photo of a manuscript

Shakespeare and the Poetics and Politics of Relevance

Fri., May. 13, 2022 | 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Rothenberg Hall
Event Notes: 
May 13–14 | Registration: $25 (Students free) | Optional lunch: $20 (each day)
Add to Calendar 05/13/2022 08:30 AM 05/13/2022 05:00 PM America/Los_Angeles Shakespeare and the Poetics and Politics of Relevance Visit page - The Huntington - Rothenberg Hall

This two-day conference addresses vexing questions about the contemporary relevance of Shakespeare’s writings. Presenters will ask not just why or how Shakespeare might be pertinent to current social, political, and literary matters, but also relevant to whom? How do we make connections between Shakespeare and current debates around race, ethnicity, gender, or the environment without conflating discrete temporal moments? Addressing these questions from a range of perspectives, including performance, text, history, and poetics, will sharpen, counter, and contradict some of the arguments that are regularly made in defense of the humanities.

This conference will be recorded.



8:30–9:30 a.m. | Registration & Coffee

9:30–9:45 a.m. | Conference Welcome
Steve Hindle (The Huntington)

9:45–10 a.m. | Remarks
Dympna Callaghan (Syracuse University)

10–12 p.m. | Session 1—Climate
Moderator: Scott Manning Stevens (Syracuse University)

  • Jonathan Bate (Arizona State University), “Stormy Weather: Shakespeare in a Changing Climate”

  • Sophie Chiari (Université Clermont Auvergne), “Underground Shakespeare: The Ecology of Natural Resources”

Noon–1 p.m. | Lunch (extra charge)

1–3 p.m. | Session 2—Comedy
Moderator: Ian Smith (Lafayette College)

  • Indira Ghose (Université de Fribourg), “Shakespeare and the Ethics of Humour”
  • Sujata Iyengar (University of Georgia), “The Relief of Shakespeare: Much Ado about (Ir)relevance”

3–3:15 p.m. | Break

3:15–5 p.m. | Session 3—Gender and Identity Politics
Moderator: Vanessa Wilkie (The Huntington)

  • Heather James (University of Southern California), “She takes a wife: Ovid and Shakespeare’s versions of Iphis”

  • Ania Loomba (University of Pennsylvania), “Shakespeare and Identity Politics”


9–9:30 a.m. | Registration & Coffee

9:30–11:30 a.m. | Session 4—Borders and Boundaries
Moderator: Sophie Chiari (Université Clermont Auvergne)

  • Ian Smith (Lafayette College), “Looking Behind the Wall”

  • Kathryn Vomero Santos (Trinity University), “What’s Hamlet to the Borderlands?” 

11:30–12:30 p.m. | Lunch (extra charge)

12:30–2:30 p.m. | Session 5—Crossings
Moderator: Ania Loomba (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Scott Stevens (Syracuse University), “Mistaking Wilderness: Conflicting Ecologies in Early Modern North America”

  • Jeffrey Wilson (Harvard University), “Shakespeare Across the Disciplines”

2:30–2:45 p.m. | Break

2:45–4:45 p.m. | Session 6—Global/Universal Shakespeare
Moderator: Jonathan Bate (Arizona State University) 

  • Joyce Green MacDonald (University of Kentucky), “Universal Shakespeare?”

  • Yong LiLan (University of Singapore), “Shakespeare, Gender, and Intercultural Performativity: Digital Media”

4:45 p.m. | Wrap-up
Dympna Callaghan (Syracuse University)

Questions? Contact [email protected]

Funding provided by The Huntington's Dorothy Collins Brown Endowment and The USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute