CFP: Borderlines XXII: Sickness, Strife, and Suffering at Queen’s University Belfast 2018

Call for papers for Borderlines XXII: Sickness, Strife, and Suffering. This conference will be held from 13-15th April 2018 at Queen’s University Belfast.

Proposals for both papers and panels are welcomed from postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers in the fields of both Medieval and Early Modern studies.

Sickness, strife and suffering punctuate many medieval and early-modern narratives. When viewed by the modern eye, however, these experiences can be difficult to comprehend and empathise with, without resorting to anachronisms. Indeed, in her landmark treatise on pain, Elaine Scarry contests that ‘[p]hysical pain does not simply resist language but actively destroys it’ (Scarry, 1985: 4), thus rendering any description or explanation of pain practically impossible, regardless of era.

In the light of Scarry’s work, the specific difficulties posed by the expression and understanding of pain in the Middle Ages have been expounded upon and theorised by numerous scholars. Esther Cohen’s work on the various symbolisms of medieval pain (Cohen, 2010), in addition to Robert Mills’ adumbration of translative pain theories, mapping the medieval experience of pain onto that of the current day and vice versa (Mills, 2005), are just two examples of scholarship exploring this fascinating area of research connecting the human experience of the present with that of the past.

It is in this light that we are pleased to invite abstracts of ca. 250 words related to pain in the Middle Ages and early modern period. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Collective pain
  • Depictions of pain
  • Explanations of pain
  • Judicial literature
  • Medical literature
  • Memory and painNarratives of suffering
  • Pain and creativity
  • Pain and pleasure
  • Psychological pain
  • Social pain
  • Religious literature
  • Suffering in the afterlife

Please send all abstracts (along with a short academic biography) to borderlinesxxii@gmail.com by 5th February 2018.

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Call for Papers: British Shakespeare Association, Queen’s Belfast, 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS

Shakespeare Studies Today

Queen’s University Belfast, 14-17 June 2018 (BSA2018@qub.ac.uk)

The Belfast Tempest

Shakespeare Studies is one of the most rich and dynamic areas of interdisciplinary enquiry. It embraces historical explorations of Shakespeare’s canon, ranges across four hundred years of world theatre and performance history, and is continually renewed by Shakespeare’s iconic status in contemporary culture, film and media. Shakespeare draws together academics, teachers, theatre professionals, practitioners, readers and enthusiasts. At the same time, Shakespeare is a global commodity, reinvented in every culture and nation, meaning that his work prompts world-wide conversation. Following on from the 2016 celebrations, the 2018 BSA conference offers an opportunity for academics, practitioners enthusiasts and teachers (primary, secondary and sixth- form teachers and college lecturers) to reflect upon Shakespeare Studies today. What does Shakespeare Studies mean in the here-and-now? What are the current and anticipated directions in such diverse fields of enquiry as Shakespeare and pedagogy, Shakespeare and race, Shakespeare and the body, Shakespeare and childhood, Shakespeare and religion, Shakespeare and economics, Shakespeare and the law, Shakespeare and emotion, Shakespeare and politics, Shakespeare and war and Shakespeare and the environment? What is Shakespeare’s place inside the curriculum and inside debates around theory, queer studies and feminism? Where are we in terms of editing and materiality, and where does Shakespeare sit alongside his contemporaries, male and female? How does theatre practice, performance history, adaptation, cinema and citation figure in ever evolving Shakespeare Studies? In particular, this conference is keen to explore the challenges facing Shakespeare Studies today and to reflect on newer emergent approaches. Reflections on past practices and their reinventions for the future are also warmly welcomed.

Plenary Speakers include: Prof. Pascale Aebischer (University of Exeter), Prof. Clara Calvo (University of Murcia), Prof. Richard Dutton (Queen’s University Belfast), Prof. Courtney Lehmann (University of the Pacific) and Prof. Ayanna Thompson (George Washington University).

UK Premieres include: Veeram (dir. Jayaraj, 2016), a South Indian film adaptation of Macbeth, and Hermia and Helena (dir. Matías Piñeiro, 2016), an Argentine adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

BSA 2018 also includes: Q+As with theatre director Andrea Montgomery (The Belfast Tempest, 2016) and film directors Jayaraj and Matías Piñeiro.

