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About the Southern African Society for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Sasmars aims to promote scholarly interest and research in Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Southern Africa and further afield. Its biennial conferences provide a forum for academics and senior students to present their work in congenial surroundings. The Society's journal, The Southern African Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, is a peer-reviewed publication which is accredited for South African research subsidy purposes. The SASMARS Newsletter has grown beyond our wildest expectations and has attracted the attention of scholars from all over the world. As a result, our 20th biennial conference in 2010 attracted the largest group of international delegates ever and served to forge important links between international scholars and their Southern African counterparts.

It has become a tradition to invite the keynote speakers at our conferences to become Corresponding Fellows of the Society and we are proud to acknowledge the following in that capacity:

Professors Jerry Brotton, Gordon Campbell, Sheila Delany, Roberta Frank, Helen Fulton, Alexandra Johnston, Susannah Monta, Edward Muir, Chris Wickham, and Henry Woudhuysen.

The latest addition to this list is Professor Carolyn Dinshaw, who was the keynote speaker at the 23nd biennial conference held at Mont Fleur in August 2016.


Introducing Our Corresponding Fellows
Through the years SASMARS has invited international keynote speakers to its biennial conferences. These international scholars have made invaluable contributions to our deliberations and given South African members, especially our students, a heightened sense of belonging to an international community of medieval and renaissance scholars.
It has been customary to invite such speakers to remain in touch with the society by becoming Corresponding Fellows. For most members of the society, however, in particular those who are unable to attend the conferences regularly, these scholars remain unfamiliar. This issue introduces some of these Research Fellows, focusing on their publications and current research interests.

Professor Jerry Brotton
Professor of Renaissance Studies, Director, Graduate School in Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of English, Queen Mary, University of London
Jerry Brotton's research focuses on artistic, material and intellectual exchange between different cultures in the period 1500-1700. Most recently, he published The Sale of the Late King's Goods, a Leverhulme-funded study of the formation, dispersal and partial restitution of King Charles I's art collection, which was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction (2006), as well as the THES Young Academic Author of the Year Award (2006) and the Hessel-Tiltmann Prize for History (2007). He has written books on early modern cartography and the construction of imperial space (Trading Territories), as well as collaborative work with Professor Lisa Jardine on artistic exchange between Christian and Islamic communities (Global Interests ). His book The Renaissance Bazaar was widely reviewed as a contribution to the growing understanding of the part Islam played in the European Renaissance. He is currently working on the representation of Islam in Shakespeare and the early correspondence of the East India Company. He regularly reviews for The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, Literary Review and BBC History Magazine, and is a Trustee of the J.B. Harley Trust. He holds positions on several editorial and advisory boards, and in recent years he has been awarded fellowships by the Leverhulme Trust and the AHRC. He is also a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters. Jerry Brotton welcomes for PhD supervision students interested in undertaking research in all aspects of Renaissance literature, culture, and history, particularly in the areas of east-west travel and cultural exchange, geography, and Shakespeare.
Recent Books
The Sale of the Late King's Goods: Charles I and his Art Collection (Macmillan, 2006), The Renaissance: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2006), The Renaissance Bazaar: From the Silk Road to Michelangelo (Oxford, 2002), Global Interests: Renaissance Art between East and West, co-authored with Lisa Jardine (Reaktion and Cornell, 2000), Trading Territories: Mapping the Early Modern World (Reaktion and Cornell, 1997).
Recent Articles

  • ‘When Art meets History: The Sale of King Charles I’s Art Collection’, Historically Speaking: The Bulletin of the Historical Society, 8:6 (2006), 11-13

  • ‘Buying the Renaissance: Prince Charles’s art purchases in Madrid, 1623’, in The Spanish Match: Prince Charles’s Journey to Madrid, 1623, ed by Alex Samson (Ashgate, London, 2006)

  • ‘Printing the Map, Making a Difference: Mapping the Cape of Good Hope, 1488-1652’, in Geography and Revolution, ed by David Livingstone and Charles Withers (Chicago University Press, 2006), pp 137-59

  • ‘St George between East and West’, in Re-Orienting the Renaissance, ed by Gerald MacLean (Palgrave, 2005), pp 50-65

  • ‘The Art of Restoration: King Charles II and the Restitution of the English Royal Art Collection’, The Court Historian, 10:2 (2005), 115-36

  • ‘The Geography of Tragedy’, in The Blackwell Companion to Shakespearean Tragedy, ed by Richard Dutton and Jean Howard (Blackwell, Oxford, 2003), pp 219-40

  • ‘Una biblioteca sin muros. La mediación tecnológica en los primeros años de la imprenta’, in Arte gráfico y nuevas tecnologías: actas del simposio (Madrid, 2003)
Professor Gordon Campbell University of Leicester, School of English
I am a Renaissance and seventeenth-century specialist with a particular interest in John Milton. My broader interests in cultural history are at present focused on art and architecture, but also include subjects such as legal history and theology. My most recent reference books, all for Oxford University Press, are The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance (2003), Renaissance Art and Architecture (2004), The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts (2 vols, 2006) and The Grove Encyclopedia of Classical Art and Architecture (2 vols, 2007); the next in this series will be The Grove Encyclopedia of the Northern Renaissance (3 vols, 2009).
My recent work on Milton, also for OUP, includes a collaborative monograph on the Miltonic De Doctrina Christiana manuscript (2007), a new scholarly biography of Milton (2008) and the general editorship (with Thomas Corns) of an 11-volume edition of Milton to be published by OUP; the first volume will be published in December 2008. My contribution to the edition will include the theological stratum of commentary on De Doctrina Christiana (Volume 8). At present I am writing a history of the King James Bible (the ‘Authorised Version’) for Oxford University Press, to be published together with an edition of the 1611 Bible as part of the quatercentenary celebrations in 2011.
I have served as Chairman and President of the English Association and as Chairman of the Society for Renaissance Studies; in 2005 I was Honored Scholar of the Milton Society of America. I am a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and a member of the Selden Society (for English legal history). I have given papers at scores of academic conferences in England and abroad, including eight International Milton Symposia (London, Cambridge, Florence and Vallombrosa, Bangor, Vancouver, York, Beaufort SC and Grenoble) and have lectured on educational subjects to bodies such as the Access to Higher Education Conference, the Seminar on China for Local Authorities, the Standing Conference of University Information Officers, the Congress of University Convocations, the Council for University English, the National Association for Teachers of English, the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing, the Association of European International Schools, the British Council and the Department of Trade and Industry. I have lectured, examined or reviewed provision at most British universities, and have given talks in more than 200 schools in England and a similar number abroad; named lectures include a Passmore Edwards Lecture at Oxford and a Sir Philip Sidney lecture at Shrewsbury. Last year saw the 400th anniversary of Milton’s birth, and my programme of visiting lectures in the second half of 2008 included the Chalfont St Giles Literary Festival, The Friends of Cambridge University Library, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Leeds, Swansea University, Aligarh Muslim University (India), the Morgan Library (New York), the Dr Williams’s Library lecture and a collaborative paper at a British Academy conference. I also helped to organise a birthday party for Milton in the Bodleian Library; the oath forbidding the kindling of fire and flame in the Library (neque ignem nec flammam in bibliothecam) means that the birthday cake did not have candles, but there was nonetheless celebration.
I have strong international interests. I have worked in Denmark (Århus University) and Canada (University of British Columbia), visited South Africa as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Science Development (Pretoria), examined in India (Aligarh and Calcutta), Luxembourg and Finland (Tampere) and lectured on academic subjects in Bulgaria (Plovdiv, Sofia and Veliko Turnovo), Italy (Matera), Norway (Oslo and Tromsø), Romania (Bucharest, Cluj and Timisoara), South Africa (Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Western Cape and Witwatersrand), Spain (Alcalá de Henares and Las Palmas), Sri Lanka (Colombo), Turkey (Istanbul) and the USA (Binghamton, Boulder, New York, Princeton, Syracuse). I have also travelled as a representative of the University beyond Western Europe to countries such as Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, Ghana, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Macao, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, the Palestinian territories, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, USA and Yemen. Within Europe, I am an active supporter of the European Society for English Studies, and have participated in its conferences in Norwich, Bordeaux, Glasgow, Debrecen, Helsinki, Strasbourg and Zaragoza. In Spain, I am a member of the Advisory Board of the Sociedad Española de Estudios Renacentistas Ingleses (SEDERI); I have spoken at SEDERI's conferences, and have also attended several of the conferences of the Asociación Española de Estudios Anglo-Norteamericanos (AEDEAN), for whose journal I serve as a reader. The British Council has sponsored visits to conferences in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Spain and to institutions of higher education in Saudi Arabia and Libya, and I have travelled to Iran as a guest of the Iranian Ministry of Science and Technology.
My work overseas has made me familiar with international issues in higher education, and has brought me into close contact with the British Council, some 80 of whose overseas offices I have visited. I have initiated and/or negotiated split-degree programmes in Hong Kong and Malaysia, a post-graduate Law programme in Cyprus, a World Bank biotechnology project in Indonesia, a teacher-training programme in Brunei, a staff-development programme in eastern Turkey, an FCO shared scholarship scheme in India, a Soros shared scholarship scheme in Hungary and a women's PhD programme in Saudi Arabia. In South Africa I have offered advice on the redressing of historic imbalances through selective funding; in Beirut, where I was the first British academic visitor in fifteen years, I contributed my mite to the process of reconstruction; in the West Bank, throughout the years when schools and universities were closed during the first intifada , I gave assistance to Palestinians in need of higher education. My work in Eastern and Central Europe has included academic and professional lectures, a book scheme in which I sent 6000 new books to 15 libraries in six countries, mediation between universities and organisations such as the British Council, the Soros Foundation, Tempus and the World Bank, and assistance with recognition of professional qualifications (especially Engineering) by EU organisations.
I have long had a particular interest in the Islamic world, to which I have made well over a hundred visits in the course of the last 25 years. I am the founding chair of the British Universities Iraq Consortium (BuiC) and co-chair of a consortium of British universities (known as UK4Saudi) active in Saudi Arabia; work with both countries has involved chairing meetings at ministerial level. I have worked as a consultant for the British government, for which I drafted a cross-governmental strategy for the support of education in the Islamic world, and I have twice participated in the Two Kingdoms Dialogue with Saudi Arabia. I regularly contribute to radio programmes (usually news) on the Middle East.

Dr. Sheila Delany
Emerita Professor of English at Simon Fraser University
First, congratulations on a beautiful website: visually elegant, technically sophisticated, user-friendly. Congratulations to the designers and managers of the site! The accompanying photo was taken in my garden by Christa Canitz for the festschrift she organized, a special number of Florilegium (2008), the Canadian medieval journal that Christa edits. We launched the issue with a lovely reception in Vancouver in December, featuring medieval music and song by two local musicians. I retired toward the end of 2006; in 2007 Exemplaria published a festschrift issue for me edited by Lynn Arner. I have a delightful grandson now 3 years old and living with his parents in Oakland, California; am working on a project that extends some of my medieval work into the late 18th century.
The project is an annotated translation, with introductory essay, of an all-female legendary, La nouvelle legend dorée (1790) by Sylvain Maréchal, a revolutionary atheist journalist and poet. His aim is to reappropriate the arch-medieval genre of hagiography to new, anti-ecclesiastical ends through a range of rhetorical tactics, so as to win his audience—especially a female audience—away from the Church and to revolutionary values of family and citizenship. My book and essays on Osbern Bokenham, the 15th-century Augustinian friar, showed (among other things) how his all-female legendary expressed a Yorkist politics. The current project does something similar for Maréchal, and enables me to immerse myself in the French Revolution—its personalities, its journals, its phases, etc.—which I find tremendously satisfying and startlingly relevant.
Though I’ve given several conference plenaries, I haven’t published much the last couple of years: a few reviews in Speculum; an essay incorporating some of the material from my 2002 SASMARS plenary (“Bovo then and now: an Old Yiddish romance in its time and ours” in Medieval cultural studies, ed. Ruth Evans, 2006) and “A,A and B: Coding same-sex union in Amis and Amiloun” in Pulp fictions of medieval England, ed. Nicola McDonald (2004).

