SHAW: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies, Vol. 23
Edited by Gale Larson, and MaryAnn K. Crawford
SHAW: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies, Vol. 23
Edited by Gale Larson, and MaryAnn K. CrawfordShaw, now in its twenty-third year, publishes general articles on Shaw and his milieu, reviews, notes, and the authoritative Continuing Checklist of Shaviana, the bibliography of Shaw studies.
- Table of Contents
- Sample Chapters
Gale K. Larson is Professor of English at California State University, Northridge.MaryAnn K. Crawford is Assistant Professor of English at Central Michigan University.
1. GENERAL INTRODUCTION: SHAW’S BRAVE NEW WORLD CONFERENCE, MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY, MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN, 19–21 APRIL 2001
Gale K. Larson
2. BACK TO METHUSELAH: A "GRAND PRECURSER" [SIC] TO FINNEGANS WAKE
3. HOSTAGES OF HEARTBREAK: THE WOMEN IN HEARTBREAK HOUSE
4. THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF SHAW’S LATER PLAYS, 1929–1939
5. UTOPIAN APOCALYPSES: SHAW, WAR, AND H. G. WELLS
6. COLOSSAL GENIUS: THE CHESTERTON–SHAW DEBATES
Daniel H. Strait
7. IS THE HOLY GHOST A SCIENTIFIC FACT? WHY SHAW’S CREATIVE EVOLUTION MIGHT BECOME THE SCIENTIFIC RELIGION OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
8. ALL ABOUT EVE: TESTING THE MILTONIC FORMULA
9. G.B.S. AND THE BBC: IN THE BEGINNING (1923–1928)
10. "THE GULF OF DISLIKE": TRUTH AND THE POSTMODERN CONDITION IN SHAW’S "THE BLACK GIRL IN SEARCH OF GOD"
Frank C. Manista
11. OUTWITTING DESTINY: THE ARTIST AS SUPERMAN
12. THE PLAYWRIGHT AND THE PRIZEFIGHTER: THE REMARKABLE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BERNARD SHAW AND GENE TUNNEY
13. A FABIAN SOCIALIST IN SOCIALIST CHINA
14. G.B.S. IN HELLAS: A RESOURCE FOR CLASSICISTS
Sidney P. Albert
A CONTINUING CHECKLIST OF SHAVIANA
John R. Pfeiffer
Gale K. Larson
SHAW’S BRAVE NEW WORLD
WISCONSIN 19–21 APRIL 2001
The Conference, Shaw’s Brave New World, held at Marquette University,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 19–21 April 2001, was sponsored by the Wisconsin
Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The Wisconsin Humanities Council supports public programs that engage
the people of Wisconsin in the exploration of human cultures, ideas, and
values. It is funded in part by the NEH, by the State of Wisconsin, and by
other sources both public and private. Additional support was provided by
Marquette University’s Office of Student Development, Milwaukee Area
Technical College, John Ogden, the Department of Performing Arts, the
Department of English, Ruth Lyons, John Collins, Megan Jaskolski, Haggarty
Museum of Art, and ASMU Special Events. Michael Gillespie,
Department of English, organized the program that follows. I have modi-
fied it so that it reflects general interest for readers of SHAW, deleting, for
example, specific references to precise presentation times and locations.
Those speakers whose presentations appear in SHAW 23 are noted in bold
type and appear in their chronological order of presentation.
Thursday, 19 April 2001: Morning and Afternoon Sessions
Opening Remarks from Michael Gillespie, organizer of the Conference Plenary
Address from Ray Bradbury, "Predicting the Past, Remembering the
[In a well-received plenary address, Ray Bradbury acknowledged his
indebtedness to Bernard Shaw, John Huston, and others. He thrilled the
audience with his many anecdotes about his own life and writings and
enjoined members of the audience not to let the local news shape their
lives with its "affluence of despair."]
Shaw’s Closing Remarks
Martha Black (chair) "Back to Methuselah: A ‘Grand Precurser’ [sic]
to Finnegans Wake"
Valerie Murrenus "Hostages of Heartbreak: The Women of
Peter Gahan "The Achievement of Shaw’s Later Plays,
Elizabeth Gaines "Staging Back to Methuselah"
Plenary Address from Dan H. Laurence, "Victorians Unveiled: Some
Thoughts on Mrs Warren’s Profession"
Teaching Shaw: An Informal Discussion [Jose Lanters (chair), Tom Rice,
Don Wilmeth, and Dawn Duncan]
Shaw to the Left and the Right
Christopher Innes (chair) "Utopian Apocalypses: Shaw, War, and H. G.