There are four ways to participate in BSA 2018:

  1. Submit an abstract for a 20-minute paper. Abstracts (100 words) and a short biography to be submitted by 1 October 2017 to BSA2018@qub.ac.uk
  2. Submit a proposal for a panel session consisting of three 20-minute papers. Abstracts for all three papers (100 words each), a rationale for the panel (100 words) and short speaker biographies to be submitted by 1 October 2017 to BSA2018@qub.ac.uk
  3. Submit a proposal for a performance / practice or education workshop or a teachers’ INSET session. For a workshop, submit a summary proposal outlining aims and activities and a biographical statement. For an INSET session (either a one-hour event or a twenty-minute slot), submit a summary proposal and biographical statement. All proposals to be submitted by 1 October 2017 to BSA2018@qub.ac.uk
  4. Submit an abstract to join a seminar. The seminar format involves circulating a short paper in advance of the conference and then meeting to discuss all of the papers in Belfast. Abstracts (100 words), a short biography and a statement of your seminar of preference to be submitted by 1 October 2017 to BSA2018@qub.ac.ukSeminars include:

Digital Shakespeare: Histories/Resources/Methods’ led by Dr Stephen O’Neill (Maynooth University);

Shakespeare and Act/Scene Division’ led by Dr Mark Hutchings (University of Reading);

‘Shakespeare and the Book Today’ led by Prof. Emma Smith (Hertford College, Oxford);

‘Shakespeare and his Contemporaries’ led by Dr Lucy Munro (King’s College, London);

Shakespeare and Early Modern Playing Spaces’ led by Prof. Richard Dutton (Queen’s University Belfast);

‘Shakespeare and Europe’ led by Prof. Andrew Hiscock (Bangor University) and Prof. Natalie Vienne-Guerrin (University of Montpellier III-Paul Valéry);

Shakespeare and Film’ led by Dr Romano Mullin (Queen’s University Belfast);

‘Shakespeare and Marx’ led by Dr Matt Williamson (Queen’s University Belfast);

‘Shakespeare and Morality’ led by Dr Neema Parvini (University of Surrey);

‘Shakespeare and Pedagogy’ led by Dr Lindzy Brady (University of Sydney) and Dr Kate Flaherty (Australian National University);

‘Shakespeare, Performance and the 21st Century’ led by Dr Erin Sullivan (Shakespeare Institute, the University of Birmingham);

‘Shakespeare and Religion’ led by Dr Adrian Streete (University of Glasgow);

‘Women, Shakespeare and Performance’, led by Prof. Liz Schafer (Royal Holloway, University of London)

A number of Postgraduate / Practitioner / Teacher Bursaries will be available to cover the conference fee. When you submit your abstract / proposal, please indicate if you would like to apply for one of these and if you would like to attend all of the conference or Saturday only.

 

The BSA is proud to announce its next the locations, institutional partners and themes of its next three conferences:

Shakespeare Studies Today, 14-17 June 2018, Queen’s University, Belfast

Shakespeare: Race and Nation, July 2019, Swansea University

Shakespeare in Action, July 2020, University of Surrey

The BSA is pleased to invite proposals to host our 2021 conference.

To apply, send a completed proposal form to events@britishshakespeare.ws

Download the Proposal Form

More info: http://www.britishshakespeare.ws/conference/

Job: Research Fellow – Performing Restoration Shakespeare

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Research Fellow – Performing Restoration Shakespeare

Queen’s University Belfast – School of Arts, English and Languages

This post is available for three years to be an active member of the AHRC-funded research project ‘Performing Restoration Shakespeare’, assisting the Principal Investigator (Professor Richard Schoch, Queen’s University Belfast) and the International Co-Investigator (Professor Amanda Eubanks Winkler, Syracuse University, USA) in the planning, delivery and evaluation of research and impact activities.

Anticipated interview date: Wednesday 7 December 2016

Apply online at www.qub.ac.uk/jobs. For further information or assistance contact the Personnel Department, Queen’s University Belfast, BT7 1NN. Telephone (028) 9097 3044 or email on personnel@qub.ac.uk.

The University is committed to equality of opportunity and to selection on merit.  It therefore welcomes applications from all sections of society and particularly welcomes applications from people with a disability.

From: www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AUX427/research-fellow-performing-restoration-shakespeare

Reading: Prospero’s Prison

In this session with filmmaker and dramaturge Tom Magill (left) chaired by Prof. Mark Thornton Burnett of Queen’s University Belfast (right), we will be discussing his film-in-progress, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest entitled Prospero’s Prison. This is a modern adaptation based around themes of revenge and reconciliation and shows how Shakespeare’s play is of relevance to a post-conflict Northern Ireland. There will be an opportunity to read aloud an outline of the plot as a group, and volunteers will be very welcome. During and after the group reading, we’ll be discussing how the adaptation can be taken forward: again, contributions are encouraged and invited!

