Hamlet 2017 : The First Hamlet
Call For Papers
Call For Papers: The First Hamlet
A Special Issue of Critical Survey
Guest Editor: Terri Bourus, Indiana University Indianapolis
The 1603 edition of Hamlet, the first surviving text of Shakespeare’s most famous play, was, for most of the twentieth century, dismissed as a ‘bad quarto’, the most conspicuous inhabitant of the ghetto of ‘memorial reconstruction’. This theory was widely proclaimed as a ‘fact’, which had been proven by the scientific methods of the New Bibliography. It was also widely accepted as a ‘fact’ that references to a play called ‘Hamlet’ in 1589, 1594, and 1596 referred to an earlier, lost tragedy, probably written by Thomas Kyd.
These ‘facts’ began to unravel in the 1990s when the whole theory of memorial reconstruction was challenged by Laurie Maguire, Paul Werstine, and others. In 2014, two monographs on the 1603 edition (the ‘first quarto’, or ‘Q1’) were published, almost simultaneously: Young Shakespeare’s Young Hamlet: Print, Piracy, and Performance (by Terri Bourus) and Hamlet After Q1: An Uncanny History of the Shakespeare Text (by Zachary Lesser). In different ways, both books challenged the orthodox editorial and critical dismissal of Q1. In 2015, the third edition of the Norton Shakespeare included, in addition to the canonical Hamlet (based on the Second Quarto, conflated with additions from the Folio), an edited text of the 1603 edition. In February 2016, The Chronicle of Higher Education published a 5200-word article by Ron Rosenbaum on the controversy surrounding Shakespeare's 'Badass Quarto' (the title of a production of Q1 in Washington D.C.).
In 2017 Critical Survey will publish a special issue on ‘The First Hamlet’, guest-edited by Terri Bourus. We invite papers of 4000-7000 words, addressing issues surrounding the first quarto, or the ‘lost Hamlet’, or both, from a variety of perspectives: critical, theatrical, historical, pedagogical, and bibliographical. We are interested in the history of criticism, the history of the book, and the history of performance, in data-mining and statistical analysis, in the experiments of directors and actors, the experience of teachers, the analysis of verse and prose. Whatever the subject, essays should be clear, concise, and accessible.
Informal inquiries about possibilities for essays, as well as proposals for book reviews, performance reviews, and review essays, are welcome and encouraged. Please direct all correspondence to the guest editor, Terri Bourus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submissions should be sent to the above email address by 15 March 2017 as Microsoft Word documents. Two (anonymous) hard copies for peer review, should also be sent, along with a separate cover letter, to the mailing address for Critical Survey:
English Literature Group
School of Humanities
University of Hertfordwhite
De Havilland Campus
Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9AB
A style guide and additional submission information is available online: