Closing date for proposals: 1st December 2014
“European Women in Early Modern English Drama”,
ESRA conference “Shakespeare’s Europe – Europe’s Shakespeare(s)”,
University of Worcester UK, June 29-July 2, 2015.
This seminar explores why and how early modern England’s dramatists repeatedly fashioned female characters of distinct nationalities and how notions of gender and foreignness intersect and/or diverge in early modern English play-texts. In a range of Elizabethan and Jacobean plays, foreign women are depicted as valuable links to European nations, and as threatening apertures within the English nation. Thus, the seminar will consider how the staging of foreign women may enable English dramatists and their audiences to engage in debates about international relations, to deliberate on racial anxieties, to play out strategies of integration or exclusion, and to imagine England’s future vis-à-vis the rest of Europe. We are particularly interested in papers discussing theatrical depictions of European women as agents of and conduits for social, sexual, political, economic, linguistic and cultural interchange. Furthermore the seminar seeks to uncover points of commonality and difference in representations of European women, and will consider whether these women – from different nations, with varied social, religious, economic, and political identities – constitute a distinct phenomenon in the drama of the period. The papers may examine, among other aspects, representations of European women in early modern English drama in relation to:
- social, sexual, or cultural encounters and interactions
- notions and theories of race, ethnicity, hybridity, and miscegenation
- misogyny and/or xenophobia
- political and/or economic power
- linguistic exchange (e.g. accents or multilingualism)
- religious and/or social identities and groups
- early modern travel, geography and cartography
- early modern staging (e.g. playhouses, costumes, or stage props)
- printing and circulation of plays
- source texts and dramatic genres
Please submit an abstract (200-300 words) and a biography (150 words) by 1 December 2014 to the conveners. Participants will be notified about the acceptance of their proposals by 1 March 2015. The deadline for submitting completed seminar papers (3,000 words) is 1 May 2015.
The seminar is part of the European Shakespeare Research Association conference “Shakespeare’s Europe – Europe’s Shakespeare(s)” which takes place at the University of Worcester, UK, 29th June – 2nd July 2015.