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CfP: Women’s Rights and Global Adaptations of Shakespeare

November 25-26, 2021

Many young contemporary directors in theatre and cinema find in the plays of William Shakespeare a unique opportunity not only to reflect on but also to challenge patriarchal traditions and structures of power. However, few, if any, conferences have acknowledged a growing willingness in productions of Shakespeare to confront problems surrounding the status of women. The goal of “Women’s Rights and Global Adaptations of Shakespeare” is to explore how Shakespeare’s plays have performed this function, and to consider the ways in which they can further imagine, and contribute to, more socially and politically equal futures for women across the globe. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The investigation of gender-related topics such as gender identities, gender roles and gendered spaces in theatre/film adaptations of Shakespeare
  • The evaluation of the contrasting methodologies and aesthetics of Shakespearean adaptation in theatre and film by which directors have sought to raise awareness about the status of women in patriarchal structures
  • The contribution of Shakespearean theatre and film to continuing debates about women’s rights across the world
  • The way(s) Shakespearean adaptations can help generate transformative change about gender equality worldwide

Keynote Speakers:

  • Prof. Dr. Sabine Schülting (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany)
  • Prof. Mark Thornton Burnett (Queen’s University Belfast, UK) 
  • Prof. Emma Rees (University of Chester, UK)


The organizers invite the submission of abstracts in English for a 20-minute presentation followed by a short Q&A (10 min.). Please send your abstract (max. 250 words) as a .docx or .pdf file no later than July 31, 2021, to Dr. Mohammadreza Hassanzadeh Javanian (). All accepted submissions will be notified by August 31, 2021.

  • A selection of contributions will be published in a peer-reviewed volume to be submitted to an international publisher.
  • Participation in the conference is free of charge.
  • The conference is funded by Margherita von Brentano Center, Freie Universität Berlin (