The Anachronic Shakespeare conference was excellent – a really interesting set of papers, engagingly delivered and with some really good discussion. John Archer gave a talk on sonnets 50 and 51 on the relation between human and animal, which he related to discussions in Heidegger, Derrida and Agamben. Vike Plock discussed the three-way relation between Joyce, Goethe and Hamlet. Jacques Lezra discussed theories of translation generally and in relation to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Samuel Weber talked about Hamlet in relation to Carl Schmitt and Walter Benjamin. Julia Lupton responded to that paper, drawing in themes from the whole day, and then on the second day discussed Shakespeare and design, and what she called ‘softscapes’ with special reference to Macbeth. Anselm Haverkamp also talked about the sonnets, with a focus on life, detensed time, and reference to Whitehead, Foucault, Canguilhem and others.
I’ve come away with lots of ideas, inspiration to keep working on these topics, some uncertainties, a small reading list and some new friends. I plan to post more on my ‘Shakespearean Territories’ project soon – the enthusiasm that my paper received, and the suggestions, questions and suggestive questions, make me think this is worth pursuing. The question of succession, which had been brewing as one possible angle of approach but hadn’t quite crystalised before, is probably the thing I will be adding into the mix as a direct result of this conference. But the discussions here will likely have an impact throughout. It was an excellent event. Many thanks to Martin Harries, Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz, Elizabeth Bonapfel, Anselm Haverkamp and Susan Protheroe for organising this and inviting me to take part.
[photo L to R: Elden, Archer, Lupton, Plock, Weber, Haverkamp, Lezra]