Annual Undergraduate Shakespeare Conference

Announcing the 13th annual Undergraduate Shakespeare Conference

Date: April 26, 2014
Host: Worcester State University, Worcester, MA
Theme: Shakespeare Noir: Destabilization, Corruption, Irruption, Illumination, Liberation

Call for papers and more information ››

Conference format

During the morning, students deliver their papers in sessions moderated by the faculty (or a graduate student). Normally each session features three papers, selected to be read together because of a common theme. All conference participants join together for a plenary luncheon and a talk from a distinguished scholar in Shakespeare studies. Sessions continue in the afternoon, and several times we have had special presentations on acting scenes from Shakespeare.

Although we charge a modest registration fee to offset the cost of the luncheon, the costs of the conferences have been generously underwritten by the host institution.

Student presenters are often accompanied by parents and friends, and as a result the sessions are well attended.

Conference history

In 2001, Professor Virginia Vaughan called together her colleagues from Worcester's Consortium Colleges to discuss the possibility of organizing an undergraduate Shakespeare conference that would be open to students from all the colleges in the area. The goal was to offer undergraduate students a pre-professional experience that would showcase the important research they were doing in their Shakespeare classes. The Committee also hoped students would find the experience of delivering a paper about their own work and meeting other students with similar interests to be empowering. The Committee picked a theme, identified a guest speaker for a plenary luncheon, and solicited proposals. Students were notified, and on April 12, 2002, the first Undergraduate Shakespeare Conference was held at Clark University.

Conferences have been held annually since then, and the number of proposals has grown so that the Steering Committee can be more selective. Now that the conference announcement is posted on the Web, we receive proposals from schools as far away as Kentucky, Ohio, and Ontario.

Previous conferences

2013 Poster
2012News release
2012 Poster
2011News release
2011 Poster
2010 Poster
2009 Poster
2008 Poster
Year Theme Host
2007 Sexy Shakespeare: Representations of Gender, Sexual Identity, and Sexuality in the Works of Shakespeare and his Contemporaries Nichols College
2006 Shakespeare and the Popular Worcester Polytechnic Institute
2005 Shakespeare: The Art of Human Kindness Holy Cross College
2004 Shakespeare, Then and Now Clark University
2003 Shakespeare and Violence Assumption College
2002 Realizing Shakespeare Clark University