Call for Book Chapters: William Shakespeare: Tensions and Tempest

Vernon Press invites book-chapter proposals for a collected volume on William Shakespeare: Tensions and Tempest.

Though scholars indicate a few later works, The Tempest can be read as Shakespeare’s last play, and as such, sums the various interests, concerns, and themes that inform his work, be it the magic of peripheral spaces, the rivalries for power, or the social relationships that bind family and class. In short, The Tempest is Shakespeare’s Testament.
The play, however, also addresses current concerns, be they the emerging economy based on the newly founded colonial outposts in the New World, the social tensions inherent in finding one’s place in the new Dynasty or even the intellectual and spiritual concerns of an increasingly anxious society. These questions have echoes in today’s world, raising questions regarding the environment, exploitation or even our place in the universe. The play continues to resonate with contemporary audiences.
The volume aims to explore the gathering storm of tensions that have built up in Shakespeare’s work over the arc of his career, and how that storm burst in The Tempest itself. How does the play actually sum up and further the Bard’s world view as it has developed since the last decade of the Tudors? Considering the degree to which Shakespeare’s plays are unstable texts, they invariably undergo cuts and revision to suit the tastes and expectations of the times, and The Tempest is no exception. How has that vision been perceived, altered or restated over the centuries?

Some, though not all, of the topics that this book could address include:

  • Concepts of power: responsibility, representation and Kingship
  • Political and personal rivalries: the concept of envy and its manifestations
  • Class relationships: the balance between servitude and reciprocity
  • Liminal space: the wilds of the Forest versus the strictures of the city
  • The inherent magic of such Liminal spaces
  • Environmental Issues: the imagery and symbolism of the natural world
  • Environmental issues: husbandry and exploitation of resources
  • Stage and Screen productions of the play: editorial and directorial selection
  • Stage and Screen productions of the play: suppressions and innovative invention within an inherently unstable text.
  • Star Turns: Prospero, Caliban, Ariel…
  • Textual variations and their significance
  • The Tempest and the arts: the play as an artistic subject

Article submissions should be 300 words in length with an accompanying biographical paragraph of about 150 words introducing the prospective contributor.
Submissions and enquiries should be sent by April 1, 2023 to Francis Mickus at

The subsequently selected papers of about 6500 to 7000 words, including endnotes and works cited, will be submitted to the editor’s review as well as a double blinded peer review.

This proposal is due on April 1st 2023.

Page last updated on November 28th 2022. All information correct at the time, but subject to change.