CFP: Shakespeare and the Superhuman
The Shakespeare Institute Review is an online academic journal funded by the University of Birmingham College of Arts and Law, and to which students at the Shakespeare Institute and on other postgraduate programmes are encouraged to contribute. Each issue has a theme to which contributors are invited to respond.
Continuing on from the first issue of the journal, which explored death and mortality in Shakespeare, we thought it appropriate to segue into an examination of human limitations and the superhumans who transcend them. ‘Superhuman’ might refer to a ‘normal’ human, with otherwise unusual or exceptional skills, abilities, or powers, or to an ‘improved’ human, e.g. by genetic modification, etc. Students are therefore encouraged to submit papers between 1,500 and 3,000 words on topics relating to Shakespeare and the Superhuman. Possible topics might include, but are not restricted to:
- Is our notion of superheroes Shakespearean? What place does the superhuman occupy in our collective imagination, from a metaphysical or spiritual standpoint? Why are we fascinated by, e.g., comics, or the Olympics? What psychological need does superhumanity answer; does the ‘super’ liberate us from human constraints?
- Critical examinations of Shakespeare’s magical, mythological, heroic, supernatural, psychic, etc., characters. In particular, we would be interested in papers on the idealised and idolised. This could include close reading, comparative analysis, etc.
- Considerations of the political, ethical, religious, spiritual, and/or existential significance of the superhuman in the Early Modern period, and of how Shakespeare makes use of (and plays off) those conceptualisations in his works.
- More intensely personal and experientially engaged writing on how Shakespeare’s works have affected your understanding of what it means to be human, and what it means to be beyond human? Is it just a matter of possessing certain powers, or is it a quality of mind and attitude? How do we define humanity; where is the line between the human, the super, and/or the divine?
Papers should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org, with an extended deadline of 31 October 2012.
Please refer to the following style guidelines www.shakesreview.com/style-guidelines.html
All submissions will be reviewed by the editorial board (Thea Buckley, Paul Hamilton, and Giulia Sandelewski), and those submissions that are selected will be published in our second online issue next term. For further information, please contact the editorial board at email@example.com.