Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 308. Wednesday, 19 May 1993.
From: Hardy M. Cook <
Date: Wednesday, May 19, 1993
Subject: Query: SHAKSPER's Uses
A number of happenings last week reminded me of a query (or should I say
queries) I wanted to put before the Conference. On Thursday, after reading
Roy Flannagan's review of the New Variorum *Antony and Cleopatra* in the most
recent *Shakespeare Quarterly*, I noticed that Roy mentioned in his
contribution biography that he is an active participant in SHAKSPER. I wrote
to him to thank him for the plug and learned in his reply that in an essay,
"Shakespeare Enters the Electronic Age" for a new NCTE publication, *Teaching
Shakespeare*, he also referred to "the lively discussions on SHAKSPER."
Soon after this electronic exchange, John Cox sent the following posting to
SHAKSPER [SHK 4.0299]:
>I have passed Ronald Dwelle's description of the Hope College *Hamlet* on to
>John Tammi, who directed it. I believe I'm right in saying that the inspira-
>tion for multiple actors/actresses in the same role came from SHAKSPER. I
>sent Tammi several SHAKSPER notices about *Hamlet* productions last fall,
>when he was planning the production. Some (or one?) of them included the
>idea of more than one person playing the same character.
These occurrences reminded that Balz Engler in a private correspondence to me
a few months ago mentioned that he had cited SHAKSPER in two articles he had
written -- one in "the most recent edition of *Shakespeare-Jahrbuch* (in
German), and in *Cahiers Elisabethains* (in English, forthcoming)."
I also know from private correspondences that several of our undergraduate
members have cited discussions on SHAKSPER in their papers.
Obviously, I am delighted in the growing role SHAKSPER plays in scholarly
discourse. SHAKSPER performs many other useful functions: daily postings
include everything from job announcements, conference announcements, and calls
for papers, to reviews, notes, queries, and our wide-ranging discussions.
This past fall Tom Loughlin used SHAKSPER to recruit advisers for his
students' research papers (See LEARNING BY_EMAIL on the FileServer). Others
have written to me expressing ideas involving further innovative roles for
SHAKSPER and the SHAKSPER FileServer.
With these facts in mind, my questions for the members of SHAKSPER are
How do you use SHAKSPER?
What role does SHAKSPER play in your life (professional or otherwise)?
What roles do you foresee SHAKSPER might play?
In short, what are we doing well, what could we do better, and what
might we also do?
Hardy M. Cook
Editor of SHAKSPER
Bowie State University
PS: These are not totally disinterested questions. I spend on average an hour
a day doing work associated with SHAKSPER -- editing and posting digests,
adding and deleting members, editing the current BIOGRAFY files to add the
often daily new members, keeping the MEMBERS and FILES files up-to-date, doing
the monthly chores of updating the DISCUSSion INDEXes, the NEWMEMBR PACKAGE,
and the FILES list, answering off-line questions and other correspondences,
and maintaining the files on the FileServer. I do these tasks because I enjoy
the work and because I firmly believe that SHAKSPER provides significantly
valuable services to its members. I hope these questions will generate
discussions that will enable me to improve and to expand those services.