Term Three Beginnings
It's the first day of the summer term at Warwick, a perfect opportunity to take stock. Here are a few of this term's activities.
My upgrade deadline is in just under three weeks, which involves submitting a c.10,000 word piece of my thesis, a timetable to completion and an abstract/chapter breakdown of the whole thing. The first couple of weeks of this term are going to be mostly filled with finalising those materials, then in June I'll have the interview which will officially upgrade me to full PhD status. Assuming, of course, that the materials are good enough!
Other than that, I'm planning to have my first full chapter complete by the end of June, which is eminently doable. However, I have quite a few German texts that I want to read first, as during the late 18th/early 19th century, the most enthusiastic apocrypha criticism came from scholars such as Schlegel, Tieck, Delius etc. This is of itself interesting, implying a nationalistic factor to critical treatment of the apocrypha: the British putting their national poet on a pedestal and accepting no incursions on the authorised canon, while the Germans, operating at a remove, saw no problem with attributing works of 'lesser' quality to him. Sadly, I don't speak German, so we're working on ways of getting translations of the criticism.
My main concerns at the moment are with canon and canonicity, the boundaries and implications of a defined 'complete' works. This is providing the main theoretical focus for my first chapter, looking at what a canon is, does and represents.
I'm submitting a paper to this year's Britgrad in Stratford which, if accepted, will present some of my current thinking about the nature of an apocryphal canon.
I should also, at some point, hear whether I've been accepted to the Lost in Translation conference, taking place in October. For this, I've proposed a paper looking at the use of surtitles for foreign-language productions of Shakespeare taking place in England, interrogating ideas of cultural ownership implicit in the use of Shakespearean text in surtitle boxes. It's not related to my thesis, but comes out of my MA dissertation on the Complete Works Festival at the RSC, and will hopefully exorcise some lingering niggles about that event.
Finally, I'll be presenting at the English Department postgraduate symposium in June, which I'm also organising. Owing to time, I'll probably be presenting the canon paper that I'm submitting to Britgrad.
I've just submitted a book review of Shakespeare's Globe: A Theatrical Experiment, which will (barring incident) be in the next issue of Arts Professional. I'm also working on journal reviews of the Tobacco Factory's Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra and the National's Dido, Queen of Carthage.
Coming up, I've got the RSC's The Winter's Tale, As You Like It and Julius Caesar booked in for a journal, and their Comedy of Errors for Shakespeare Revue. There's plenty of other Shakespeare to look forward to this term: the Globe's new season, the National's All's Well and student productions (including Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore). I'm restraining myself slightly on the reviewing aspect at the moment - sometimes, it's a relief to just pay for something and not have to write it up afterwards!
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I think that's the bulk of this term's activities outlined, though there are various other talks and practical events I'll be checking in on. There's no teaching this term either, though hopefully I'll find out at some point what I'll be teaching on next year. Anyway, that's plenty to be getting on with for the time being, and I'll try and have some more regular updates up here.