Professor Roberta Frank
Department of English, Yale University
From your SASMARS Fellow at Yale: greetings
Thirty years have passed since I first visited South Africa as a guest of Jeff Opland (Institute of Social and Economic Research, Rhodes University) and Eugenie R. Freed-Isserow (University of the Witwatersrand). I returned in April 1994, this time to Pretoria, for a meeting of SASMARS that I shall always remember for its warmth, intellectual excitement, and eloquent, inspiring speakers. My paper for the conference – “On a Changing Field: Medieval Studies in the New World” -- appeared in The Southern African Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 4 (1994), 1-20. My last article for the same journal was for a scholar whose friendship and learning I (and so many others across the world) treasure: “O Lady” in Legends for a Good Woman: Essays Presented to Eugenie R. Freed-Isserow (2005).
Between these two papers, not only South Africa changed. I left the University of Toronto, where I had taught for thirty-two years, for Yale University, where I am now the Marie Borroff Professor of English (with a courtesy appointment in Linguistics). My interests, however, remain centered on the literature and history of Northwest Europe in the early medieval period, especially Anglo-Saxon England and Viking Scandinavia. Characteristic publications range from an early book on Old Norse Court Poetry (1978) to articles such as “The Beowulf Poet’s Sense of History (1982), “Beowulf and Sutton Hoo: The Odd Couple” (1992), “The Search for the Anglo-Saxon Oral Poet” (1993), “The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Philologist” (1997), “The Invention of the Viking Horned Helmet” (2002), and “The Discreet Charm of the Old English Weak Adjective” (2003). I am currently writing a monograph illustrating the power of the Great God Wish (first named by Jacob Grimm) over nineteenth- and twentieth-century scholarship in my field. And by the time you read this, I shall be teaching a new lecture course called “Vikings!” to a large (but I trust peaceable) contingent of Yale students.

Professor Susannah Monta
John Cardinal O'Hara, C.S.C, Associate Professor of English University of Notre Dame My affiliation with SASMARS began through my contact with Victor Houliston, who as readers of this newsletter know is an internationally-respected authority on the work of Robert Persons and on early modern English Catholicism more generally. After a conference session in which we both participated, Victor asked whether I would be interested in giving a keynote lecture for a future SASMARS meeting. Of course I was; who in her right mind would turn down such a delightful offer? I was glad to attend the 2008 meeting and hope to return for future meetings whenever possible.
My work thus far has focused on the relationships between Reformation-era religious changes and literary culture. My first book, Martyrdom and Literature in Early Modern England (Cambridge UP, 2005), studies the impact of competing Protestant and Catholic martyrologies on major (Shakespeare, Donne) and traditionally non-canonical (Southwell, Copley) authors. I have also published a series of articles on gender and early modern religion; my most recent work in this vein considers Anne Howard, Countess of Arundel, as an early modern patroness and draws on extensive archival research at Arundel Castle and other locations. Other work includes articles on history plays (by Shakespeare, Ford, Munday, and Drue), providence and miracles, print history, and Henry Vaughan’s hagiographic prose. I am very interested in the scholarship of pedagogy. I’ve published an article on teaching Spenser’s Faerie Queene to undergraduate students, an art I have not yet mastered (though I am determined to keep trying). I am also the co-editor, with Margaret W. Ferguson, of Teaching Early Modern Prose (forthcoming from the MLA’s Options for Teaching series). That volume grew out of a conviction that while the study of early modern prose has profoundly reconfigured the field, there remains a relative dearth of information about how to teach prose effectively. My current research explores areas of overlap and exchange between traditionally Catholic forms of devotional writing and emergent Protestant ones. I’m especially interested in the implication of devotional practices and polemic in configurations of formal literary strategies. I’m working right now on repetitive prayer (infamously pilloried in the opening of Keats’ “Eve of St. Agnes” and in Spenser’s Corceca), attacks and defenses of the rosary, and strategies of repetitio in devotional lyric. I also have work in progress on the status of reported miracles in early modern historiography, histories, history plays, hagiography, and biblical exegesis. I do hope to remain involved with SASMARS. After the gracious hospitality I enjoyed in South Africa, I’d like to be of some use to the organization in the future; perhaps the most obvious assistance I could lend would be in helping to publicize the biannual meeting to scholars outside South Africa. I’m grateful to Leonie Viljoen for this chance to introduce myself and my work to the readers of this newsletter, and to Victor Houliston for beginning my affiliation with SASMARS.

