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Shakespeare Special Session for PAMLA: (121st Annual Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA) Conference)

Palm Springs, California
Organization: Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA)
Event: 121st Annual Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA) Conference
Categories: Gender & Sexuality, Women's Studies, Early Modern & Renaissance, Drama
Event Date: 2024-11-07 to 2024-11-10 Abstract Due: 2024-04-30

Shakespeare’s dramas in all their generic types—history, romance, comedy, and tragedy—show an interest in exploring what sustains sociopolitical orders, what damages them, and what the human consequences are when such damage occurs. A great deal may be revealed about the viability of a society if we attend to those who are cast as (or see themselves as) aliens, foreigners, or non-conformists with regard to that society’s ruling order, mores, laws, and other key aspects. Bearing in mind that characters who offer the greatest difficulty in terms of identity and relation may be the most valuable objects of study, we will consider a range of Shakespeare’s “outsiders” for the understanding they can provide.

There are plenty of plays to focus on in Shakespeare’s canon, and a variety of characters both male and female who find themselves, and are found to be, outsiders of one sort or another. As this special session’s title reminds us in quoting Richard of Gloucester in 3 Henry VI, “I have no Brother, I am like no Brother,” one can be a quintessential player within a society, and yet a virtual outcast on other levels pertaining to that society. Shakespeare, perhaps better than any of his remarkable contemporaries, built up representations of complex, sophisticated, multi-layered societies in which seemingly solid, fundamental concepts such as personal and national identity, socioeconomic class, linguistic competence, and cultural norms are anything but easy to reduce to order. This special session welcomes thoughtful presentations on any of Shakespeare’s characters who must deal with the difficulties of outsider-status in relation to the places, people, assumptions, and constructions that constitute their world.

To view the full special session description and submit an abstract by April 30, 2024, visit https://pamla.ballastacademic.com/Home/S/19194. (Please submit your abstract through PAMLA; do not send it to the session chair.)

Details for the PAMLA 2024 Conference in Palm Springs, CA may be found at https://www.pamla.org/pamla2024/.

The Conference takes place Nov. 7-10, 2024 at the Margaritaville Resort in Palm Springs, CA.

Alfred J. Drake, Session Chair



Alfred J. Drake