The end of theory and of new-historicism, both much debated in Shakespeare criticism have created conditions for an appraisal of earlier stances – a taking stock of methods from the recent and more distant past in the attempt to find valid ways forward. What does it mean to writer about Shakespeare now? Who are the audiences—beyond ourselves—for whom we wish to write about Shakespeare? What does Shakespeare now mean to Europe, Britain, North America, and beyond? Can there be writing about Shakespeare after, or without, theory, or after and outside historicism? Whose contemporary is Shakespeare in the 21st century? These sre some of the questions that the conference will address.