Call for Papers: Shakespeare in Prague: Imagining the Bard in the Heart of Europe (Columbus, Ohio, USA)

21 June, 2016 by Shilarna Stokes | 0 comments

Conference dates: March 3rd and 4th, 2017. One of an international conferences on Czech & Slovak Scenography for Shakespeare. Abstracts due Sept. 12th.



Shakespeare in Prague: Imagining the Bard in the Heart of Europe

Czech & Slovak Scenography for Shakespeare

Columbus Museum of Art (Columbus, Ohio, US)

March 3rd and 4th, 2017


Co-sponsored by the Department of Slavic and Eastern European Studies, the Department of Theatre, and the Center for Slavic & East European Studies at The Ohio State University (US)


Organizer: Dr. Joe Brandesky, The Ohio State University (

Coordinator: Dr. Shilarna Stokes, The Ohio State University (



This international symposium will complement the exhibit Shakespeare in Prague: Imagining the Bard in the Heart Europe presented by the Columbus Museum of Art from February 3rd through May 7th, 2017. Set amidst a display of innovative and dynamic designs by theatre artists including Vlastislav Hofman, Frantisek Troster, Josef Svoboda, Jaroslav Malina, and many others, this conference aims to publicize and advance compelling new research on the ways that Shakespeare has been imagined and transformed by Central European designers, theatres, histories, and cultures from the nineteenth century to the present. The conference is part of a series—with previous conferences at the University of Hull (UK) and Masaryk University (Brno, Czech Republic)—and is itself set within a wider international research project that encompasses several art exhibitions and monographs, as well as an edited collection of essays.


For more than a century-and-a-half, the work of scenic artists has been understood as essential to the continuing growth of the rich theatre cultures of Central Europe. Moreover, through the reproduction and circulation of their designs, as well as through the theoretical, aesthetic, and technological innovations their designs have inspired, Central European scenic artists have exercised an unparalleled influence on the development of scenography as a global discipline, and have provided key models for understanding connections between theatre, literature, culture, politics, space, and subjectivity.


The significant impact of Central European scenography on international theatre history, theory, and practice may be apprehended by taking account of its many original contributions to the global production and reception of Shakespeare. Recognizing the many ways that Shakespearean productions, texts, images and tropes have historically been employed—as engines of innovation, as instruments of intercultural dialogue, as tools of cultural hegemony, as critical sites of resistance, as devices for sustaining or legitimizing local and national forms, among many others—this conference invites prospective participants to investigate intersections between scenographic innovation and Shakespearean tradition as these have been embedded in or emerged from the particular cultural, aesthetic, social and political environments that have evolved in Central European cultures over the last 250 years or more.


We welcome papers that consider:


·       socio-historical, political, aesthetic, technical, and historiographical analyses of scenic designs and scenographic elements


·       scenography as a medium for the creation of local and national identities, as well as other political, ideological, ethnic or cultural identities


·       scenographic traditions, genealogies, and legacies


·       contemporary research in scenography in relation to past practices


·       the development of scenography as a discipline


·       the presentation, re-presentation and archiving of the materials of performance and of the work of designers


·       the relationship between histories of place and design


·       different theoretical paradigms or aesthetic regimes that have influenced the development of scenography, and vice versa


·       the presentation or ‘restaging’ of historic scenography


·       the influences of scenography on acting and directing practices (and vice versa)


·       the influences of scenography on dramaturgy, criticism, audience experience, and/or reception (and vice versa)


·       the relationship between textual, visual and spatial modes of translation and/or adaptation


The accompanying exhibit centers on works housed in Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia. However, we invite papers that consider interpretations of Shakespeare throughout Central Europe. In seeking out a broad range of presentations, we take scenography to include costumes, settings, make-up, sound design, lighting design, media design, masks, puppets and other objects, and we encourage submissions from scholars and practitioners at all career stages, and from a wide range of fields.


Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words and a brief bio (approximately 200 words) to Shilarna Stokes (Symposium Coordinator) at by Monday, September 12th. Submissions sent well in advance of this deadline are welcome and encouraged.


For queries, please also contact Shilarna Stokes at Notifications of acceptance as well as details concerning registration, lodging, and transportation will be forthcoming in late September or early October.


On behalf of the Project Organizing Committee:


Joe Brandesky, The Ohio State University (

Christian M. Billing, University of Hull (

Pavel Drábek, University of Hull (

Vlasta Koubská, Academy of Performing Arts, Prague (

Šárka Havlíčková Kysová, Masaryk University, Brno (

Barbora Přihodová, Villanova University (

Nad’a Satková, Masaryk University, Brno (

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