CFP: “Shakespearean Reverie” (Toowoomba, Australia, 6-8 October, 2011)

by Jessica C. Murphy

The Shakespeare in the Park Festival is a highlight on the cultural calendar of the scenic Darling Downs in Queensland, Australia. In 2011, the Festival has moved to October, to follow the famous Carnival of Flowers, making the parkland venue even more appealing than ever before. For the first time, an academic symposium is being held in conjunction with the Festival on 6-8 October, 2011. The symposium theme is Shakespearean Reverie. Confirmed keynotes for this event are:

  • Mary Floyd-Wilson (North Carolina), author of English Ethnicity and Race in Early Modern Drama
  • Paul Yachnin (McGill), former President of the Shakespeare Association of America and author of The Culture of Playgoing in Shakespeare’s England: A Collaborative Debate (with Anthony Dawson), and Stage-wrights: Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton and the Making of Theatrical Value

In the year that the Shakespeare-in-the-Park performance will focus on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it seems appropriate to reflect on the theme of “reverie” in Shakespeare’s theatre. In our world, “reverie” captures the idea of being lost in thought, even daydreaming, and we get this sense of the word from the early moderns. But in many other senses in which the term “reverie” is now obsolete, the early moderns also understood it as something less fanciful. In its French origins, “reverie” denoted madness, wildness, uncontrollable rage or, for that matter, uncontrollable delight, revelry and absurdity. We welcome presentations that treat any of these aspects of early modern “reverie” in Shakespeare’s theatre, including, for example:

  • Revelry and the public theatre companies;
  • Representations of wildness, the grotesque, or supernatural;
  • Early modern cognition and dreaming;
  • Performance of the passions and the actor’s body;
  • A Shakespearean theatre of the absurd.

Given the focus of this year’s Shakespeare-in-the-Park Festival, we are particularly keen to run a special stream on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, so papers on this play are especially welcome. We invite abstracts (300 words maximum) for papers of 20 minutes duration or proposals for panels on any aspect of the theme of “Shakespearean Reverie,” to be submitted by 9 June, 2011, via email to: Shakespeare.Symposiums@usq.edu.au

Advertisements