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Cover of Variable Objects edited by Valerie Fazel and Louise Geddes
March 2021
Edinburgh University Press

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Variable Objects

Shakespeare and Speculative Appropriation
Edited by: 
Valerie M. Fazel
Louise Geddes

Examines Shakespeare fragments as agents of appropriation:

  • Draws on new theoretical approaches that re-centre Shakespeare as the axis of the appropriative act.
  • Adds new concepts to appropriation studies that expand the debates over textual fidelity, with particular emphasis on new materialist approaches.

Drawing on new materialism and object-oriented ontology, "Variable Objects" proposes that Shakespeare is a vibrant object replete with a variable energy that accounts for its infinite meaning-making capacity. Using critical race theory, object oriented feminism, performance studies, Global Shakespeares, media studies and game theory, the collection’s essays explore the dialogic relationship between the Shakespeare object and its appropriation. Each chapter demonstrates that instead of moving away from the source of appropriation, an object-oriented approach can centralise Shakespeare without the constraints of outdated notions of fidelity. Highlighting the variable materiality inherent in Shakespeare, the collection foregrounds the political ecologies of literary objects as a new methodology for adaptation studies.


Valerie Fazel is an instructor in English at ASU, where she also received her BA, MA, and PhD in English in 2001, 2007 and 2013, respectively.

Praise for this book

"This extraordinary collection will have a profound impact on Shakespeare and appropriation studies. Using object-oriented methodology, the authors develop a speculative approach that refigures Shakespeare as a vibrant, multifarious 'thing' that actively participates in the creation of limitless interpretations and appropriations. The volume opens up new possibilities for the field."

Lisa S. Starks
University of South Florida