Shakespeare and the Politics of Location


Magdalena Cieślak (University of Łódź)

Francesca Rayner (Universidade do Minho)


Following the conference’s interest in discussing how Shakespeare is used in cross-cultural exchanges and negotiations, and acutely aware of the relevance of political approaches to Shakespeare in the context of the large number of diverse crises fragmenting and reconfiguring Europe at the moment, we wish to offer a seminar that would address the problems and questions related to politicising Shakespeare’s plays when adapted for theatre in specific geotemporal conditions. Some productions more than others focus on bringing out ambiguities and controversies in the areas of national, class or gender politics that Shakespeare’s plays abound in. We wish to invite papers which analyse productions set in very particular locations, times or environments with the purpose of highlighting those geotemporal and cultural specificities and their role in the making of political statements.

The seminar invites you to address such issues as:

– the choice of specific locations or times informs the approach to the text of the play;

– the choice of specific locations or times helps to (re)interpret nation, class, ethnicity or gender;

– updates and modernizations deal with specific cultural and political references of the plays;

– plots and themes of Shakespeare’s plays that are potentially nationalistic, racist, misogynist or otherwise “politically incorrect” are used to either challenge or foster contemporary prejudice;

– what ways Shakespearean productions may relate to contemporary social, political and economic practices;

– what ways Shakespearean productions may engage in various discourses concerning social, economic, ethnic and other inequalities;

– global versus (or alongside with?) local approaches facilitate attempts to engage with vital contemporary problems through Shakespeare.


Please send 150-word abstracts and biographies to and before 31 March 2017.