Alan Andrews "Shaw, Wells, and the Huxleys: Disputing
Science and the Further"
Daniel Strait "‘Fighting Friends’: The Chesterton–Shaw
Stuart Baker "Is the Holy Ghost a Scientific Fact? Why
Shaw’s Creative Evolution Might Become
the Scientific Religion of the Twenty-first
Under the Direction of Montgomery Davis, In the Beginning and The Gospel
of the Brothers Barnabas from Back to Methuselah were performed at the Milwaukee
Chamber Theatre Shaw Festival the evening of 19 April 2001.
Friday, 20 April 2001: Morning and Afternoon Sessions
Plenary Address from Maureen Murphy, "Siobhan’s Joan: Saint Joan and
Shaw’s Status on Academe, Theater, and Elsewhere: A Discussion [Gale
Larson (chair), Sidney Albert, Julie Sparks, Richard Dietrich, Thomas
Evans, and Dennis Johnson]
Conference participants were offered a box lunch and a performance/
presentation of Tandem Productions’ "Puncturing Pomposity: The
Plenary Address from Rhoda Nathan, "All About Eve: Testing the Miltonic
Shaw and the Prisonhouse of Language
Maureen Hawkins "Do Something! The Sense of No Ending in
Shaw’s Heartbreak House
Michel Pharand "Joan Among the Fascists: Santa Giovanna
Leonard Conolly (chair) "Sir Barry Jackson and the British Premiere
of Back to Methuselah" [Conolly’s book on
Shaw and Barry Jackson is now in
publication. He has substituted his initial
paper with "GBS and the BBS: In the Beginning
Shaw and the Modern Condition
Frank C. Manista (chair) "‘The Gulf of Dislike’: Truth and the
Postmodern Condition in Shaw’s ‘The Black
Girl in Search of God’"
Brenda Henry-Offor "The ‘Isms’ in Shaw’s Early Plays"
Nicole Freim "Cult of the Capitalist: Undershaft as
Lagretta Tallent Lenker "Bloody, Bold, and Resolute: Shaw’s Daughters
Under the Direction of Montgomery Davis, The Thing Happens, from Back to
Methuselah, was performed at the Chamber Theatre the evening of 20 April.
Saturday, 21 April 2001: Morning and Afternoon Sessions
Plenary Address from Sally Peters, "Outwitting Destiny: The Artist as
Shaw at the Podium
Jay Tunney (chair) "The Playwright and the Prizefighter: The
Remarkable Relationship Between Bernard
Shaw and Gene Tunney"
Edwin Williams "Shaw’s 1884 Lectures on Troilus and
Wendi Chen "A Fabian Socialist in Socialist China"
Gail Cohen "High Hopes for Mankind: Jasper Deeter,
The Hedgerow Theatre Repertory, and
The Visionary Shaw
Sidney Albert "G.B.S. in Hellas: A Resource for Classicists"
A. K. Bhatt "Shaw and the Mystic Vision"
Arvid F. Sponberg "Christianity and Socialism, or Giving Faith
the Works: The Fraternal Twinship of
Andrew Undershaft and Thomas More"
Shaw’s Difficult Women
Norma Jenckes "The Education of Desire in Shaw’s
Pygmalion and Guare’s Six Degrees of
Martha Black "Blather and Betrayal in John Bull’s Other
Island: ‘Ivy Day in the Committee Room’"
Mary Maxine Browne "Candida: The Shining White Lady or the
Virtuous Good Woman?"
Conference attendees gathered in the late afternoon and formed a Committee
of the Whole to discuss the issue of whether to explore the founding
of an International Shaw Society. Sidney Albert had suggested the idea at
an earlier session. The resolution to support such a measure was passed
On the evening of 21 April, conference members were treated to a performance
of The Tragedy of the Elderly Gentleman and As Far as Thought Can
Reach from Back to Methuselah by the students from the Theater Department
of Marquette University. A closing reception followed the performance
with a participatory discussion with cast members led by Michael
Gillespie, Conference Organizer, and Montgomery Davis, Artistic Director
of the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.
