Thursday, October 13th:
9:30-9:45 am, CFA lobby
Registration and continental breakfast
9:45-10:00 am, CFA Screening Room
David Castillo, UB Romance Languages and Literatures and Director, UB Humanities Institute
Barbara Bono, UB English, Conference organizer
10:00 am-noon, CFA Screening Room
Sarah Beckwith, Duke University, “Shakespeare’s Book of Second Chances: The Winter’s Tale and Its Hauntings”
Abstract: Shakespeare’s astonishingly experimental romance The Winter’s Tale has inspired a fascinating series of literary, philosophical and cinematic reflections on its form and subjects. None of these works are adaptations of Shakespeare: rather they are meditations on the themes of reconciliation, romance, time, wonder, childhood and change, (re)-marriage, and the power and possibilities of art that his play initiates. What narrative possibilities are engendered by The Winter’s Tale? How do such possibilities morph across the philosophical forms of novel and film? And what thoughts do such works encourage about the relation between ethics and the arts? This paper reflects on some of these versions of the The Winter’s Tale — and in particular on the Dardennes brothers’ 2005 film, L’enfant — and the kinds of hauntings and resurrections that Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale might sponsor.
Laurie Shannon, Northwestern University, “Hamlet’s Kindness”
Abstract What does it mean to be human in Hamlet? “Hamlet’s Kindness” maps the intersection between early modern discourses of friendship and natural-historical conceptions of humankind as no “paragon of animals,” but as instead fundamentally vulnerable. Exploring Shakespeare’s thought experiment on collectivities at various scales — from the pair to the pack to the state to the species — this talk will chart friendship’s relation not just to “human kindness” but to a comparative vision of “humankind” as the most cosmically unassured species.
Introduced and moderated by Graham Hammill, UB English and Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School
Noon-1:00 pm, CFA Atrium
1:00-3:30 pm, CFA Screening Room
Bruce Burningham, Illinois State University, “Crouching Squire, Hidden Madman: Ah Gan’s Don Quixote and Postmodern China”
Abstract: In the centuries since the 1605 publication of Don Quixote, Cervantes’s title character has been reinterpreted to suit the needs of a variety of cultures across time and space, from Miguel de Unamuno’s Life of Don Quixote and Sancho to Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. This paper will examine Ah Gan’s 2010 film version of Don Quixote—in which the protagonist is transformed from a crazy old man into a young, idealistic, revolutionary warrior—and will thus analyze the ways in which Ah Gan’s cinematic narrative seeks to redefine Cervantes’s archetypal figure as a postmodern hero for a post-Maoist China.
William Egginton, Johns Hopkins University, “Fiction in the Age of Inflationary Media”
Abstract: David Castillo and I will present related talks, one after the other. My talk, “Fiction in the Age of Inflationary Media,” will lay out our notions of medialogy and inflationary media before describing how fiction relates to inflationary media environments. Finally, it will introduce Cervantes’s special relation to the medialogy of his time, thus laying the groundwork for David’s sequel.
David Castillo, UB, “Cervantes and Reality Literacy: Surviving Anti-intellectualism, Denialism, and Fundamentalism”
Abstract: Cervantes’s insights into the framing function of media, his denunciation of self-righteous ignorance, and his diagnosis of what passes for reality in Imperial and Counter-Reformation Spain, can help us break through the walls of our own media bubble. I draw from Cervantes’ “reality reading” strategies in an attempt to expose and denounce the most cynical promise of our market society: the right to our own reality!
Introduced and moderated by Henry Berlin, UB Romance Languages and Literatures
3:30-4:00 pm, CFA Screening Room
Steve McCaffrey, David Gray Chair of Poetry and Poetics, UB, and students
Reading from Dark Ladies
5:00-7:00 pm, Buffalo and Erie County Pubic Library, 1 Lafayette Square
Open reception and a “Shakespeare Jubilee” celebrating the “Wedding” of the 4 UB Shakespeare early Folios and the 4 B&ECPL early Shakespeare Folios, and featuring tours, proclamations, readings and performances
Hosted by Andrew McConnell Stott, UB English, Director of the Honors College and Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
For flyer, see shakespeare-jubilee-flyer
Friday, October 14th:
9:30-10:00 pm, CFA Lobby
Registration and continental breakfast
10:00 am-noon, CFA Screening Room
Barbara Fuchs, UCLA, “Shakespearean Properties, Or How to Diversify the Theatrical Canon”
Abstract: The first part of this talk considers how Shakespeare was deliberately made English—that is, how an author who takes liberally from classical and continental sources becomes, above all, the paradigmatic English author, expressing something almost ineffable about Englishness. I then move on to the current effects of this early modern alignment of Shakespeare, nation, and empire, to explore what alternatives one might imagine to the wholesale identification of the classical theatrical canon with Shakespeare.
Jean Howard, Columbia University “Re-Imaging the History Play in the Age of Thatcher”
Abstract: This paper addresses Howard Brenton’s play, “Romans in Britain,” as an example of the way in which a group of British dramatists working on the left in the 1970s and 80s revived the history play as a site of critique. Focusing on temporal and geographical sedimentation or layering in the Brenton play, I show how it becomes a representation and critique of invasion and imperial conquest. I end the paper by asking how its investigation of the Roman invasion of ancient Britain makes it possible to reread the politics of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, another play concerned with ancient Britain’s relationship to imperial Rome.
Introduced and moderated by Barbara Bono, UB English
Noon-1:00 pm, CFA Lobby
Julian Yates, The University of Delaware, “Macbeth’s Bubbles/ Shakespeare’s Cosmopolitics”
Abstract: Drawing on the work of Isabelle Stengers and Peter Sloterdijk, this paper concerns bubbles: time-bound, communities of breath, or atmospheres, pneumatic pacts of shared air. If, in the near future, explicit climate policy will become the foundation of community formation against (or with) increasingly hostile environs, then what do texts past, written from within an immediate and knowable precarity, offer us as we seek to imagine successive bubbles today? The “bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble” of Macbeth’s, extra-terrestrial witches, outside, beyond, or within the infrastructures of the world of the play, provides one place to think in these terms.
Sheila Cavanagh, Emory University, “Of Every Nation a Traveler: Shakespeare in the Electronic Global World”
Abstract: This talk discusses ways that modern technology can broaden Shakespearean dialogues and collaborations to include widely diverse populations around the world.
Introduced and moderated by Carla Mazzio, UB English
3:00-4:00 pm, CFA Screening Room
Final reading from Roger Chartier, “When Shakespeare Met Cervantes”
And wrap-up roundtable