Professor Edward Muir
Clarence L. Ver Steeg Professor in the Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, Northwestern University, Evanston/Chicago, IL Edward Muir holds a Charles Deering McCormick Professorship of Teaching Excellence. He works in Italian social and cultural history, especially during the Renaissance. Besides receiving Guggenheim and NEH fellowships, he has been a fellow at the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Humanities Center, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the Newberry Library.
He has edited three volumes of translated essays from the prominent Italian historical journal, Quaderni Storici, is a general editor of the book series "Palgrave Early Modern History: Culture and Society," and the series editor for the “I Tatti Italian Renaissance History” monograph series with Harvard University Press. He has served on the Board of Editors of The American Historical Review and The Journal of Interdisciplinary History.
He is the author of Civic Ritual in Renaissance Venice, which won the Adams and Marraro Prizes, Mad Blood Stirring: Vendetta in Renaissance Italy, which also won the Marraro Prize, Ritual in Early Modern Europe, and The Culture Wars of the Late Renaissance: Skeptics, Libertines, and Opera.
He is the co-author of the textbook The West: Encounters and Transformations. He is currently working on the culture of religious skepticism in Counter Reformation Italy.

Professor Chris Wickham
Chichele Professor of Medieval History, University of Oxford, Fellow of All Souls College
I have been at Oxford since 2005; before that, I taught for 29 years at the University of Birmingham. My interests are in two main areas. First, the social history of Italy between the early middle ages and the early thirteenth century; I have worked above all on Tuscany, and Rome with its mountain hinterland. In that area, I have published seven books (both long and short) including The Mountains and the City (Oxford, 1988), Community and clientele (Oxford 1998), Dispute ecclesiastiche e comunità laiche (Florence, 1998), Courts and conflict in twelfth-century Tuscany (Oxford, 2003); I have now returned to Italian history and am now working on a 'non-papal' history of Rome, 900-1200. My other area of interest is comparative history; this includes work on Social Memory (a title of a book written with James Fentress, Oxford, 1992), but is above all focused on the comparative economic and social history of Europe and the Mediterranean in the early middle ages, on which I worked for a decade and wrote two books, Framing the early middle ages (Oxford, 2005), and The inheritance of Rome (London, 2009).
I came to the SASMARS conference of 2004 to give a paper on perceptions of the fall of the western Roman empire, subsequently published in The South African Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, xiv (2004), and found it an exciting and stimulating experience; I have been keen to keep up with South African medievalists since, including hosting Michael Bratchell in Birmingham when he was finishing his acclaimed book on late medieval Lucca.

This new study explores the poetic tradition of the love sonnet sequence in English as written by women. Natasha Distiller offers a unique contribution to the debate about gender and subjectivity by taking the subject of the sonnet as an analogue for the Lacanian subject. The book ranges from the development of Petrarchism in sixteenth-century English poetry, to sequences by Englishwomen in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It examines the work of Edna St Vincent Millay in the early twentieth century, and explores the Petrarchan inheritances in gangster rap today. Offering a distinctive theoretical scope, and speaking to scholars of feminist theory, of the sonnet, of women’s literary history and of cultural studies, it engages with current and ongoing debates about the place of women’s voices in Western literature and theories of subjectivity; about the development of a psychoanalytic literary critical vocabulary; and about the history of poetics in discourses of love.
Acknowledgements, Sex, Gender, and Sexual Difference, Petrarchism and Psychoanalysis, Petrarchism in Early Modern England, The Petrarchism of Mary Wroth, Strategies of Legitimation 1796-1881, Queering the Petrarchan Subject: The Poetry of Rosa Newmarch, Edna St Vincent Millay and the Dissident Petrarchan Subject, Afterword: Petrarchism Today, Works Cited, Index.
NATASHA DISTILLER is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She is author of South Africa, Shakespeare, and Post-Colonial Culture, and coeditor of Under Construction: ‘race’ and identity in South Africa Today, and of the journal Social Dynamics. She has also published widely in local and international journals.
February 2008 Hardback £45.00 978-0-230-53563-3