 

Place: Performance Space, Linen Hall Library Belfast

Time: 2.00-4.00

Date: 18 October 2016

Enquiries: mark.burnett@qub.ac.uk

See linenhall.cloudvenue.co.uk/prosperosprison

 

Report: ‘Shakespeare Lives Through Sir Kenneth Branagh on Stage and Screen’ – exhibition and Q&A

Guest post by Cynthia Martin.

As part of the Shakespeare 400 celebrations in Belfast, the Queen’s Film Theatre is honouring Sir Kenneth Branagh’s work with an exhibition which chronicles his prolific career as both Shakespearean actor and director.  The display features an array of movie stills, photographs, movie posters, promotional postcards, and theatre programmes from Branagh’s early beginnings to today (complements of the Branagh Collection, located in the Special Collections & Archives of Queen’s University Belfast). An eclectic collage of rare artefacts, this exhibition will tour the island, as Ireland celebrates Branagh’s contribution to Shakespeare appreciation.

The exhibition begins with a large triptych, designed to detail Branagh’s very distinctive and rich work in Shakespeare adaptation throughout the past three decades. Informative yet concise, this poster presents visitors with an organised contextualization of the coming attractions for optimal experience and engagement.

Branagh Hamlet

Branagh’s Hamlet (1996)

The production stills of Branagh’s Hamlet and Henry V (as well as a black-and-white offstage photograph from the set of Much Ado About Nothing) especially capture the careful thought and conscientiousness behind every scene Branagh has directed. As film is a medium which perpetually moves forward, a production still offers a visual pause to the viewer, affording her/him the opportunity to reflect on all the intricate details of a split second in the performance. The still of Branagh as he is about to begin Hamlet’s ‘to be or not to be’ soliloquy especially conjures the dichotomous emotional conflict between meditative deliberation and fierce urgency.

Also included in this exhibition are theatre programmes from Branagh’s earlier career with the Royal Shakespeare Company (Henry V by the RSC at Barbican Theatre in 1984 and Hamlet by the RSC at Stratford in 1993). A framed theatre poster from Branagh’s performance as Richard III in 2002 additionally joins the wall amongst production stills and film posters. Aiming to focus also on Branagh’s theatre legacy, these artefacts inspire viewers to contemplate the media translation of Shakespeare from page to stage to screen, and to admire Branagh’s seemingly effortless flexibility between film and theatre productions.

Branagh Much Ado

Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

However, it is perhaps his presence on Time’s front page in 1989 which best demonstrates the extent to which Branagh has contributed to the integration of Shakespeare into modern cinematic culture. Often praised for the accessibility of his Shakespeare productions to audiences, Branagh juggles both high and pop art cultures with impressive dexterity. As Branagh was nominated for two Oscars for his Henry V (Best Actor and Best Director), this magazine cover brings the viewer back to the time when this Belfastite first achieved global stardom.

The launch of the Branagh exhibition on the 7th of May of this year in conjunction with the Irish Renaissance Seminar held at Queen’s University, Belfast, included a lovely reception with wine and hors d’oeuvres. A gracious introduction by Professor Mark Thornton Burnett of Queen’s University, Belfast truly highlighted Branagh’s phenomenal contribution to Shakespeare film, theatre, and adaptation studies. I would recommend this exhibition to anyone with a deep interest in Sir Kenneth Branagh’s Shakespeare adaptations, and am pleased to inform fans that these artefacts will be accessible to various regions across Ireland this year.

In conjunction with this exhibition, the QFT also arranged a Q&A session with Sir Kenneth Branagh himself for the 27th of May. Led by Adrian Wooton, CEO of Film London and the British Film Commission, this event served as a special introduction to a showing of Branagh’s 1989 Henry V, an introduction which was also transmitted live to over 70 cinemas across the UK.

Wooton mainly covered Branagh’s impressive and action-packed career, from Henry V (1989), Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Hamlet (1996), Love’s Labour’s Lost (2000), and As You Like It (2006), to very recent, non-Shakespearean work, such as Thor (2011) and Cinderella (2015). Given that Branagh had mentioned that his interest in Shakespeare began with a passion for his native Irish language, it was a shame that Wooton did not include Branagh’s The Magical Flute (2006) in this discussion, as the obvious connections amongst poetic language, Shakespeare, and music would have naturally led to an engaging dialogue on the profound, yet simple magic of sound.

