Call for papers: The international circulation and translation of Shakespeare criticism (Leuven, 26-27 June 2023)

Abstract deadline: 31 January 2023

As one of the oldest and most widely practised forms of reflection on vernacular literatures, Shakespeare criticism has helped shape modern literary scholarship worldwide. The mutual influence between Shakespeare critics of different nations is well known and has in some cases been extensively studied and debated (see e.g. the controversy that has long surrounded Coleridge’s debt to Schlegel). Going beyond questions of influence, this conference aims to refocus the debate on the actual channels of transmission through which Shakespeare criticism has been circulated and received across linguistic and national boundaries, and on the various new audiences that it has reached through that circulation.   

The conference will take place in Leuven, Belgium on 26 and 27 June 2023. It is organized by the research team of the project ‘Bringing the Bard Back Home? The English translation of foreign Shakespeare criticism in the long 19th century’, funded by the KU Leuven research council. Our plenary speakers are Roger Paulin (Cambridge) and Rui Carvalho Homem (Porto).   

Possible topics include: 

– Translations (faithful or not, authorized or not, with or without paratextual framing…), translators and publishers of Shakespeare criticism in different languages.

– The extracting, anthologizing and international canonization of critical pronouncements on Shakespeare.

– Reprints of Shakespeare criticism in different parts of the Anglophone world / other large linguistic areas.

– Lectures and lecture tours on Shakespeare (Schlegel, Coleridge, Dowden, Bradley, the British Academy Shakespeare lectures, …).

– New media (from 18th- and 19th-century periodicals to 21st-century digital platforms) and their impact on the dissemination/vulgarization of Shakespeare criticism. 

– Audiences and the language(s) of Shakespeare criticism.          

– The rise of English as an international academic discipline and its impact on the production of Shakespeare criticism in other vernaculars.  

The town of Leuven in Belgium is host to KU Leuven, the oldest university in the Low Countries . It is within easy reach of Brussels international airport as well as Eurostar, Thalys and ICE railway terminals. 

For more information, please contact Carmen Reisinger or Raphaël Ingelbien . 

Abstracts (200-300 words) for 20-minute papers and short academic biographies (100-200 words) should be sent to Carmen Reisinger (carmen.reisinger@kuleuven.be) by 31 January 2023. Notification of acceptance for proposals will be sent before 28 February 2023.   

The conference website will be found at https://shakespearecriticism.wordpress.com/

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