The Middle English Text of 'The Art of Hunting' by William Twiti. Edited from an Uncatalogued Manuscript in a Private Collection, Ashton-under-Lyne, with a Parallel Text of The Anglo Norman 'L 'Art de Venerie' by William Twiti. Edited from Cambridge, Gonville and Caius by David Scott-MacNab.
This volume presents the first scholarly edition of a little-known fifteenth-century translation of William Twiti's Anglo-Norman prose treatise on hunting, 'L 'art de venerie', the earliest manual on the sport to be composed in England. The text in question, extant in a single manuscript held in a private collection in Ashton-under-Lyne, is far superior to the only other Middle English translation of Twiti's treatise that has hitherto been known to scholars: the amplified, but debased and at times incoherent, version found in BL, MS Cotton Vespasian B XII; it is also a far more accurate rendition of Twiti's Anglo-Norman original than the much altered redaction known as 'The Craft of Venery', a text that has recently become confused with Twiti's treatise. Former editors of Twiti's work, such as Gunnar Tilander and Bror Danielsson, were unaware of the existence of the Ashton translation, and therefore founded their editions on the Cottonian text or 'The Craft of Venery', both of which are problematic in a number of ways. In this volume, the Ashton translation is printed opposite a parallel Anglo-French text edited from Gonville and Caius College MS 424/448, and is followed by freshly corrected editions of the amplified Cottonian text and 'The Craft of Venery'. All three texts are provided with their own comprehensive notes, complemented by an integrated glossary that improves on many definitions currently in the 'Oxford English Dictionary' and the 'Middle English Dictionary'.
Our members are also
active in other disciplines!

Laurence Wright has recently published a little book of South African railway poems (see attached cover illustration) which might interest SASMARS members. It speaks to many facets of railway life in South Africa, including nostalgia for steam, the South African War, African responses to the train, life on isolated stations and sidings, railway journeys, and so forth, and includes poems by Kipling, Runcie, Edgar Wallace, B.W. Vilakazi, Ruth Miller, Don Maclennan, Tess Koller, Sydney Clouts, Demetrius Segooa, Robert Berold, Mbuyisenu Mtshali, Tony Voss, Guy Butler, Sipho Sepamla, Jeremy Cronin, Zola Sikiti, Chris Mann and many others.
Copies are available from Netbooks ( and all good booksellers. The recommended selling price is R140. You can read more about it in the March Country Life.