Branagh As-you-like-it - finale

Branagh’s As You Like It (2006) – finale scene

Although Wooton’s questions themselves were quite predictable and unoriginal (indeed, one got the sense that Branagh had answered these same questions a million times before), one could not object to the sheer delight of simply being in Branagh’s charming and enchanting presence. Moreover, a pre-selected batch of Twitter questions from fans definitely added a more personal and unique element to the discussion. One Twitter user who had a particularly keen sense of humour asked if, from a director’s perspective, Branagh found himself difficult to direct, to which the audience and Branagh responded with authentic, unbridled chuckles. Overall, Branagh’s personal introduction to his Henry V, the film which catapulted his career as Shakespearean actor and director in his home-town, contributed the perfect piece to the Shakespeare 400 celebrations.

Guest post: Cynthia May Martin is a PhD student in English Literature at Queen’s University, Belfast.

 

The “Shakespeare Lives Through Sir Kenneth Branagh on Stage and Screen” exhibition will tour to the following venues and more locations will be announced in due course:

Queen’s Film Theatre, Belfast: 26 April-31 May

  • Irish Film Institute, Dublin: 02-30 June
  • LexIcon Dun Laoghaire: 1 July – 13 August
  • NUI Galway: 15-26 August
  • Linen Hall Library, Belfast: 03-15 October
  • NUI Maynooth: 17-25 October
  • Royal Irish Academy, Dublin: 26 October-02 December

For further details, see the British Council webpage on “Shakespeare Lives Through Sir Kenneth Branagh”.

Several of Branagh’s Shakespeare films will be screened at the IFI, Dublin, this June – see the “Shakespeare Lives on Film” tour.

For information on the British Council’s “Shakespeare Lives Across the Island of Ireland: Conversations and Celebrations” programme see the British Council – Ireland ‘Shakespeare Lives’ webpage.

 

 

Workshop: Shakespeare, Here & Elsewhere

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Join Prof. Mark Thornton Burnett (Queen’s University Belfast) for a workshop on Shakespeare and world cinema, among other things.

Saturday, 14th May, 2.00 pm – Studio Theatre, dlr LexIcon, Dun Laoighaire

Booking here: www.ria.ie/events/shakespeare-here-and-elsewhere

This is part of the ‘Shakespeare Lives Across the Island’ programme, which can be downloaded here. More #Shakespeare400 and British Council #ShakespeareLives events can be found on the blog using the tag #ShaxIRL400. Follow us on Twitter at @ShakesinIreland.

Report: Irish Renaissance Seminar at Queen’s University Belfast

 

Guest post by Prof. Mark Thornton Burnett, Queen’s University Belfast

The Queen’s University Belfast meeting of the Irish Renaissance Seminar (7 May 2016), generously supported by the British Shakespeare Association, the British Council and the Society for Renaissance Studies, got off to a great start with the cutting of the Globe Theatre Cake, which was very much enjoyed by the 40 delegates from NI/Ireland and the US in attendance.

The opening plenary, ‘The Curiosity of Nations: Communities of Shakespeare in the Twenty-First Century’, by Prof. Sheila Cavanagh (Emory University and Fulbright/Global Shakespeare Centre Distinguished Chair), offered a fascinating glimpse into how Shakespeare can be debated across the world in a ground-breaking fashion via interactive classroom experiences. We then moved to wonderful shorter papers (Emer McHugh, NUI Galway, and Dr Edel Semple, UC Cork) on the Druid Shakespeare and Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth respectively which prompted lively reflection on the place of Shakespeare in regional and media contexts. Dr Stephen O’Neill’s (Maynooth University) plenary on ‘“It is the digital, / The digital above us, govern our conditions”: Shakespeare, (Mis)quotation and Digital Cultures’ followed, this furnishing delegates with rich insights into the cultural work attached to online Shakespearean communities.

Complementing and enhancing discussion was the concluding roundtable with Andrea Montgomery, director of the Terra Nova intercultural theatre group and of the Belfast Tempest, a stunning and epoch-making adaptation of Shakespeare’s play utilizing Belfast histories and a cast of hundreds. Andrea was joined by cast member, Ilana Gilovich, in the roundtable.

On the social side, delegates attended the launch of the British Council/QUB Exhibition, ‘Shakespeare Lives through Kenneth Branagh on Stage and Screen’, at the Queen’s Film Theatre, and also heard about the extraordinarily wide range of public-facing events being put on as part of the British Council supported Shakespeare 400 initiative, Shakespeare Lives Across the Island: Conversations and Celebrations. A convivial dinner at the French Village Restaurant rounded off the day’s activities.

Prof. Mark Thornton Burnett, Queen’s University Belfast
This is part of the ‘Shakespeare Lives Across the Island’ programme, which can be downloaded here. More #Shakespeare400 and British Council #ShakespeareLives events can be found on the blog using the tag #ShaxIRL400. Follow us on Twitter at @ShakesinIreland.