Call for Papers

‘Shakespeare Beyond All Limits’

7-9 December 2023

At the University of Sydney and the State Library of NSW

The Australian and New Zealand Shakespeare Association (ANZSA) is delighted to announce its next conference will be ‘Shakespeare beyond all Limits’ hosted by the University of Sydney from 7-9 December 2023. We are now inviting proposals for scholarly papers and panels.

Our keynote speakers are:

  • Ewan Fernie (Chair, Professor and Fellow of the Shakespeare Institute; and Culture Lead of the College of Arts and Law, University of Birmingham, UK), courtesy of the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences, the Australian Catholic University
  • Urvashi Chakravarty (Assistant Professor, University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada)

2023 is the four-hundredth anniversary of the publication of one of the most influential books of all time, Mr William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories and Tragedies (1623), known subsequently as the First Folio. This conference, ANZSA’s first since the COVID-19 pandemic, represents an exciting opportunity for Shakespeare researchers, educators and practitioners to gather together in person in Sydney for a scholarly exploration of this remarkable book and all things Shakespearean from his time to ours.

The conference theme, ‘Shakespeare beyond all limits,’ derives from Ferdinand’s declaration of his love for Miranda in The Tempest (3.1.71-73): ‘I / Beyond all limit of what else i’th’world, / Do love, prize, honour you.’ In our case, we use the phrase to signify the astonishing reach and impact of Shakespeare through the ages and invite scholars to share their insights on the texts and contexts, limits and liberties, uses and problems, and appropriations and transformations associated with his name and works.

Day 1 of the conference will be held at the State Library of New South Wales (Sydney) and include papers with a particular focus on the First Folio and Shakespeare book history. The State Library holds Australia’s only copy of the First Folio (1623), as well as a copy of the Second (1632), Third (1664) and Fourth Folios (1685). We invite scholars researching these editions or others to submit papers for the conference to be included in the program for Day 1. The State Library First Folio is viewable on the State Library NSW (Shakespeare’s First Folio) website and all four State Library Folios are viewable on Internet Shakespeare Editions (Facsimile Viewer). For Day 1, in addition to papers on the Library’s Folios, we are interested in presentations on early-twentieth-century activities around the Shakespeare Tercentenary in Australia (1923) and the printing and publishing of the Folios. Day 1 will also include a postgraduate and early career researcher masterclass and, in the evening, a Public Lecture at the Library, by Professor Fernie.

Days 2 and 3 of the conference will be held on the main campus of the University of Sydney and include papers on our broad theme of ‘beyond all limits.’ On Day 3 (Saturday) we will also include papers with a particular focus on Education and so we enthusiastically encourage teachers and educators at schools and universities to submit abstracts on educational topics.

Please send proposals (250 words max.) for papers (20 mins) and panels (3-4 papers of 15-20 mins each), with a speaker biography (100 words max.)  to huw.griffiths@sydney.edu.au or liam.semler@sydney.edu.au by 30 June 2023. Huw and Liam are happy to answer any queries about the conference.

Please check the ANZSA website for Conference updates.