Conferences, Symposia, Seminars
The Eighth Triennial Congress
Wednesday and Thursday 1–2 JULY 2009
Rhodes University, Grahamstown
Eastern Province, South Africa Website: It is with pleasure that we invite you to participate in our forthcoming Congress. The following information appears on the website:
Theme: Staging Shakespeare – Direction, Design and Reception This conference looks at Shakespeare in the theatre, with particular attention to the contemporary and historical challenges of staging his plays. Accounts by directors, theatre practitioners, and theatre historians are particularly welcome.
CALL FOR PAPERS Papers of 25 minutes duration are invited on the following or related topics: i) Shakespeare on stage: contemporary approaches ii) Visualising the Shakespearean stage: stark or sumptuous? iii) Staging Shakespeare’s text: what price language? iv) Beyond Words: Shakespeare and Physical Theatre v) Styling Shakespeare for film vi) Staging my country’s Shakespeare vii) The influence of Victorian Shakespeare on stage and in literature viii) Tweaking Shakespeare - the director’s ‘Aye’: feminist/proletarian/(anti-) sexist/religious/eco-critical productions ix) Shakespearean music and choreography x) Touring Shakespeare xi) Shakespeare on the South African stage xii) Shakespeare between cultures: reaching the multivalent audience xiii) Indigenising Shakespeare on stage xiv) Staging Shakespeare in translation. Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be sent to the conference coordinator, Malcolm Hacksley ( by 30 April 2009. Those who wish to put together special interest sessions should notify the coordinator of the proposed topic and participants. For further information and to answer any queries, please contact the conference secretary, Eddie Baart:
British Shakespeare Association meeting of 2009
(King's College, London, 11th-13th September)
Proposed Seminar on ‘Shakespeare’ and ‘Africa’.
Seminar leaders: Natasha Distiller and Sandra Young
University of Cape Town, South Africa As the scare quotes in the title of this seminar indicate, both ‘Shakespeare’ and ‘Africa’ are constructed notions, invested with powerful affect. The politics of identity and identification are at work in the investments made in both concepts by individuals, groups, and nations, especially in the context of the need for cohesion in fractured or pluralistic societies. Both are implicated in the use of nostalgia to address anxieties about the present. Accordingly, both run the risk of being used to construct essentialist ideas or essentialising approaches. Bearing in mind, then, that both concepts should be invoked contingently and open-endedly, this seminar is interested in papers which engage the relation between Shakespeare and Africa. The association between Shakespeare’s plays and political resistance in colonies and neo-colonies has been well-established. We are interested in papers that take the discussion beyond our established critical vocabulary in this regard. What more can we say about the ways Shakespeare has been deployed in Africa or in the African diaspora, beyond appropriation, hybridity, and mimicry? We know, too, that when Shakespeare is invoked, it immediately establishes a language of particular standing in the West, as well as a language that stands for the right to be seen as human, as cultured, and so as entitled to be heard, especially to be heard to ask for human rights in a liberal democratic framework. We take this as established knowledge, and invite contributions which take the debate beyond the idea that Shakespeare has been an interlocutor for Africans and those who identify with Africa, across the globe. What else is at stake for Africans (broadly defined) when they perform (in all senses) Shakespeare to themselves, each other, or the world? What is at stake when ‘Africa’ is invited in, or evoked, by mainstream ‘Shakespeare’? Where does our critical vocabulary need to go from here? We welcome papers on the following areas, although other related topics will be considered equally: - Continental or diasporic African communities’ uses of Shakespeare. We particularly welcome information from or about places in Africa besides South Africa, as well as historical examples of what we might call African Shakespeares: not only Shakespeares in Africa, but in any invocation of Africa as a concept or identification. - The question of Shakespeare in translation: are such works still Shakespearean? When a Shakespearean text is made to speak to a culture and a language different from its own, and especially when this requires a shift of idiom, what is the relationship between the original and the new text? Critics have recognised Shakespeare’s cultural capital and ‘his’ authorisation of African cultures and experiences. Beyond this, what might be said about the politics of the Shakespeare translation in Africa? In what sense is the relationship mutually transformative, mutually reinforcing, if at all? What is recognisably Shakespearean about Shakespeare in translation? What might African translations be said to offer Shakespeare? - Revisioning Shakespeare: how are we to read texts which talk back to Shakespeare, transforming and challenging the original but setting up an interpretative dialogue with ‘Shakespeare’? What interpretative function does Shakespeare the interlocutor perform in these ‘dialogues’ beyond processes of transculturation or hybrid resistance or identity-formation? - The material pathways through which Shakespeare travels to African localities, including diasporic African communities, and considerations of how Shakespeare travels on from these localities back to the Shakespearean centre or mainstream of Anglo-American cultures. - Investigations of specific performances of Shakespeare that relate to the concerns of this seminar. We are particularly interested in examining how to view and assess these performances without reinscribing their African components as the spectacle which enhances Shakespeare’s intellectual contribution to the performance. Whose interests get served when ‘Africanness’ is used to revitalise a well-known Shakespeare play, how, and why? How do such performances navigate the problematic of authenticity? What is the effect of (changing) location on the meanings constructed by a production, for instance when a production is performed in an African location (broadly defined) and then moves to a commercially and culturally central ‘Shakespearean’ location, such as the Globe? - Shakespeare in African education systems: when and how has Shakespeare been embraced or rejected? How have his texts been taught, and to what effect? Again, these questions seek answers which go beyond what we already know about the invocation of Shakespeare’s universal humanity in the service of colonial education systems, or in post-colonial systems in order to facilitate a talking back to empire. - What difference does gender make to these concerns in specific locations, texts, or performances? See forthcoming website for details.