Under the title "Conference in Milwaukee," T. F. Evans, editor of The Shavian,
the official journal of the Shaw Society of London, presented his
views of the conference. The article was first published in the Summer
2001, vol. 9, no. 2 issue of The Shavian.
Quite by accident (some address lists are not as informative as they
should be, your Editor heard, rather late in the day, of a Shaw conference
to be held at Marquette University in Milwaukee in the
distant state of Wisconsin. Bastable and gracious spouse were
accordingly dispatched thither. As there was the likelihood of
meeting old friends and colleagues in the world of Shaw interest
and studies, it was thought a good thing to go. Although it was
already the second half of April, the month maintained its Eliotian
reputation for cruelty and it was really bitter. It would not have
been surprising to see polar bears on the ice of Lake Michigan on
our arrival in Chicago. However, there was a slight but very
pleasant rise in the temperature in Milwaukee and the welcome
given by fellow Shavians could not have been warmer. As to the
business of the conference, it was nothing if not concentrated. The
theme was "Shaw’s Brave New World" and the topic was attacked
with vigor in a rapid succession of four or five speakers in the prelunch
period each day with the same number in the afternoon.
The arrangements had the advantage of variety, but there was the
qualification that some speakers, and there was a very welcome
crop of new names, found it difficult to compress their remarks
within the confines of a strictly limited timetable. The resultant
speed of reading from manuscripts was not always conducive to
total absorption by the audience, however eager.
There was nevertheless much of great value to enjoy and
remember. The opening speaker giving a keynote address was Ray
Bradbury, known to the more ignorant among us as a writer of science
fiction only, but he revealed himself as a most attractive speaker
with a wide and all-embracing literary knowledge and taste and,
very relevant to the occasion, a most experienced and enthusiastic
Shavian as well. This certainly set things off on the right lines. Wellknown
speakers in Shavian circles, such a Dan H. Laurence, Rhoda
Nathan, and Sally Peters gave a lead but less well known speakers
contributed and will doubtless establish themselves in the world of
Shaw studies in due course. It was disappointing that, in consequence
of the late enrollment, the conference members did not have
the opportunity to be charmed by the Bastable voice, but perhaps
their disappointment was not equal to that of the owner of that
voice. In fact, there were no speakers from outside North America.
One other disappointment was that too few of the contributors,
some of them the experienced as well as beginners, failed to
remember that Shaw himself was one of the most witty and amusing
public speakers. It might have been too much to expect newcomers
to catch any of the true Shavian spirit, but perhaps some of the sen-
iors might have given an example in this respect. As it was, the prevailing
tone was perhaps one of earnestness or even solemnity.
That quibble apart, there was much to remember. A specially
noteworthy speaker was Jay Tunney, son of the eminent Gene,
whose friendship with Shaw has been well recorded in other places,
such as the book by our own Benny Green, Shaw’s Champions. The
great world champion was well known for his most unpugilistic
manner when not in the ring and his son’s attractively presented
account of the great boxer’s friendship with Shaw was one of the
most memorable features of the entire conference. There was also
the fact that, for many of us, it was the occasion of our first visit to
the celebrated Chamber Theatre, world-renowned for its Shaw
productions under the artistic director, Montgomery Davis. We saw
the full version of Back to Methuselah presented in three sections,
two in the Chamber Theatre itself and the final one, comprising
the last two plays of the five, in a theater of the university, played
by a cast of students. There was a "talk back" and a final reception,
in which members of the cast and of the conference were able to
share views on the entire proceedings, and the performance of the
play. It all amounted to a grueling experience, but a most rewarding
one.—T. F. Evans
Another Shaw Conference is in the planning stages, and it is hoped that
sufficient lead time will be communicated to our Shavian friends from
beyond North America so that their participation will be assured, especially
from the witty and lighthearted voice of Bastable, T. F. Evans. Dick
Dietrich, editor of the University of Florida Bernard Shaw Series, and
Lagretta Tallent Lenker, author of Fathers and Daughters in Shakespeare and
Shaw, announced at a meeting of a Shaw group at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-
on-the-Lake, 24 August 2002, of their intention of organizing such a
conference in the near future. A summary of the Shaw group meeting at
the Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake can be obtained by sending an e-mail
to email@example.com. More specific information about the forthcoming
Shaw Conference at the University of South Florida is provided in
the "Notices" section in this volume and on the conference Web site: