CFP: ‘Shakespeare and Music: New interdisciplinary perspectives’, 10-11 December, 2020

Call for Papers

Shakespeare and Music: New Interdisciplinary Perspectives

10–11 December 2020, Online Conference hosted by Universities of Manchester and Huddersfield and Shakespeare and Music Study Group

Extended deadline for proposals: 30 September 2020.

‘When were you wont to be so full of songs, sirrah?’ (King Lear, I/4)

We are delighted to announce the inaugural conference of the ‘Shakespeare and Music’ Study Group. The Conference will be conducted online and hosted on Thursday 10 December 2020 by the University of Manchester and on Friday 11 December by the University of Huddersfield. In view of the change of format to online only, we have extended the deadline particularly in order to encourage proposals from outside the UK.

The ‘Shakespeare and Music’ group was founded in affiliation with the Royal Musical Association to provide a distinct forum for researchers and practitioners across disciplines and cultures. In line with the mission of the group, the conference aims to promote and foster research, collaboration and exchange of ideas in two complementary aspects: music in Shakespeare’s time, including various aspects of music in Shakespeare’s works; and music inspired by Shakespeare’s works, whether composed to Shakespearean themes or directly for Shakespeare plays.

In lieu of a keynote address, the conference will feature a world premiere performance of John Casken’s The Shackled King, a dramatic cantata to the composer’s own libretto derived from Shakespeare’s King Lear, with Sir John Tomlinson CBE in the title role and Rozanna Madylus (mezzo-soprano) as Cordelia, Goneril, Regan and The Fool. The concert will be filmed and (live-)streamed to delegates.

Apart from at least one confirmed session on ‘Shakespeare, Music and Gender’, other possible threads for papers (20 minutes), lecture-recitals (30 minutes) and composition/ sound installation presentations (30 minutes) include but are not limited to:

  • Music imagery and imagination in Shakespeare
  • Original melodies for Shakespeare songs and their afterlives
  • Shakespeare and opera
  • Incidental music for Shakespeare productions past and present
  • Analysis and contextualising of individual Shakespeare-inspired works
  • Setting Shakespeare’s words to music
  • Shakespeare in instrumental music
  • Shakespeare and film music
  • The role of Shakespeare in the musical imagination and creative output of composers
  • Shakespeare and musical nationalism
  • Shakespeare in non-classical music (jazz, musicals, pop)
  • Performing Shakespeare’s music
  • The afterlife of Shakespeare-inspired music

Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words accompanied by a short (150-word) biographical note to Michelle Assay and David Fanning by 30 September 2020.

Generously supported by the RMA and Society for Renaissance Studies