Saturday, November 20, 2010

Beirut conference - Shakespeare and the Orient

Due Jan 21 2011
American University of Beirut
The American University of Beirut is hosting a three-day conference on Shakespeare’s Imagined Orient on 4-6 May 2011. Speakers include Jonathan Burton (West Virginia University), Gerald Maclean (University of Exeter, UK), Margaret Litvin (Boston University), Daniel Vitkus (Florida State University) and Richard Wilson (Cardiff University). Shakespeare studies has recently experienced a noticeable and dramatic geographical shift. As the textual landscape of Shakespeare’s drama changes, it takes new forms and now points to new horizons, namely the East and the Orient, and more particularly the Levant. From the blasted heaths of England, Shakespeare moves to the most arid and yet fertile soils of the Levant. The aim of the conference, in this emergent field, is to reconsider Shakespeare’s diffusion from both Pre and Postcolonial Middle Eastern perspectives and to examine Shakespeare’s critical relevance to understanding religion and politics on both a local scale (in the Middle East/the Orient) and globally. Reaching across disciplinary boundaries, Shakespeare’s Imagined Orient aims to prove how the critical and artistic reception of Shakespeare in the Orient is paramount to apprehending and reinventing Shakespeare as a cultural and social bridge uniting the “East” and the “West” in the landscape of global culture. The organisers of the conference hope to offer a critical insight into Shakespeare and Early Modern political theology that would help refashion, remap broader issues that engage the status of cultural and religious identity, nation, and individuality in the landscape of global culture. With such issues in mind, we invite submissions concerning the following range of topics: - Representations of the Orient in Shakespeare's Work, - Christian/Muslim Representation/Interaction on Shakespeare's/the Early Modern stage, - Local/Global Shakespeare (from a Middle Eastern perspective), - Shakespeare's women and the Orient, - Desire, Phantasm, and the Orient, - Identity and Nationhood, - Material Culture and the Imagined Orient on Shakespeare's Stage.

Please send abstracts (300 words) or session proposals and brief CV by 21 January 2011. Notifications will be sent by 15 February 2011. On your abstract please include your name, institution, city and state or country, email address and phone number. E-mail your abstracts/session proposals as a Word file. Please note that each presentation is limited to 25 minutes (including questions). Full details can be downloaded from the conference website at Questions may be addressed to the conference chair: Prof. Francois-Xavier Gleyzon at
Department of English
American University of Beirut
Fisk Hall, Rm 229
PO Box 11-0236
Beirut 1107 2020 - Lebanon
The conference is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the British Council, the Anis K. Makdisi Program in Literature, the Office of the Provost, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Center for American Studies and Research at the American University of Beirut.

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