CfP: “The Evolution of Shakespeare’s Names on Screen, Stage, and Page”

The seminar “The Evolution of Shakespeare’s Names on Screen, Stage, and Page”, which will be convened during the 2023 conference organised by ESRA, thus invites contributions which include (but are not restricted to) the following topics:

  • Shakespeare’s name changes within plays and from sources. From names to nicknames, a substantial number of names have been altered. The act of naming and renaming should be explored to understand the mechanisms and effects of this phenomenon.
  • The evolution of names in print. How have the different editions of the playwright’s works influence the status and nature of the characters’ names? What does it tell us about the treatment of names by Shakespeare, his printers, and our contemporary editors?
  • The influence of Shakespeare. Henry Fielding alludes to Shakespeare’s names: “[W]herefore art thou Tom Thumb?”1 It would thus be appropriate to study the way in which names coined by the playwright has influenced other authors and the debate on names.
  • Names on stage and screen. How do contemporary directors convey the meaning of a name knowing that its lexemes had different connotations in early modern England?
  • Translating and “tradapting” names. How do non-anglophone translators and directors world-wide deal with the characters’ names?
  • The mystery behind names. The authorship question and the search for the identity of some characters (e.g., John Falstaff) have triggered a flurry of interest. What are the most recent findings and more importantly, why are these questions so crucial?
  • Onomastics and Shakespeare. How have the recent studies on Shakespearean names changed our understanding of the playwright’s works?

Please send a 250-word abstract, accompanied by a 100-word biography, to Charlène Cruxent ( and Grant Smith ( by December 1, 2022. All participants will be notified about the acceptance of their proposals by December 15, 2022. Draft essays will be due on May 1, 2023.