WOKE Shakespeare (Book)


Shakespeare’s plays have never been far from political and cultural controversy. Today, Shakespeare still sits at the centre of the cultural establishment. However, this canonical status is under renewed attack from critics and detractors. Is it time to jettison Shakespeare from the syllabus and the stage, making way for new voices? Alternatively, what are the opportunities and strengths of working/woking with Shakespeare’s texts?

This new edited volume aims to explore some of the most recent conversations about teaching and performing Shakespeare in the age of woke cultural politics and poetics. In the context of media hostility and panic, what are the challenges faced by new audiences and learners? How should Shakespeare be positioned in the twenty-first century cultural landscape? Is it still possible to have a civilized conversation about Shakespearean scholarship, pedagogy and performance?

Contributors are invited to consider the following (indicative) topics for discussion:

  •       ·         Woke Alert: Shakespeare and the politics of panic
  • ·         Reconsidering character, identity and human agency
  • ·         Constructing/Challenging a woke pedagogy
  • ·         Reframing contemporary Shakespearean poetics
  • ·         Shakespeare and the politics of gender
  • ·         Woke trigger warnings: censorship, safety, and emancipation
  • ·         Race and racism revisited
  • ·         Strategies for woke adoption and adaptation; resisting the woke agenda
  • ·         Rebranding: Global / Postcolonial Shakespeare
  • ·         Woke women: feminism and misogyny
  • ·         Debating accessibility and audience incomprehension
  • ·         The opportunities and challenges of film and other media adaptations
  • ·         Activist Shakespeare and social justice
  • ·         Queer temporalities
  • ·         Woke performance: opportunities and challenges
  • ·         Shakespeare in the age of social media and enhanced interactivity
  • ·         In and Out of Context: Shakespeare, tradition and the contested cultural heritage
  • ·         Decolonizing the curriculum
  • ·         Class? Radicals and reactionaries on stage/in the classroom

Contributors are asked to provide an Abstract of their proposed contribution (250 words) and a short Author bio (100 words) by 31 July 2023.

This call is open to academic and non-academic contributors and we especially welcome early career scholars and practitioners. There is also an opportunity for additional co-editor roles and membership of the Editorial Board.

Aiming for high accessibility, the published collection will be available at an affordable price in various print and other formats in order to reach the widest possible global readership.

Contact Dr Ian McCormick (General Editor): wokeshakespeare@outlook.com

Invitation to Contribute PDF



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