CFP: The Queerness of Early English Drama

  • Leeds International Medieval Congress
  • 4-7 July 2022
  • Conference Theme: Borders
  • Sponsor: Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society
Abstracts for 15-minute papers are invited for "The Queerness of Early English Drama" panel, to be proposed for inclusion in the program of the 2022 Leeds International Medieval Congress. Over twenty years ago, Robert Clark and Claire Sponsler concluded their article, “Queer Play: The Cultural Work of Crossdressing in Medieval Drama,” by asking, “why should we assume that medieval spectators could not ask: ‘What if?’” (341). Of course, they refer to a question of interpretive possibility vis-a-vis queer potentiality in medieval drama. And many scholars have been taking on this work since then as the field of queer studies has expanded and continues to seek out queerness in early dramatic texts.
Most recently, Tison Pugh in his On the Queerness of Early English Drama writes, “The word queerness alludes to an ambiguous yet highly productive mode of critical inquiry, pertaining to disruptions of social, ideological, and sexual normativity that allow repressed, subversive, ‘sinful’, or otherwise unexpected gendered and erotic identities to become visible” (11). This call hopes to receive abstracts that engage such a productive mode of critical inquiry, addressing the inherent and/or potential queerness of Early English drama. Such an approach speaks to the congress’s theme for 2022, “Borders,” when one considers the ability of queer studies to question borders of all sorts --- especially the body and time --- and the borders that dramatic texts may breach by their nature in standing in for or representing performances.


Abstracts should be approximately 100 words. Please include (in a separate file from your abstract) the following information:
  • full name;
  • email address;
  • postal address;
  • telephone number;
  • full affiliation details (department, institution);
  • title (e.g. Dr, Ms, Mr, Mx, Professor etc).
Please send .docx or .pdf files to Jeff Stoyanoff (email) by 31 July 2021.