Conference Speakers – 2022

Image of Sujata Iyengar“Artists’ Books and Fine-Press Editions as Shakespearean Adaptations”

This talk, drawn from Iyengar’s ongoing investigation of contemporary artists’ books as critical, editorial, and aesthetic interventions into Shakespeare studies, briefly identifies the cognitive and print affordances that enable readers to navigate books, contextualizes them in light of contemporary neuroscientific discoveries surrounding human literacy, and discusses aspects of bookness such as layout, binding, typography, paper, and construction as aspects of theatrical or quasi-theatrical immersion.

Sujata Iyengar ~ The University of Georgia

Sujata Iyengar specializes in English Renaissance Literature, Shakespearean Adaptation and Appropriation, and Book History and Arts.

Dr. Iyengar’s first book was the germinal monograph Shades of Difference: Mythologies of Skin Color and Race in Early Modern England (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005); other books include Shakespeare’s Medical Language  (Bloomsbury/Arden, 2011),  the forthcoming Shakespeare and Adaptation Theory (Bloomsbury/Arden), and the edited collections Disability, Health, and Happiness in the Shakespearean Body (Routledge, 2015) and Shakespeare and Global Appropriation (Routledge, 2020). Essays include an award-winning article in ELH (2002), and articles in Shakespeare QuarterlyShakespeare SurveyLiterature/Film Quarterly, Shakespeare, Postmodern Culture, Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, Cahiers Élisabéthains and elsewhere as well as in peer-reviewed collections from the Folger Shakespeare Library, Purdue University Press, the University of Pennsylvania Press, the University of Toronto Press, Ashgate, Palgrave, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Routledge.

With the late Christy Desmet, Dr. Iyengar co-founded the online, peer-reviewed, multimedia, scholarly journal Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation, which won First Prize in the “Best New Journal” category from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (2007). The journal is now published in partnership with the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, the Texas Digital Library, and the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts at the University of Georgia. Dr. Iyengar co-edits the journal with Dr. Matthew Kozusko, Ursinus College, and Dr. Louise Geddes, Adelphi University.

Dr. Iyengar spent academic year 2014-2015 on a Study in a Second Discipline Fellowship at the Lamar Dodd School of Art, taking courses in Letterpress, Paper-making, Book Arts and Typography. Her talk for OVSC is drawn from her current project, “Shakespeare and the Art of the Book,” which builds on the insights she gained as an apprentice book artist and printer.

“Embodiment on the Stage and Screen: Representations of Coercion and Consent in 1 Henry VI”

Contemporary adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays and the polarizing responses they evoke make plain the heated politics of embodiment caught between ethical imperatives for social justice and conservative calls for historical accuracy and authenticity. Rather than view justice and historicity as mutually exclusive, this talk argues that it is precisely through the multi-layered history inscribed on bodies that Shakespearean performances have the potential to have audiences reckon with ingrained forms of discrimination that have led to oppression and acts of violence both in the early modern period and in our twenty-first century. Through a comparison of the initial seduction scene between Suffolk and Margaret in 1 Henry VI by the The Royal Shakespeare Company (1965), the English Shakespeare Company (1991), and the BBC series The Hollow Crown, this talk will consider how the various significations of bodies shift over time and how attendance to such shifts are particularly important for adaptations that invite critical interpretations of the fraught dynamics of seduction, coercion, and consent.

Kirsten N. Mendoza ~ University of Dayton

Kirsten N. Mendoza is an Assistant Professor of English and Human Rights. Her first book project, A Politics of Touch: The Racialization of Consent in Early Modern English Literature, examines the conceptual ties that link shifting 16th and 17th century discourses on sexual consent with England’s colonial endeavors, involvement in the slave trade and global mercantile pursuits. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Renaissance Drama, Shakespeare Bulletin, The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Race, The Norton Critical Edition of Doctor Faustus, Race and Affect in Early Modern English Literature, Teaching Social Justice Through Shakespeare: Why Renaissance Literature Matters Now, and Arden of Faversham: A Critical Reader. Her research has been supported with grants from the Huntington Library, Newberry Library and the Folger Shakespeare Library.