The Shakespeare Multiverse
Fandom as Literary Praxis
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after October 1, 2021
The Shakespeare Multiverse: Fandom as Literary Praxis argues that fandom offers new models for a twenty-first century reading practice that embraces affective pleasure and subjective self-positioning as a means of understanding a text. Part critical study, part source book, The Shakespeare Multiverse suggests that fannish contributions to the ongoing expansion of the object that we call Shakespeare is best imagined as a multiverse, encompassing different worlds that consolidate the various perspectives that different fans bring to Shakespeare. Our concept of the multiverse redefines ‘Shakespeare’ not as a singular body of work, but as space where a process of inquiry and cultural memory – memories in the making, and those already made – is influenced and shaped by the technologies available to the reader. Characteristic of fandom is an intertextual reading strategy that we term cyborg reading, an approach that accommodates the varied elements of identity, politics, culture, sexuality, and race that shape the ways that Shakespeare is explored and appropriated throughout fannish reading communities. The Shakespeare Multiverse intersects literary theory, fan studies, and popular culture as it traverses Shakespeare fandom from the 1623 Folio to the age of the Internet, exploring the different textures of fan affect, from those who firmly uphold fidelity to the text to those who sit on the very edge of the fandom, threatening to cross over into Shakespearean anti-fandom. By recognizing the literary value of fandom, The Shakespeare Multiverse offers a new approach to literary criticism that challenges the limits of hegemonic authority and recognizes the value of a joyfully speculative critical praxis.
Table of Contents
A Note on Form and Methodology
Multiverse, part one: Ode to Ophelia
Introduction - The Pleasures of Cyborg Reading
Multiverse, part two: The Patient Must Minister To Himself, or, William and the Doctor
Chapter One - The Archontic Multiverse: A Theory of Shakespeare’s Big Bang
Multiverse, part three: Prince’s Shadow
Chapter Two - "The Thing Itself": Paratexts and New Shakespeare Genealogies
Multiverse part four: Four Songs for Lady Macbeth
Chapter Three - Taking out the (Shakespeare) Trash: Illegitimate Knowledge and Shakespeare’s Losers
Multiverse part five: Hamlet’s Buzz
Chapter Four - Your Fave is Problematic: AnteFandom, Anti Fandom, and the Problem of Will
Multiverse part six: The Red Right Hand
Conclusion - Shakespeare and the Cyborg Self
Valerie M. Fazel currently teaches in the Department of English at Arizona State University, where she earned her Ph.D. She is co-editor of The Shakespeare User: Creative and Critical Appropriations in a Networked Culture (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017) and Variable Objects: Speculative Shakespeare Appropriation (Edinburgh University Press, 2021). Her essay work on Shakespeare and popular appropriation appears in several edited collections and Borrowers and Lenders: A Journal of Shakespeare Appropriation, The Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Sundial, and Shakespeare.
Louise Geddes is an Associate Professor of English at Adelphi University. She received her Ph.D in English from the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author of Appropriating Shakespeare: A Cultural History of Pyramus and Thisbe (FDUP, 2017) and is the co-editor of The Shakespeare User: Creative and Critical Appropriations in a Networked Culture (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017) and Variable Objects: Speculative Shakespeare Appropriation (Edinburgh University Press, 2021). Her work has been published in Shakespeare Bulletin, Shakespeare Survey, Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Drama and Interdisciplinary Literary Studies. She is one of the General Editors of Borrowers and Lenders: A Journal of Shakespeare Appropriation.