also benefit from a commitment to accessibility, in the broad sense, including placing a premium on providing modern pathways to old texts so that they speak in diverse, new accents. The demand for accessibility and relevance is especially important for an underacknowledged group: undergraduates who are positioned to be excited and motivated by scholarship that is responsive to the complex, demanding world they inhabit. As someone who teaches at an undergraduate institution, I see opportunities to expand our audience, not to encourage students to seek out academic professions, but to use practical scholarship to prepare them for careers in an increasingly inclusive workplace and to be accountable, ethical humans enabled to imagine the possibilities for social change.

Trustee Candidates

Bio:

Amanda Bailey, Professor and Chair of English at the University of Maryland, is author of Of Bondage: Debt, Property, and Personhood in Early Modern England (2013) and Flaunting: Style and the Subversive Male Body in Renaissance England (2007); she edited Affect Theory and Early Modern Texts: Politics, Ecologies, and Form (2017) with Mario DiGangi and Masculinity and the Metropolis of Vice, 1550-1650 (2010) with Roze Hentschell. She is currently completing Shakespeare on Consent for Routledge’s Spotlight on Shakespeare Series and a book entitled The Reparative Humanities. She has served on the Editorial Board of Shakespeare Quarterly and is the University of Maryland Representative on the Folger Shakespeare Institute’s Consortium Executive Committee as well as a member of the Institute’s Program Planning Committee. Her leadership experience derives from her role as chair of a large and complex department, which involves providing direction for seven academic programs and three nationally recognized Centers. Professor Bailey has chaired several task forces and key committees for her university; during the pandemic, she helped design and lead the Folger Institute’s “Pivot Series,” for consortium graduate students and was subsequently appointed to head a university task force charged with reforming doctoral education in the humanities. For the SAA, Professor Bailey has led a seminar in 2012, has presented on panels in 2008 and 2016, organized a panel in 2019 and has served on the Travel Awards Committee (2017), the Nominating Committee (2018), and the Dissertation Prize Committee (2020).

Statement:

SAA has undergone a sea-change. Membership has expanded from several hundred to a few thousand, and to meet the diverse needs of various constituencies the organization has cultivated responsive and inclusive leadership, supported forward-looking research, and fostered just communities. Much progress has been made and with progress comes new responsibilities. The achievements of the past several years are the product of the hard work and vision of individual members, and we must now create infrastructure to build on and sustain these accomplishments. My own experience as a transformational leader has prepared me to work with colleagues implementing transparent and equitable practices, procedures, and protocols to advance established and new commitments.

Like all professional organizations in the humanities, SAA finds itself at an inflection point. We need to contend with the question of what is a member? Can we imagine “member” not as a descriptive term, one defined by an implicit set of inclusions/exclusions, but as a political category? Concomitantly, what is “belonging”? How does SAA’s commitment to shared governance encourage community-wide praxis of inclusion, equity, diversity and accessibility? How will SAA contend with the exploitative conditions of labor and impoverished imaginary of the neoliberal university that regards knowledge production, including and perhaps notably Shakespeare scholarship, as divorced from an ethical framework? In light of a changing profession, how will SAA address the precarity of graduate students, the needs of early career researchers, and challenges facing BIPOC and LGBTQI+ scholars at all stages?

Now is the moment for blue sky conversations about mission and purpose. While professional development and career diversity should remain within the organization’s remit, and we should continue to support emerging areas of study and dynamic scholarly exchange, we must also nurture intellectual curiosity as foundational to an ethics of care. The confluence of a global health crisis and national reckoning of racial justice has lent urgency to connecting knowledge discovery to reparative change. We need to develop innovative interdisciplinary initiatives, many of which may center social and racial justice; leverage remote and hybrid technologies to develop ecologically-responsible, public-facing programming on a year-round basis; and find compelling ways to communicate the relevance of Shakespeare-cum-the Humanities to broader publics. We also need to strategize ways to strengthen the organization’s resource base, visibility, and impact through extramural funding and donor giving. As a scholar, teacher, and academic leader committed to transforming structures and systems to be ever more inclusive and equitable, I cannot imagine a more exciting moment to work alongside members on a shared set of ambitious goals.

Bio:

Ambereen Dadabhoy is Associate Professor of Literature at Harvey Mudd College. She has had visiting appointments at Harvey Mudd College (2012-2017) and Bogazici University (2008-2010). She has held fellowships from the Folger Shakespeare Library (2011; 2016) and in 2010 and 2015 participated in National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institutes and Seminars. Her recent publications include “Something’s Rotten in Kashmir: Postcolonial Ambivalence and the War on Terror in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider,” in Shakespeare , edited by Eoin Price and Farah Karim-Cooper. (2021) and “Barbarian Moors: Documenting Racial Formation in Early Modern England,” in The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Race, edited by Ayanna Thompson (2021). Her work has also appeared in issues of postmedieval and a feature issue of Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching (2020). Professor Dadabhoy has been an invited speaker for the Folger Shakespeare Library’s series on “Critical Race Conversations” (2020); Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre’s podcast “Shakespeare and Whiteness” (2020); RaceB4Race: “Education” (2021); and the Shakespeare Unlimited Podcast “Race and Blackness in Shakespeare’s England” (2021). For the SAA, she led seminars in 2019 and 2021, organized a 2022 roundtable, and has served on the Strategic Planning Committee (2016) and the 2023 Program Committee.

