Shakespeare and Scandinavia Conference: Deadline for proposals 1 May, 2015

The Deadline for submitting paper and panel proposals for the International Academic Conference on Shakespeare and Scandinavia is now 1 May, 2015. Hosted by Kingston University at the Rose Theatre and co-hosted with Garrick’s Temple to Shakespeare. See below for CFP and further info.


  International Academic Conference           

Shakespeare and Scandinavia

Kingston University at the Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames

8-11 October, 2015

Call for Panels and Papers

In the sixteenth century troupes of London actors toured around the Baltic, as Hamlet records. But it was Queen Anne of Denmark who may have been responsible for Kingston’s special Shakespeare and Scandinavia connection. Shakespeare’s Scottish play is believed to have premiered in 1606 at Hampton Court Palace during the state visit of her brother King Christian IV. Then, in 1767, another Danish king, the ‘mad’ young Christian VII, was entertained by David Garrick at his nearby Shakespeare Temple, and applauded his host’s interpretation of the Prince of Denmark. Today, both Kingston University and the Rose Theatre have strong links with Scandinavia.

Shakespeare and Scandinavia will celebrate these Kingston connections, but also the diversity of Shakespeare in study and stage across the Nordic nations. Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the plays were widely acted and adapted in the North, and Shakespeare translations of national significance appeared in Norway and Finland. Many of Scandinavia’s greatest modern cultural figures, such as Kierkegaard, Ibsen and Sibelius, took inspiration from Shakespeare. In the twenty-first century Nordic Shakespeare combines tradition and appropriation in highly distinctive ways, and acclaimed Shakespeare productions, such as those of the Icelandic ‘Vesturport’ company, perform regularly in the UK.

Shakespeare and Scandinavia will be the first event of its kind ever held in the UK. The conference will draw its inspiration from the rich history of Kingston cultural exchanges and historic encounters, but with contributions from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, will aim to reconsider the many Shakespearean connections between the UK and the Nordic countries, from the commissioning of Hamlet up to the present day. On the eve of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary, Shakespeare and Scandinavia will be a fanfare for the Bard of the North.

Shakespeare and Scandinavia will be an interdisciplinary conference, and will consider cross-cultural Shakespeare connections from the perspectives of art history; literary criticism; drama, film, music and performance studies; philosophy; and translation and reception studies; as well as within wider discourses concerning constitutional history and national identity. The conference aims to map all these diverse aspects of Shakespeare in the North, but also to reinforce the current standing and development of Nordic Shakespearean and early modern studies.

Shakespeare and Scandinavia will be held at the Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames, which was opened by Sir Peter Hall in 2008 to be a ‘teaching theatre’ modeled on the Elizabethan Rose playhouse. The conference will include Shakespeare performances at the Rose and receptions in the nearby Hampton Court Palace and Garrick’s Shakespeare Temple.

All proposals are welcome. But submissions for papers, panels, and other forms of presentation are particularly invited on the following topics:

Cultural go-betweens in early modern England, Scotland, and the Baltic

The courts of James VI & I, Queen Anne of Denmark, and King Christian IV

Hamlet and its Nordic contexts and connections

Shakespeare and the idea of a united kingdom

Shakespeare and northern national and cultural identities

David Garrick and King Christian VII

Shakespeare and Northern Romanticism

Shakespearean influences in the work of Nordic artists, writers, composers, thinkers and critics, such as Hans Christian Andersen, Ingmar Bergman, Karen Blixen, Georg Brandes, Henrik Ibsen, Søren Kierkegaard, Aleksis Kivi, Rued Langaard, Asta Nielsen, Fredrik Schyberg, Jean Sibelius, Kristian Smidt, August Strindberg.

Historical and contemporary Nordic translations, adaptations and appropriations of Shakespeare

Nordic Shakespeare film, theatre and performance history, and current creative interpretation

Nordic contributions to Shakespeare criticism

Nordic Shakespeare Studies today

Teaching Shakespeare in Nordic countries

Shakespeare and Nordic politics

Proposals, with abstracts (200 words) and brief cvs, should be sent before 1 May 2015 to Anne Sophie Refskou and Richard Wilson: shakespeareandscandinavia2015@gmail.com. Alternative postal address: Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston-upon-Thames, KT1 2EE.

Organizing Committee:

Delilah Brataas (Sør-Trøndelag University College), Roy Eriksen (Agder U), Nely Keinänen (Helsinki U), Charles Lock (Copenhagen U), Aneta Mancewicz (Kingston U), Rupert Nichol (Garrick’s Temple), Claudia Olk (Freie U, Berlin), Anne Sophie Refskou (Kingston U), Martin Regal (Reykjavik U), Chantal Schutz (Université Paris 3-Sorbonne Nouvelle), Per Sivefors (Linnaeus U), Frank Whately (Kingston U), and Richard Wilson (Kingston U).

See also the blog, event page, and Twitter.

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About kingstonshakespeareseminar

Kingston Shakespeare is the home of KiSS, and its offshoot KiSSiT. Both explore the world by thinking through Shakespeare.
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