Call for Papers 2008

The Shakespeare Jahrbuch 2008 will be a special issue devoted to “Silence, Sound and Voice”. Shakespeare’s plays do not merely consist of a series of monologues and dialogues, but also include music, noises, and silence. We should thus like to suggest a shift of critical attention from the meaning of the words we hear to the physical, the emotional and the cognitive dimensions of hearing as well as to the aesthetics of silence, sound and voice. In addition, Shakespeare’s plays highlight the crucial relevance of hearing and represent the ear as an ambivalent organ. Many characters display a strong desire to listen or to eavesdrop, but they also become vulnerable by their unquestioned belief in the stories they hear. At the same time, the community constitutes itself through collective hearing – and this applies to both the society represented on stage as well as to the audience in the theatre. The plays thus also shed light on “acoustic world” of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, which Bruce Smith has studied in his seminal book on the soundscapes of early modern England: social practices of hearing, the cultural meanings of noise and the ‘order of sounds’. And last but not least, the focus on Shakespeare and sound includes studies of the acoustic features of individual productions as well as of Shakespeare adaptations ‘for the ear’.

The editorial board invites submissions which might take up issues such as

  • The rest is silence”: the meaning and aesthetics of silence; strategies of silencing; characters falling silent
  • Her voice was ever soft, gentle, and low”: voice and character; performative and aesthetic aspects of voice; body and voice; gendered voices; text and voice
  • If music be the food of love, play on”: music and singing in Shakespeare’s plays; music and text
  • To split the ears of the groundlings”: noise in the plays and on the stage; the acoustics of the stage; the relationship between visual and aural aspects of the performance
  • “With a greedy ear”: listening and eavesdropping in Shakespeare’s plays; the desire to hear; poisoning the ear
  • The noise of battle hurtled in the air”: the soundscapes of early modern England and the early modern theatre
  • Open your ears … when loud Rumour speaks”: Shakespeare and the acoustic culture of early modern England; cultural techniques of hearing; rumours and gossip; collective aspects of hearing; listening and power
  • Make passionate my sense of hearing”: audio-books of Shakespeare’s plays; Shakespeare in music

Manuscripts (of about 5,000 words) should be sent to the editor by March 31, 2007.

Address

Prof. Dr. Sabine Schülting
Redaktion des Shakespeare Jahrbuchs
Institut für Englische Philologie
Freie Universität Berlin
Goßlerstr. 2-4
D-14195 Berlin

E-mail: jahrbuch(at)shakespeare-gesellschaft.de
Phone: +49-30-838 72346