Statement:

We have been through a lot in the past two years: an on-going global pandemic and a necessary racial reckoning. These events have exposed the deep systems of inequality that structure our society and marginalize and disempower the most vulnerable in our communities. Indeed, our own institutions of higher education and our professional organizations have been shown to be complicit in the very inequalities of access and privilege that allowed these crises to occur and recur. We are also seeing other inequality manifest in the increasing precarity of our profession.

As an educator-activist whose teaching and research focus on the representation of difference in Shakespeare and the early modern world, I believe that it is necessary for our professional organizations to support those affected by these crises not only in symbolic but also in material ways. The SAA has an opportunity to set an agenda that addresses the virulent racism, white supremacy, imperialism, and settler-colonialism of the world in which we now find ourselves and to point to how what we research and teach is implicated in these structures of inequality. To that end, the SAA can work to create a more inclusive conference that addresses the needs of scholars and graduate students from underrepresented and marginalized groups. The organization can reinforce this support outside of the conference with targeted programming during the academic year. Given the increased reliance on contingent labor in our profession, the SAA must be willing to call and agitate for ethical labor practices that will ensure that our work has a future.

Bio:

Jane Hwang Degenhardt is Professor of English and Graduate Program Director at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her research and teaching focus on the effects of globalizing processes, the histories of religion and race, and the relationship between literature and social justice. Her scholarship includes Globalizing Fortune on the Early Modern Stage (2022), Islamic Conversion and Christian Resistance on the Early Modern Stage (2010), and Religion and Drama in Early Modern England (co-edited with Elizabeth Williamson, 2011). Her articles and essays have appeared in such journals as Renaissance Drama, PMLA, ELH, and the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, as well as in the Arden Research Handbook to Shakespeare and His Contemporaries and The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare; her article on the early modern chinaware trade in Studies in Philology received the Louis Round Wilson Prize. Her leadership experience derives from her roles as mentor and advisor to graduate students, as well as her role as co-editor of ELR. For the SAA, Professor Degenhardt has served as a seminar leader in 2008 and 2017, was a worship leader in 2019, and presented on a panel in 2015; she has also served on the 2017 Nominating Committee and the 2021 Innovative Article Award Committee.

Statement:

Having joined SAA as a graduate student, I understand the crucial role it plays in nourishing connection, support, and intellectual vitality for scholar-teachers at all stages of their careers. Particularly during this time of precarity in our profession and pervasive social and political upheaval, I am committed to fostering a community of belonging held together by an ethics of care and broadminded democracy. My goal is for SAA to provide a home where every member feels valued for (rather than despite) their diverse backgrounds, professional and personal identities, institutional and non-institutional affiliations, and unique career trajectories. My previous service to SAA has been guided by these values. As a member of the Nominating Committee in 2016-17, I helped to produce a slate of candidates that was unprecedented in its racial diversity and that set a new course for the organization. In leading seminars and a publishing workshop for early career members, I sought to foster inclusive, welcoming environments that facilitated genuine questions, conversations, and relationships, as well as practical tools for meeting the goals of our profession. My hope is that SAA will take an active role in redefining the profession’s principles and pathways to address the serious difficulties that lie ahead by relying on the collective strength of its members’ diverse experiences and expertise. I am excited to assume a larger role in helping the SAA to create new opportunities to confront our professional reality and to reassess our place within the worldly landscape.

Bio:

Vin Nardizzi is Professor of English at the University of British Columbia, which is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) People. He is author of Wooden Os: Shakespeare’s Theatres and England’s Trees (2013). With Stephen Guy-Bray and Will Stockton, he co-edited Queer Renaissance Historiography: Backward Gaze (Ashgate, 2009); with Jean E. Feerick, The Indistinct Human in Renaissance Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012); and with Tiffany Jo Werth, Premodern Ecologies in the Modern Literary Imagination (Toronto, 2019). He is a founding collaborator of the international research network called “Oecologies.” His leadership experience includes serving on the MLA Forum Executive Committee for Ecocriticism and Environmental Humanities (2019-24) and as a Member of the MLA Delegate Assembly representing the Western US and Western Canada (2020-23). He also serves on the Advisory Board for Penn State University Press’s series “Cultural Inquiries in English Literature, 1400-1700” and on the Editorial Board of Shakespeare Quarterly. For the SAA Professor Nardizzi has served on the 2015 Program Committee, the 2017 Dissertation Prize Committee, the Executive Director Search Committee in 2017, the 2018 NextGenPlen Committee, the 2020 Nominating Committee and the 2022 Dissertation Prize Committee; he also served on the 2013-14 Vancouver Local Arrangements Committee. He led seminars in 2009 and 2016, presented on a panel in 2013 and a plenary session in 2017.

Statement:

I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. I am a cis-gay-white-settler; I conduct research in queer studies, in disability studies, and in Environmental Humanities. My teaching has increasingly focussed on the labor politics of youth-led movements like Climate Strike. I am also a founding collaborator of the international research network called “Oecologies.” Its members aim to reimagine their scholarly and teaching interests in medieval and early modern culture in light of their specific institutional locations and entanglements in global networks. By such research and teaching lights, I would advocate strongly on behalf of similar collaborative efforts and environmental justice in our organization were I elected to serve as Trustee. As the SAA continues to grow, so too does its carbon footprint. We must have more conversations about the future of the SAA in this climate emergency. These will be difficult conversations that aim to strike the right balance among f-t-f collegiality, increased accessibility, and attention to the costs to the personal and carbon budgets of its members. Thank you for your consideration.

Deadline: 15 February 2022

 
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