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Wooden O Symposium

Wooden O Symposium

"Thou art a scholar; speak to it."

August 5–7, 2019

The Wooden O Symposium is a cross-disciplinary conference exploring Medieval through Early Modern Studies, through the text and performance of Shakespeare’s plays. Scholars from all disciplines are encouraged to submit papers that offer insights and new ideas springing from the era of William Shakespeare. His plays are replete with the language, thoughts, and arts of the Renaissance and Western culture and represent an inexhaustible source for creative ideas and research.

The symposium is hosted by Southern Utah University and the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Scholars attending the conference will have the unique opportunity of immersing themselves in research, text, and performance in one of the most beautiful natural settings in the western United States.

Symposium sessions and opening and keynote speakers are open to the public at no charge. Meals and plays require registration and payment of the registration fee.

For further information, call 435-865-8333



10 a.m.
Backstage Tour

Zions Bank Courtyard
Utah Shakespeare Festival

 12 noon–1 p.m.

Registration Desk
Hunter Conference Center

12:45 p.m.

Yankee Meadows Room
Hunter Conference Center

1–2:30 p.m.
Session 1: Untying The Monkey’s Fist: Sisters, Brothers, and Pirates

Yankee Meadows Room
Hunter Conference Center
Chair: Julia Combs

 Dr. Jennifer Black, Boise State University
“To Pay This Debt of Love But to a Brother”: Resilience through Family Ties in Twelfth Night

 Anthony Guy Patricia, Concord University
“Notable pirate, thou salt-water thief:” Twelfth Night’s Antonio and the Enigma of Piracy

 Jude Van de Voorde, Independent Scholar
Manufacturing the Ties that Bind

 2:45–4:15 p.m.
Session 2: Weaving the Blood Knot: Early-Modern Cultural Encounters
Yankee Meadows Room
Hunter Conference Center
Chair: Ryan Paul

Stephanie Chamberlain, Southeast Missouri State University
Neither Man Nor Fish: Creaturely Encounters in Shakespeare’s “Brave New World”

 Nolan Carey, University of Colorado – Boulder
“I cannot live to hear the news from England”: Ben Jonson as Imperfect Horatio in Hamlet, The Book of Will, and Beyond

 Charles Boynton, Independent Scholar
The First Folio: A Literary and Political Event

 6–7 p.m.
Opening Reception
Southern Utah Museum of Art
On Display
Karl Momen: Homage to William Shakespeare and Al Farrow: Wrath & Reverence

7:10–7:45 p.m.
The Greenshow
The Ashton Family Greenshow Commons

8–11 p.m.
The Book of Will
Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre
(Ticket included with registration)

9 a.m.
Coffee and Light Breakfast Available

Hunter Conference Center

9:30–11 a.m.
The Book of Will Actors Panel

Charles R. Hunter Room
Hunter Conference Center
Katie Cunningham—Rebecca Heminges, Anne Hathaway
Betsy Mugavero—Alice Heminges, Susannah Shakespeare
Rene´ Thornton Jr—Henry Condell
Chris Mixon—John Heminges
Todd Denning—Richard Burbage, Ben Jonson, Horatio
Kathryn M. Moncrief—Dramaturg

11:15 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
Session 3: Blake’s Hitch: Hamlet’s Seeds and Sources
Yankee Meadows Room
Hunter Conference Center
Chair: Jessica Tvordi

Steven Hrdlicka, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Shakespeare’s Authorship and the Sources of Hamlet

Arianna C. Witham, Dixie State University
Did She Have to Die?

Joyce Ahn, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
“By his cockle hat and staff”: Ophelia and the Walsingham Ballad

2–5 p.m.

Randall L. Jones Theatre
(Ticket included with registration)

 5:30–8 p.m.
The Wooden O Symposium Banquet and Exploration of the Folio with Matt Nickerson

Gerald R. Sherratt Library
Special Collections


9 a.m.
Coffee and Light Breakfast Available

Hunter Conference Center

9:30–11 a.m.
Hamlet Actors Panel
Charles R. Hunter Room
Hunter Conference Center
Brian Vaughn—Director
Quinn Mattfield—Hamlet
Andrew May—Claudius
Emma Geer—Ophelia
Jacqueline Antaramian—Gertrude
Isabel Smith-Bernstein—Dramaturg

11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Session 4: Knotty Jack Ketch—Rebellion and Treason in Henry VI
Yankee Meadows Room
Hunter Conference Center
Chair: Curt Bostick

Andrew Bumstead, University of Utah
"I'll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind": Rutland and Henry's Patrilineal Kinship in 3 Henry VI

 Brian Carroll, Berry College
The Riddle of Cade's Rebellion: Disorder in Henry VI, Part II

1:30 –3 p.m.
Session 5: West Country Whipping—It’s a Wrap: Choices, Inferences, and Finality
Yankee Meadows Room
Hunter Conference Center
Chair: Scott Knowles

Nicholas A. Brush, University of North Texas
“A thing a little soil’d”: Queering the Root in Timon of Athens

Nicholas Ciavarra, University of Georgia
Invention is the Mother of Invention: Tracking Performance with the Canon of Invention

Patricia Patrick, BYU–Hawaii
“Too hard a know for me t’untie”: Undoing Ties that Bind in Twelfth Night

3:15–4:15 p.m.
Closing Session
Yankee Meadows Room
Hunter Conference Center

Journal of the Wooden O

The Journal of the Wooden O is a peer-reviewed academic publication focusing on all things Shakespeare. It is published annually by Southern Utah University Press in cooperation with the SUU Center for Shakespeare Studies and the Utah Shakespeare Festival. 

Articles published in the the Journal of the Wooden O are indexed in the MLA International Bibliography and the World Shakespeare Bibliography and appear full-text in EBSCO Academic Search Premiere

Selected papers from the annual Wooden O Symposium are also considered for publication. 

Single copies may be purchased for $15 each. Libraries or individuals may subscribe to the journal for $15/year. Prices include shipping and handling.

Call for Papers, 2019

The Wooden O Symposium invites panel and paper proposals on any topic related to the text and performance of Shakespeare’s plays. The 2019 conference seeks papers that investigate our 2019 theme: The Ties that Bind. Topics could range from familial relationships, playwright associations, or the societal bonds that connect Shakespeare’s characters. Consideration will also be given to papers dealing with first folio connections in conjunction with The Book of Will. We welcome unique interpretations of this theme.

This year’s symposium encourages papers and panels that speak to the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2019 season: Macbeth, Hamlet, The Conclusion of Henry VI: Parts Two and Three, Twelfth Night, and The Book of Will.

Abstracts for consideration for the Wooden O sessions and individual presentations should be sent to

Manuscripts should follow the Chicago Manual of Style. The deadline for proposals is May 10, 2019. Session chairs and individual presenters will be informed of acceptance no later than June 1. Please include 250-word abstracts or session proposals (including individual abstracts) and the following information:

  • Name of presenter(s)

  • Participant category (faculty, graduate student, undergraduate student, or independent scholar)

  • College/university affiliation

  • Mailing address

  • Email address

  • Audio/visual requirements and any other special requests

For further information, call 435-865-8333.

Journal of the Wooden O
c/o Southern Utah University Press  
351 West University Boulevard
Cedar City, UT 84720

fax 435-865-8152

Top photo: The actor panel at the Wooden O Symposium.