CALL FOR PAPERS “SHAKESPEARE SHELTER: UKRAINE” -- THEMATIC VOLUME (curated by Nicoleta Cinpoeş and Imke Lichterfeld)



Multicultural Shakespeare: Translation, Appropriation and Performance vol 31 no 45 (2025)

curated by Nicoleta Cinpoeş and Imke Lichterfeld

 We have all taken shelter in Shakespeare and have used his works as a temporary sanctuary and to create networks to achieve change. This could not be more relevant since the escalation of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia and the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. This guest issue in Multicultural Shakespeareseeks to offer a Shakespeare Shelter for Ukrainian scholars, translators, and practitioners at a time when their work and very existence remain under threat.

Building on the idea of shelter as a place of safety and temporary respite, as well as care and solidarity –which we initiated in an online vigil and continued since February 2023 –this special issues invites Ukrainian contributors to take shelter in order to find their own voices and speak up about the undercover work Shakespeare has been doing to provide shelter from the huge political, ideological, and military pressure that Russia has been subjecting Ukraine for centuries.

The second objective of the present volume is to descend into the bomb shelters, metro stations, and theatre basements to bear witness to the humanitarian work Shakespeare is doing across Ukraine. These new types of theatre, literally underground, are saving lives while bomb raids rage outside and they create a new Shakespeare that is physically and metaphysically a shelter. It is drama therapy in action, but most importantly, it is the epicentre of a new and free Ukraine, aware of its European roots, its troubled heritage, and its values. 

Finally, this special issue, itself a shelter, is creating a timely and much needed safe space for Ukrainian scholars and practitioners to look ahead and to explore how Shakespeare can enable new dialogue and collective work. It records the present stages of Shakespeare’s role in decolonising Ukrainian language, culture, education, and Shakespeare scholarship, tracing the steps between current humanitarian work: and future humanities studies. 

Overall, this special issue of Multicultural Shakespeare is an opportunity for contributors to reflect upon their legacy and to voice their agency in writing Ukrainian Shakespeariana asan integral part of the multicultural European network and wider, global conversation.

We would like to collect articles of approx. 6000 words as well as interviews with theatre practitioners conducting their work within Ukraine or in the diaspora, and reviews of Ukrainian stage productions of Shakespeare plays performed in Ukraine, and on European festival stagesespecially since February 2022.

Deadline for article abstracts (300 words): 1 June 2024; confirmation of acceptance: 30 June 2024

Deadline for articles (6000 words), interviews and reviews: 15 September 2024

Deadline for final edits: 15 December 2024.

Submissions should be sent through the journal submission system on the website: HERE.

Multicultural Shakespeare editing style is available HERE.

Nicoleta Cinpoeş is Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Worcester, UK, where she teaches early modern literature, Shakespeare in performance and screen adaptation, in translation and in cultural exchanges. When not dabbling in early modern drama scholarship, she is a theatre historian, reviewer and occasional translator.She has worked with Shakespeare festivals for over 15 years and the European Shakespeare Festivals Network (ESFN) since its inception, in 2010. Since 2010, she has been organising the ESRA Shakespeare in Performance Seminar series at the International Shakespeare Festival, Craiova, Romania. She sits on the Board of the European Shakespeare Research Association (2017-2025) and is supporting applicants from Ukraine and Moldova to launch their Shakespeare Festivals and join the ESFN. 

Dr. Imke Lichterfeld teaches English Literature at Bonn University in Germany, where she currently holds a position as Studies Coordinator at the Department of English, American and Celtic Studies. She read English and History at Bonnand Aberdeen, and has taught at Bonn and Växjö, Sweden. She has contributed to publications on the English Renaissance, Modernism, and contemporary literature, among them a monograph on English revenge tragedy called When the Bad bleeds…Her research predominantly focuses on early modern drama, Shakespeare, and his contemporaries.