Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award 2020 shortlist announced

  Dr Will Tosh shares the four titles shortlisted for our biennial award celebrating the work of emerging scholars in the field of Shakespeare studies

4 minute read

With much of our usual activity put on hold this year, it’s been a keen pleasure to serve as a judge for the Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award 2020, which today announces a shortlist of four excellent titles (stay tuned for an announcement of the winner in August!).

The prize is awarded every two years to an early career scholar who, in the judges’ opinion, has produced a first book that makes a significant contribution to our understanding and appreciation of the theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. The winner receives a cash prize of £3000, and an invitation to take part in a public event that will be presented online this year.

The Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award is awarded every two years to an early career scholar who has produced a first book that makes a significant contribution to our understanding and appreciation of the theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

Fifteen titles were submitted by academic presses across the world, an exceptionally strong haul that reflects the continuing vitality of Shakespeare studies.

This year the judging panel, chaired by Patrick Spottiswoode (Director, Globe Education), comprised a quartet of previous winners of the award (and me): Dr Gwilym Jones (Senior Lecturer in English, University of Westminster), Dr Abigail Rokison-Woodall (Senior Lecturer in Shakespeare and Theatre, University of Birmingham), Dr Simon Smith (Lecturer in Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama, University of Birmingham) and Dr Gillian Woods (Senior Lecturer in Renaissance Theatre and Drama, Birkbeck University of London).

We’re delighted to announce that the shortlisted titles for the Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award 2020 are:

  Oliver Morgan’s Turn-Taking in Shakespeare (Oxford University Press, 2019)

  Harriet Phillips’ Nostalgia in Print and Performance, 1510-1613: Merry Worlds (Cambridge University Press, 2019)

  Lieke Stelling’s Religious Conversion in Early Modern English Drama (Cambridge University Press, 2019)

  Emma Whipday’s Shakespeare’s Domestic Tragedies: Violence in the Early Modern Home (Cambridge University Press, 2019)

Book cover: Turn-Taking in Shakespeare

On Turn-Taking in Shakespeare, the judges said:

“Oliver Morgan’s Turn-Taking in Shakespeare provides a galvanising new way of interpreting Renaissance plays. The mechanisms of dialogue – the sequencing of speakers, their interruptions, pauses, and failures to respond – open out new insights into character, dramaturgy, social relationships, and ideological structures. While the focus is on Shakespeare, and what Morgan stylishly argues is his brilliance in dialogue, the implications stretch to Renaissance drama more broadly.”

On Nostalgia in Print and Performance, the judges said:

“Harriet Phillips’ Nostalgia in Print and Performance offers a compelling new view of Shakespeare, situated in an early modern cultural fascination with nostalgia and ‘merriness’ – the imagined understanding of pre-Reformation days. Her dual focus on performance and print culture cuts across generic divides to situate drama amongst ballads and other widely circulating materials. The result is a richer view of the early modern drama, particularly histories, than an exclusive focus on the theatre would allow.”

Book Cover: Nostalgia in Print and Performance.
Book Cover: Religious Conversion in Early Modern English Drama

On Religious Conversion in Early Modern English Drama, the judges said:

“Lieke Stelling’s Religious Conversion in Early Modern English Drama takes a wide view of a fascinating topic. She teaches us the subtleties of early modern religious conversion, both spiritual and interfaith, and shows how performance from the late middle ages onwards concerned itself with this most pressing issue. From mystery plays to Shakespeare’s As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice and Othello, Stelling illustrates the compelling hold that change in faith had on Renaissance imaginations.”

On Shakespeare’s Domestic Tragedies, the judges said:

“Emma Whipday’s impressive Shakespeare’s Domestic Tragedies is a project of reclamation, in that she is seeking to bring to attention the overlooked genre of domestic tragedy, and expansion, in that she wants already established canonical texts to be brought into that classification. In her readings, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth and King Lear reappear as domestic tragedies, and she gives them new potency and charge by her exposure of these plays’ deep engagement with the shibboleths and secrets of early modern domesticity.”

Book Cover: Shakespeare's Domestic Tragedies.

As judges, we thank all fifteen authors whose work we were privileged to discover in a summer of lockdown reading, and we congratulate the four shortlisted authors.

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