CFP: Shakespeare in Asian Currents (Journal Issue; Deadline: 31 August 2023)

Special issue of Shakespeare guest-edited by Bi-qi Beatrice Lei and Judy Celine Ick

In the twenty-first century, scholars around the world have paid increasing attention to Asia’s translation, adaptation, and interpretation of Shakespeare. From music and visuals to spirituality and philosophy, Asia’s rich and diverse cultures have endowed Shakespeare with not only fresh appearances but also new meanings. This issue aspires to put together understandings of Asian Shakespeare—tracing Asian Shakespeare beyond the simply topical, the “show and tell” mainly descriptive scholarship that showcases “national” Shakespeares (Japanese Shakespeare, Malaysian Shakespeare)—into a field within Shakespeare and Asian Studies that engages with the theoretical underpinnings of Asian Shakespeare. What validates Asia a critical lens to talk about Shakespeare? What constitutes Asian Shakespeare now? Does it continue to be necessary or has its strategic worth been eclipsed by other forces? In what ways has Asian Shakespeare evolved as a field of study?

In celebration of the Asian Shakespeare Association’s tenth anniversary, this special issue of Shakespeare calls for papers that explore how Shakespeare swims or sails (or doesn’t) in Asian currents today. While Asia’s ancient performance traditions—Xiqu, Noh, Kathakali, Pansori, Igal, Mak Yong, etc.—have invigorated Shakespeare performance and criticism, we seek papers that go beyond formalism and attend to Asia’s presents. Can scholars from Asia—literally and figuratively—just do “Shakespeare” now? Or does it always have to be “Asian Shakespeare?” Topics
may include, but are not limited to:

  • autocracy, nepotism, corruption, abuse of power, state violence
  • hegemony, geopolitics, imperialism, neocolonialism
  • globalization, mercantilism, socialism
  • war, terrorism
  • immigration, human trafficking, refugees
  • identity, race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, class
  • education
  • popular culture, new media, news, memes
  • theory of translation and adaptation
  • decolonizing Shakespeare in Asia in performance and pedagogy
  • multilingual sites of performance and pedagogy
  • Shakespeare and/as Asian Cultural Memory

Please submit a 500-word abstract and a short bio to by 31 August 2023. Completed essays of 6000-8000 words are due 31 January 2024.

Shakespeare, published by Routledge under the auspices of the British Shakespeare Association, is a leading international journal of Shakespeare
studies and criticism.