CFP: Disability and Shakespearean Theatre Symposium

Where?: Sir Alwyn Williams Building, Lilybank Gardens, University of Glasgow, G12 8QQ

When?: 9.45am-5pm, Wednesday 20th April 2016

Attendance fee?: £25 full, £15 concession, free for BSA members

What?:  This symposium draws together growing research interest in disability studies and Shakespearean theatre. In discussing the depiction, treatment, and uses of disability in Shakespeare’s work (and that of his contemporaries) alongside analysis of the role of disability in staging of his plays, we hope to encourage interaction between creative practitioners, historians, and literary scholars. Playwright and disability studies scholar Prof. Chris Mounsey (University of Winchester) will give the keynote address on “VariAbility in Shakespeare”, in which he will explore alternative ways of responding to the question of the existence of disability in the Early Modern period, and to one of Shakespeare’s most infamous characters: Richard III. Following the symposium, Glasgow-based playwright Molly Ziegler (Notes, Getting it (Back)) has agreed to premier her new play, Let Her Come In. Let Her Come In is a one act rewriting of Hamlet, focused on mental illness, gender, and disability.

We are now looking for academics, actors, and creative practitioners of all levels, periods, and fields to submit proposals for 20 minute conference papers, or 5-10 minute position papers for discussion. We invite papers on topics that include (but are not limited to):

  • Disability in contemporary adaptations of Shakespeare
  • 21st-century understanding of (and challenges to) disability on the Shakespearean stage
  • VariAbility and categorisations of disability on stage (especially as applied to mental and physical disabilities)
  • Staging disability (actors, prostheses, costumes, etc.)
  • Disabled actors and staging Shakespeare
  • Signed Shakespeare, captioning, and assistive technologies
  • Disabled scholars’ experience of Shakespeare in performance and the academy
  • Cultural and historical concepts of disability in Shakespearean texts
  • The language of disability in Shakespeare
  • Challenging the idea of Shakespeare as savant
  • Disability and Shakespeare’s collaborators and contemporaries
  • Disability studies theory and Shakespearean theatre

Further Details?: Please email an abstract of up to 300 words and a short bio to the symposium organisers (disabilityandshakespeare@gmail.com) by Friday 15th January 2016. Please indicate if your proposal is for a position paper. There are two small travel bursaries available for postgraduate/early career presenters; the recipients of these grants will be asked to write a short reflection on the symposium, which will be published on the BSA website, the Glasgow Medical Humanities Research Centre blog, and the symposium website.

If you wish to be considered for one of the postgraduate bursaries, please email us for an application form and submit it with your abstract and bio. We will contact all respondents on the outcome of their proposal by Friday 22nd January 2016. Thanks to funding from the British Shakespeare Association, this symposium will be free to attend for BSA members. Symposium attendees are welcome to join the BSA in advance of the event or on the day.

The symposium venue, the Sir Alwyn Williams Building, is fully accessible, and the symposium will include accommodations such as pre-circulated papers and discussion topics, ending with an interactive roundtable discussion. For more information on access, transport, and the venue please visit our website. If you have any questions, please email the symposium team at disabilityandshakespeare@gmail.com, or contact us via @Disability&SS.


Free Performance: Wicked Fish – From There to Here

Wicked Fish is a theatre and creative arts company from Liverpool, comprising five Disabled People, three of whom have Learning Difficulties. From There To Here is a new and developing piece of theatre by Wicked Fish.  It looks at the lives of three inmates of the Royal Albert Institution, Lancaster,  around 1910.  Their experiences become starting point for a closer look at attitudes to people who have learning difficulties today, and how far we think we have come in supporting them.

Performances are free and there is no need to book seats in advance:

Tuesday, 20 January, 6.30pm Valley Community Theatre, Netherley
Friday, 24 January, 2pm Liverpool Central Library, City Centre
Saturday, 30 January, 2.30pm Museum of Liverpool, Albert Dock.

For more information see http://wickedfish.org.uk/ or email wickedfish97@hotmail.com


Event: School of Languages and Linguistics Postgraduate Colloquium (May 2014: Sheffield)

The School of Languages and Linguistics Postgraduate Colloquium, ‘Conformity and Dissent’ is taking place this Friday (16th May) and may be of interest to some of you.

It is being held at the Humanities Research Institute (University of Sheffield) on Gell Street. The programme for the day can be found via the conference website (details below) and includes a paper in an afternoon panel on disability as a form of dissent in a particular Spanish play.

[Thanks to DRF member Mathy SelvakumaranPhD Candidate (Wolfson Scholarship) – for alerting us to this event]