Julius Caesar mocks his wife’s ominous dream:? “She dreamt tonight she saw my statue,? which like a fountain with a hundred spouts?did run pure blood: and many lusty Romans came smiling and did bathe their hands in it.” (2.2.76-79)
This seminar will look at various representations of blood in Shakespeare’s plays. From intense physical moments of bleeding on the stage, to abstract concerns around legitimacy and primogeniture, papers will focus on issues of humoral theory, embodiment, stage properties, and kinship.
Marjorie Garber, in Shakespeare After All (2004), claims that Macbeth is a play obsessed with blood in its literal, symbolic, metonymic, and paternal meanings: “For it is the word blood, in all its forms that haunts Macbeth. Where some have blood in the sense of family, issue, children, and lineage, others--like the childless Macbeth and Lady Macbeth--have blood in the sense of bloodshed, ultimate disorder rather than orderly sequence, death rather than life, the end of a line rather than a line without an end. With the coming of Banquo’s ghost, we find Macbeth almost resigned to this inevitable idea of blood: ‘It will have blood, they say. Blood will have blood” (716-717).
Yet this importance of blood permeates many of Shakespeare’s works. From Gail Kern Paster’s humoral “laudable blood” to Lady Macbeth’s prayer for amenorrhea, from the late Caesar’s “wounds, poor dumb mouths” to Coriolanus’ warlike “bloody brow,” Shakespeare’s plays are steeped in and ooze of blood.
This seminar will question the various, complex ways contemporary scholarship engages with the idea of blood in early modern drama and culture. Participants will submit and pre-circulate papers a few weeks prior to the conference in Boston. Each participant will be responsible for responding to several papers in preparation for our meeting. In addition, participants will prepare discussion questions for the group and will prepare an extended abstract for their paper.
At the 2012 NeMLA convention in Rochester, we successfully ran a similar seminar themed around experiences and literary representations of smell, taste, and touch in early modern Europe. The seminar-style format was well received by both participants and audience members.
Deadline: September 30, 2011
Please include with your abstract: Name and Affiliation, Email address, Postal address, Telephone number, A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)
Please send a 300 word abstract, a brief CV, and your name & affiliation to both Chris Madson at firstname.lastname@example.org and Colleen Kennedy at email@example.com.
The 2013 NeMLA convention continues the Association's tradition of sharing innovative scholarship in an engaging and generative location. The 44th annual event will be held in historic Boston, Massachusetts, a city known for its national and maritime history, academic facilities and collections, vibrant art, theatre, and food scenes, and blend of architecture. The Convention, located centrally near Boston Commons and the Theatre District at the Hyatt Regency, will include keynote and guest speakers, literary readings, film screenings, tours and workshops. Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable. http://www.nemla.org/convention/2013/cfp.html