Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“

Shakespearean Transections and Translocations

14. Juni 2019


The Poetics and Politics of Contemporary Engagements

Shakespearean drama is never, and indeed may never have been, encountered as a
whole. Like all play texts, it occurs in parts, is presented in scenes, takes place in
performance, at various different locations, under a particular direction, and is usually
cut and arranged for this purpose, often fundamentally reworked, revised or rewritten
to speak to new places and various audiences across space and time. Sometimes only
fragmentary figures, phrases, gestures, motifs, props or things – like Macbeth’s dagger,
Yorick’s skull, Shylock’s bond or Juliet’s balcony and Prospero’s books – are cut out and
inserted into a new dramatic context or quite a different medial frame. And yet they
are recognized and keep operating as signposts towards larger meanings – meanings
which are renegotiated in relation to the given interests, views or projects that these
Shakespearean legacies, at any given time and place, are called upon to serve. For this
reason, Shakespearean transections and translocations should not be seen as
detrimental but as constitutive for the productivity of ongoing engagements with
Shakespearean material, across the different media and cultural domains of
contemporary worlds, whether in TV series, films, stage adaptations, literary
rewritings, public discourse or political campaigns. All these make Shakespeare matter,
and matter anew, in acknowledging and realizing his remarkable power to anatomize
also present-day culture. Shakespearean transections therefore may cut either way,
making Shakespeare both the object and the subject of theatrical anatomies and
continuously provoking both new texts and new views of old texts. It is in this sense
that we use the term translocation to keep the tension strong in all such projects and
to explore them as productive constellations for all kinds of unexpected meanings to
emerge. With our workshop, then, we hope to trace the lines, directions, strategies
and ways which such transections and/or translocations take, and discuss their poetic
as well as political functions.

Fr-Sa, 14.-15. Juni 2019
Kulturwissenschaftliches Kolleg (Bischofsvilla), Otto-Adam-Str. 5, Konstanz


Tobias Döring tobias.doering[at]anglistik.uni-muenchen.de
Christina Wald christina.wald[at]uni-konstanz.de



Programm_Shakespeare_Workshop.pdf385 Ki