For men and women in Shakespeare’s England, friendship was a relation that spanned the exquisite virtue of amicitia perfecta and the everyday exchanges of neighbourliness and commerce. A friend might be ‘another self’, but it was essential to be wary of false friends or flatterers. The complex nature of early modern friendship was a rich source of inspiration for early modern dramatists. Globe Education at Shakespeare’s Globe is pleased to announce our spring conference, The Halved Heart: Shakespeare and Friendship (Friday 17 – Sunday 19 April 2015), and we invite proposals for papers and panels.
Speakers may address the Renaissance fascination with the ethical demands of idealised friendship, or the pragmatic reality of instrumental alliances, as explored on stage. Papers might consider the theatre as a site of social promiscuity, where spectators could be instructed in the arts (and hazards) of friendship even as such relationships were enacted in the auditorium. Or they might examine the overlap between friendship and eroticism, and the points of conflict between friendship and other forms of social alliance such as marriage, or the relationship between monarch and subject.
The conference will conclude on Sunday 19 April with a staged reading by a company of Globe actors of The Faithful Friends (Anon., King’s Men, c.1614).
Proposals of no more than 300 words for papers (or panels of up to three papers) may be submitted to Dr Will Tosh on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for submissions is Friday 12 December 2014.
The conference is for scholars and students but is open to all members of the public who are interested in debates about early modern theatre and friendship.