A Call for Papers:
Rediscover Richard III 2014
Celebrating William Shakespeare’s Text as Literature, History, & Drama
The Oakridge School – Arlington, TX – March 21, 2014

In September 2012, a team of scientists, historians, and archeologists successfully found and exhumed the body of King Richard III, the last and most infamous Yorkist leader of late medieval England. Before the dig, the whereabouts of the deposed king’s body were unknown, and one cannot help but ask why? Richard III was a leader whose literary and historical legacy forever immortalized him as one of the most notorious, murderous tyrants of all English literature. Like his physical body, the “factual” Richard was lost completely resulting from the powerful rhetoric of literary and historical sensationalism, and no text achieved this goal more memorably than William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Richard the Third. Whether Shakespeare’s study of the unpopular ruler is to be taken as literal or ironic, the villainous protagonist presented in that play has without a doubt seared our imaginative memories.  For years, sympathetic historians have tried to repair the damage but to no avail; the poetic word proves to be too powerful. Thus, Richard’s reputation remains, like his body once did, discarded in the dustbins of history.  The successful search for Richard’s neglected body, however, does inspire us to revisit and explore certain timeless questions: who was Richard III really? How do we make sense of his literary legacy? And what is it about Shakespeare’s text that so thrillingly captivates our literary imagination?

This spring 2014, The Oakridge School will be hosting an interdisciplinary colloquium that commemorates an important moment of living history by revisiting and reexamining William Shakespeare’s Richard III as a literary, dramatic, and historical text. The Oakridge School English, history, and drama departments eagerly invite upper school students of the Southwest region to submit papers on both Shakespeare’s play and the historical figure himself. We want students to write across the curriculums of literature, history, drama, and perhaps even science, and to prepare papers that could be presented to a diverse audience of fellow learners and enthusiasts. We also invite students, faculty, and administrators of fellow schools to attend and to participate in the many collaborative conversations of the colloquium regardless of acceptance of submissions. 

Instructions for Submission:
All papers must be typed in MLA format with no more than 1700 words (there is no minimum length for submissions). Papers should include a title as well as the name of the student and his/her respective school. Deadline for submissions will be Friday, January 10, 2014, and the conference will take place at The Oakridge School on Friday, March 21, 2014.  Students who have been selected to present at various sessions will be notified sometime at the beginning of February 2014.

All submissions should be emailed as a Word document attachment to Mr. Jared Colley, English Chair at The Oakridge School, at the following address: R3.conference@gmail.com. All questions about submissions or other colloquium details should be directed to Mr. Colley (more contact information is provided below).  All submissions sent before the deadline will be evaluated by a committee of faculty members and administrators from multiple independent schools of the surrounding metroplex area. All names and schools are blinded from submissions during the evaluation process.

Contact information for questions and confirmation:

Email:  R3.conference@gmail.com

Phone: 817.863.4681

817.451.4994 ext. 2710

Suggested Paper Topics

For this year’s paper colloquium, we want submissions to be student-inquiry driven and based upon what interests the specific learner about the topic of study. The following categories are suggested areas of focus; click on the links for each category for detailed suggestions and explanations:

Richard III as a Machiavellian Character of Renaissance Drama

The Role of Conscience and Morality in Shakespeare’s play

Shakespeare’s Vision of Villainy & Humanity

Power, Politics, and Justice in Shakespeare’s Richard III

Historical Contexts: Shakespeare’s and Richard’s

Physical Deformity and Richard III: the History, Literature, and Science

Gender Construction in Shakespeare’s Richard III

William Shakespeare: Master of Rhetoric and Language

Richard III and Filmic Texts

Attention All Thespians!! A Special Call for Actors & Directors