Promoting the study, practice
and enjoyment of Shakespeare.

Join today

Call for Abstracts: Shakespeare in Higher Education in East and South East Asia

Members of the BSA may be interested by the following call for abstracts.

Call for abstracts – Shakespeare in higher education in East and South East Asia

This is a call for chapter abstracts for a Palgrave Pivot edited collection. The book proposal will be submitted in October 2016 by the editor, Dr Sarah Olive, Lecturer at University of York ( and Visiting Lecturer at the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham. My first monograph, Shakespeare Valued, was published by Intellect in 2015. It disseminates my research on Shakespeare in UK education policy, pedagogy and popular culture from 1989-2009. My subsequent publications have focused on Shakespeare in popular culture. Exploring Shakespeare in higher education in East Asia is my current research programme, funded by the British Academy, British Council, and GB Sasakawa Foundation. I also chair the British Shakespeare Association’s Education committee and am the founding Editor of Teaching Shakespeare, which seeks to publish work by and for Shakespeare educators across sectors, across the globe. If you would like to know more about me, my CV and many of my previous publications are available at

‘Asian Shakespeare’ – sometimes written in the plural to reflect the heterogeneity of offerings and experiences – is a rapidly growing area of Shakespeare scholarship at higher education institutions (HEIs) worldwide. Monographs, edited collections and themed journal issues on Shakespeare in and from Asia encompass translation, film adaptation and theatre productions but not higher education (HE). Rather, Asian HE is occasionally dealt with in Shakespeare studies about the region in individual chapters or articles or in smaller, cross-sector publications such as Teaching Shakespeare (issue 6, issue 7, issue 8, and issue 9 see also Huang, Trivedi and Minami). Furthermore, in relation to East/South East Asia, the emphasis historically has been on the sometime-colonial forces of China and Japan.

This book aims to redress the above imbalances in attention to Shakespeare in East/South East Asian HE. In particular, it attempts to move beyond the usual tightly bound focus on national Shakespeares to consider regional similarities and differences. It explores the intermediatory role that Anglophone nations, such as the UK and US, as well as countries where English is a foreign language, such as China and Japan, have played in the study of Shakespeare in Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. In some of these countries scholars and students have met Shakespeare as part of East/South East Asian languages and cultures, ‘de-centered’ from English and England. Comparable phenomena are observable, and have been researched to a limited extent, in the German and French intermediation of Shakespeare in Hungary (Paraisz) and Brazil (O’Shea, Closel) respectively.

In addition to the editor and authors offering critical insight into Shakespeare in different countries and different HEIs across the region, other objectives for the book include stimulating the contributors’ reflections on and improvements to teaching Shakespeare in East/South East Asian HEIs, through the process of writing about their experiences and practices. The editor will draw on her own research in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam in introducing contributors’ work.

Key questions, which the book will explore, are:

  • What practices of teaching and learning Shakespeare, formal and informal, exist in East Asian HEIs?
  • How do these practices diverge within countries and from other East/South East Asian countries?
  • Do HE lecturers and students in East/South East Asia explain educational practices around Shakespeare with reference to national culture and education? If so, how?

Questions explored by particular contributors may include, but are not limited to:

  • How and why is Shakespeare taught drawing on resources from across the region: e.g. using East Asian visiting lecturers to teach HE students in the Philippines. With what effect?
  • How and why is Shakespeare taught drawing on resources from outside the region: e.g. through MOOCs and other distance learning programmes with geographically diverse student bodies, through researcher, teacher and/or student mobility schemes. With what effect?
  • What Shakespeare-related interactions between East/South East Asian schools and HEIs exist? How do lecturers and students manage the transition between Shakespeare at school and university?
  • How does a country’s Ministry or Department of Education and wider government (their policy, funding, etc.) enable or inhibit the teaching of Shakespeare in HE? What role do other organisations, such as the British Council, other educational charities, sponsors, graduate employers etc. play?
  • How does Shakespeare sit in popular culture and art forms in the region? With what implications for his teaching and/or study at HE level?

Please do contact me with initial ideas or questions at the address below. If you are interested in contributing a chapter (in the region of 5000-7000 words) to this edited collection, please send a 500-word abstract and biographical details of the author and any co-authors (max. 200 words per author) to by 1st October 2016

Works cited:

Closel, Régis Augustus Bars. (2013). ‘Translating instability: The case of the Portuguese translation of the play of Sir Thomas More’. Apresentação de Trabalho/Comunicação.

Huang, A., & Ross, C.S. (2009a). Shakespeare in Hollywood, Asia, and cyberspace. West Lafayette, Ind: Purdue UP.

O’Shea, Jose Roberto. (2004). ‘From printed text to performance text: Brazilian translations of Shakespearean Drama’.  Translating Shakespeare for the Twenty-First Century. Ed. Rui Manuel G. de Carvalho Homem and A. J. Hoenselaars. Amsterdam and NY: Rodopi, 145-162.

Paraisz, Julia. (2012). ‘Translating Shakespeare’. Finding Shakespeare. Retrieved 26 February 2016, from

Trivedi , P.& R. Minami. Eds. (2010). Re-playing Shakespeare in Asia. NY: Routledge.

Website by Agency For Good

Copyright 2024. All Rights Reserved