MAA 2010 Annual Meeting Call for Papers
New Haven 2010.
The annual meeting of the Medieval Academy will be held 18–20 March 2010, on Yale University Campus, New Haven, hosted by Connecticut College, Southern Connecticut State University, Trinity College (Hartford), University of Connecticut, Wesleyan University, and Yale University.
The Program Committee invites proposals for papers on all topics and in all disciplines and periods of medieval studies. Any member of the Medieval Academy may submit a paper proposal, except that those who presented papers at the annual meetings of the Medieval Academy in 2008 and 2009 are not eligible to speak in 2010. Please do not submit more than one proposal.
Themes. The annual meeting of the Medieval Academy brings together medievalists from all disciplines and time periods. The Program Committee will capitalize on this strength by encouraging sessions that (1) address subjects of interest to a wide range of medievalists, and (2) put scholars from different disciplines and time periods in dialogue with each other. We are seeking innovative proposals for papers and sessions and hope to see cross-disciplinary participation wherever possible. For both the commissioned and the open sessions, we are looking for the broadest possible range of proposals of topics and of time periods, within and across all the disciplines.
Selection procedure. Papers will be evaluated for promise of quality and significance of topic. Session organizers make an initial selection of papers and submit a plan to the Program Committee, which makes final decisions by 15 September 2009. Notification of acceptance or rejection will take place shortly thereafter.
Submissions. Proposals should be submitted to Anders Winroth, preferably by e-mail to, or, on paper in two copies, to Anders Winroth, Department of History, Yale University, P.O. Box 208324, New Haven CT 06520-8324.
The deadline is 15 May 2009. Please do not send proposals to session organizers or to the Academy office.
CALL FOR PAPERS The European Society for Textual Scholarship Sixth International Conference ‘Texts beyond Borders: Multilingualism and Textual Scholarship’ Academy for Science and the Arts (KVAB), Brussels, Belgium November 19-21, 2009
Deadline for proposals: 31 May 2009
Contacts between languages, especially translations, have always played a crucial role in the making of European culture, from Antiquity until today. Bilingual or multilingual documents, literary works created in another language than their creators’ mother tongue, translations and translated texts are special textual objects which require appropriate editorial treatment. The conference will explore how textual scholarship responds to multilingualism in its various forms, such as: 1) Scholarly editing and annotating: Using translations as witnesses to an “original” text How do we edit ancient or medieval texts (or parts of texts) that are preserved only in translations? How can we handle those cases where translations do not appear to be based on direct witnesses to the text?... 2) Scholarly editing and annotating: Translations as literary objects Is the original text the only source used by a translator? How did he use earlier translations? How can we trace the sources and tools used by a translator? ... 3) Book history, the history of reading and translations Dissemination of translations; bilingual editions; the role of Bible translations in the history of philology; translations which become more popular than the original; texts which circulate first or more widely in translation than in their original form (e.g. Flemish performances of Michel de Ghelderode’s theatre prior to the French original); annotations and marginalia in languages other than the reader’s native tongue: how do readers respond to works not written in their own language? … 4) Authorship and translations Revisions of translations by the author himself may contain precious interpretative information. Translations may seem less authoritative than other texts and editors might therefore be tempted to emend translations on a larger scale than in the case of “original” texts. ... 5) Multilingualism and scholarly editing Do multilingual works of literature need other methods of editing than monolingual writings? It might also be necessary to make a distinction between different types of multilingual works (self-translations, ‘hybrid’ writings, …). Do these different types require different editorial treatments? Is it necessary to find adequate methods to edit works by authors writing in languages not their own? Or works not written in any “natural” language, such as nonsense poetry? …
The programme chairs invite the submission of proposals for full panels or individual papers devoted to the discussion of current research into different aspects of textual work, preferably focusing on the topics mentioned above. A selection of papers will be published in Variants: The Journal of the European Society for Textual Scholarship.
Proposals and abstracts (250 words) should be submitted electronically to: Caroline Macé, University of Leuven : and Dirk Van Hulle, University of Antwerp: Deadline: 31 May 2009 All participants in the ESTS 2009 conference must be members of ESTS. For information about membership, please visit the ESTS website

International Conferences: 2009 and 2010
A full list of international conferences for 2009 and 2010 appears here:

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