CFP: A play’s reflections and transfigurations: (re)writing, adapting and performing Shakespeare’s Othello. 26-27 April 2012, University of Toulouse, France.
Confirmed keynote speaker: Djanet Sears (University of Toronto), author of Harlem Duet (1997)
In the wake of the performances of Paula Vogel’s Desdemona: a play about a handkerchief (1993), Djanet Sear’s Harlem Duet (1997), and Trevor Michael Georges’ Otieno (2009), it seems that the turn of the century favoured a new wave of questioning around Shakespeare’s Jacobean tragedy. Focusing on the behind the scenes, the gaps in Shakespeare’s play, contemporary playwrights chose to rewrite the play and to give a voice to smothered or silenced characters SUCH as Desdemona herself, or Emilia (in Vogel’s play), and even Desdemona’s mysterious palimpsest, Othello’s first wife (see Sear’s Harlem Duet).
Contemporary playwrights explore again or invent new directions for Shakespeare’s play. Portraying Othello as a coward, as representative of a history of male and female suffering, or as a tyrant (see Otieno), describing Desdemona as a victim or a marriage-breaker, these adaptations raises new questions about the play. How is Othello performed nowadays? How is it adapted and to what ends? Studying the performance of Othello and/or its rewritings since the Jacobean era worldwide leads to reflects on the play’s historicity. Indeed Othello has become an echo chamber for socio-political issues, and philosophical as well as aesthetic reflections.
This conference welcomes papers dealing with stage and cinematographic adaptations or rewritings of the play in English or other languages since the first performance of Othello. We will discuss how the play and its transfigurations trigger reflections on aesthetic practices (textual and performance levels) and also on philosophical, sociological and political issues, and thus becomes a socio-historical prism through which playwrights look at the issues of gender, religious, racial tolerance, etc.
(non-exhaustive) list of sought topics:
- Translations and adaptations of Othello in English and non-English languages since the Jacobean era.
- Performing Othello then and now on stage and on screen and the question of multicultural performances
- The relationship between imagination and objects in Othello and/or its adaptations
- Philosophical reappraisals of Othello: gender, religion, race; the question of tolerance
- Othello and History: the play and its adaptations as historical prisms
- Femininities in Othello and its adaptations.
- Othello as instrument of aesthetic transfigurations: mythology, art history, popular culture…
- Shakespeare and new media…
Please send proposals (250-350 words) to Dr. Nathalie Rivere de Carles: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for abstracts: December 11th.
Answers for selected abstracts: December 16th.
Nathalie Rivere de Carles
Senior Lecturer Renaissance Studies
Director M.Ed in English Programme
General Editor Nouvelles Scènes Anglais
Université de Toulouse 2 Le Mirail
5 allées Antonio- Machado
31058 TOULOUSE CEDEX 7
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