Shakespeare's World/World Shakespeares: The Selected Proceedings of the International Shakespeare Association World Congress Brisbane, 2006

Shakespeare's World/World Shakespeares: The Selected Proceedings of the International Shakespeare Association World Congress Brisbane, 2006

Shakespeare's World/World Shakespeares: The Selected Proceedings of the International Shakespeare Association World Congress Brisbane, 2006

Shakespeare's World/World Shakespeares: The Selected Proceedings of the International Shakespeare Association World Congress Brisbane, 2006

Synopsis

This collection offers 29 essays by many of the world's major scholars of the extraordinary diversity and richness of Shakespeare studies today. It ranges from examinations of the society Shakespeare himself lived in, to recent films, plays, novels and operatic adaptations in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

Excerpt

The opening ceremonies of the eighth world shakespeare congress in Brisbane cued the uniqueness of the occasion to come during the memorable week of July 16–21, 2006. With Australian actor Bille Brown as master of ceremonies, the program contained variations on its theme, “Shakespeare’s World/World Shakespeares,” within a carefully planned two-hour production: Zen Zen Zo Physical Theater Company presented a specially commissioned version of the Scottish play; indigenous performers offered a traditional “Welcome to Country” ritual; political dignitaries and academic organizers extended the welcome; and a video outlined highlights of the Congress. Like this first event, the Congress itself played out as a celebration of Shakespeare by a range of communities representing education and the arts. When the audience processed from Brisbane City Hall, the main venue for the Congress, to the Queensland Art Gallery, the site of an opening reception, its inclusiveness became strikingly apparent in the large, beautiful, and crowded room. Finally, close to seven hundred delegates registered from six continents and more than thirty countries.

That diversity characterized the academic program and its ancillary sessions, allowing new insights to Shakespeare’s appropriation in many types of cultures: parts of Asia and the Middle East; renderings on the stage and in other media; school curricula and university classrooms; and a prison in Malaysia. Among the five compelling plenary speakers, Professor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, former Deputy Prime Minister of that country, described how he spent six years of political internment “in conversation with Shakespeare.” Professor Ania Loomba explored interaction between East and West in the early modern period; Professor Michael Neill, the “primitive ontological shame” that defines King Lear. in the opening plenary, eminent stage director Gale Edwards expressed her passion for Shakespeare, demonstrating it later by giving a workshop and participating in a roundtable discussion on Shakespeare in the theater. With the closing plenary, award-winning author David Malouf addressed Shakespeare as an artist who “opened the inner world of consciousness” for writers. Malouf’s own work rings with Shakespearean echoes, from his play Blood Relations to a character in his 1993 novel Remembering Babylon who appears initially as “half-child, halfseacalf” (p. 24).

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