Call for Papers 2009

The Shakespeare Jahrbuch 2009 will be a special issue devoted to “Eating Culture: Shakespeare’s Food”.Food is an integral part of culture, and our social identity is constituted by what, how and with whom we eat. Techniques of food preparation and cooking, table manners, practices of eating and drinking, as well as consumption and fasting construct social meaning and establish social cohesion and cultural belonging. In the early modern age, culinary norms and regimes were defined, challenged and/or performed in medical, moral and religious dietaries; in the seasonal changes between everyday life and the festive seasons; in socially specific eating cultures; as well as in the fundamental religious issues of the time, such as the early modern debate on the Eucharist. Colonial enterprises in the 16th and 17th centuries, the establishment of international trade, and political and economic encounters with non-European cultures had a considerable impact on domestic culinary rites and diets. However, food and eating cultures have always been a means of differentiating between the self and the other – with cannibalism as the quintessence of cultural alterity as represented by Shakespeare’s Caliban. With their numerous scenes of banqueting and feasting, figures of festive excess like Falstaff or Sir Toby, and performances of uncanny culinary arts as in Titus Andronicus or Macbeth, Shakespeare’s plays investigate the complex social, political, religious and sexual aspects of eating and drinking.

The editorial board invites essays on the following questions:

  • Banqueting and the Renaissance stage
  • Shakespeare’s revellers
  • Revelling, feasting and banqueting in Shakespeare’s plays
  • Hunger and fasting in Shakespeare’s plays
  • Eating, drinking and religious debates
  • Cannibalism and orgies of revenge
  • Early modern colonialism and consumption
  • Common and exotic food in the early modern age
  • Culinary and digestive symbolism
  • Early modern body concepts and culinary practices
  • Good food – bad food: recipes and dietaries
  • Performances of banquets in stage productions, film adaptations, and rewritings of Shakespeare’s plays

Please send your manuscripts (of about 5,000 words) to the editor by March 31, 2008.