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Call for Papers



Sixth Biennial British Shakespeare Association Conference

Shakespeare: Text, Power, Authority


University of Stirling, 3-6 July 2014


Keynote speakers

Professor Margreta de Grazia (University of Pennsylvania)

Professor Andrew Murphy (University of St Andrews)

Professor John Drakakis (University of Stirling)

Dr Colin Burrow (University of Oxford)

Dr Michael Bogdanov (Director, The Wales Theatre Company)


In the four hundred and fiftieth year since Shakespeare’s birth, this conference seeks to explore questions of authority for Shakespeare, in Shakespeare, and about Shakespeare. It aims to investigate the relationship between text, power, and authority, both in the writing of Shakespeare and in writing about Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s works ask us repeatedly to think about what constitutes authority, about where authority lies, and about the performance of authority. Shakespeare has also himself repeatedly been used as a form of cultural capital and authority, and we therefore also welcome contributions that explore some of the different ways in which his plays and poems have been deployed in various times and places. Shakespeare’s works prompt us to think about textual authority, too. What is textual authority? What makes one text more authoritative than another? How have ideas of textual authority changed over time, and what, politically, is at stake in these changes?


Topics may include, but are not limited to: 

  •          Shakespeare’s biblical and classical authorities
  •          Monarchy and sovereignty in Shakespeare’s works
  •          Democracy and Republicanism in Shakespeare’s works
  •          The representation and performance of power in Shakespeare’s works
  •          Editing Shakespeare
  •          Shakespeare and politics
  •          Shakespeare(s) past and present
  •          Re-writing and adapting Shakespeare
  •          Writing about Shakespeare
  •          Shakespeare’s critics and readers
  •          Shakespeare on stage and screen
  •          Shakespeare and copyright
  •          Shakespeare and nationhood/identity (in the year of the Scottish referendum on independence, we particularly welcome proposals on Shakespeare and Scotland)
  •          Shakespeare and institutional power
  •          Teaching Shakespeare
  •          Shakespeare and the visual arts


The conference programme will include lectures, papers, workshops, seminars, performances, and excursions.


We welcome proposals for papers or presentations (20 minutes), panels (90 minutes) or workshops (90 mins) on any aspect of the conference theme, broadly interpreted. Abstracts (250 words or less) should be sent to bsaconference2014@stir.ac.uk by 31 Jan 2014.

Participants must be members of the British Shakespeare Association at the time of the conference. Details of how to join can be found on the conference website:  /