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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: March ::
Re: About This List
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0199.  Wednesday, 13 March 1996.

(1)     From:   Jean Peterson <
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        Date:   Monday, 11 Mar 1996 17:57:03 +0200
        Subj:   This list

(2)     From:   Michael Saenger <
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        Date:   Monday, 11 Mar 1996 21:38:27 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   About This List

(3)     From:   Kay Campbell Pilzer <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 12 Mar 1996 10:10:56 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   About this list


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jean Peterson <
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Date:           Monday, 11 Mar 1996 17:57:03 +0200
Subject:        This list

Professor Saenger seems to be discontented with the level and quality of
discourse on this list, envisioning instead one that will engage the best and
brightest in more elevated and serious scholarly discussion. In support, he
claims that a number of "good" scholars have un-subscribed from SHAKSPER
because the quality of discussion doesn't meet their standards.

There is a solution so obvious that I am surprised no one has yet suggested it:
why doesn't Prof. Saenger, assisted, perhaps, by some of those discontented
scholars,  START this new and elevated, more serious Shakespeare electronic
conference?  Those who wish to could subscribe to it, while the rest may just
be content to stay with SHAKSPER-as-it-is.  I don't mean this to be
argumentative, but I think Hardy Cook's "invention," SHAKSPER, is enough of an
accomplishment and labor of love for ONE man. If people feel that strongly
about the list not meeting their scholarly needs and wishes, they might just
take the initative and do something about it themselves.  I'm sure Hardy would
be happy to tell you what you need to know about getting such a project off the
ground.

Jean Peterson
Bucknell University

[Editor's Note:  SHAKSPER was the brain child of Ken Steele, who founded it in
July 1990 with a dozen or so members, of which I was one.  Many of this
original core of subscribers are still members of the conference.  Ken was
insprired by the SAA meeting in Philadephia of that same year and longed for a
means by which the discussions, both formal and informal, could continue
throughout the year.  I took over as SHAKSPER editor in June of 1992.  Did I
get it right, Ken?  --HMC]

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Saenger <
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Date:           Monday, 11 Mar 1996 21:38:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        About This List

As for the point about Shakespeare's audiences.  Yes, any one could attend a
play.  But not just any one could PERFORM in a play.  Hence my idea of a list
where any one can subscribe, but where they only received posts that were
educational.  The internet should be a place where people of all backgrounds
can be enlightened.  And just how are they enlightened by listening to
undergraduates attempting to get ideas for a paper?  If we do not control what
posts get through we do not have the openness of Shakespeare's theater; we have
the openness of the streets outside of it.

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kay Campbell Pilzer <
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Date:           Tuesday, 12 Mar 1996 10:10:56 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        About this list

Isn't it an annual Shaksperian tradition to have this discussion?

One point not yet made:  tracking, in the sense of directing students into
groups defined by abilities, does not statistically increase the achievement of
the "high" students, and statistically decreases the achievement of the "low"
students.  (Look in any of your local elementary schools).  We pedestrians will
never learn smartspeak unless you let us play, too.  Besides, aren't you
supposed to be teachers?

Another point:  leveling the lists will not guarentee the participation of
quotable folks.  The quotables I know who do not participate abstain because
they are too busy churning out the quotes, not because they don't want their
words beside the words of a kid from the sticks.

As, usually, a lurker on this list, I have enjoyed reading challenging remarks
by both seasoned profs and precocious grad students--and I have enjoyed
watching the level of discourse among some of the regular and more audacious
contributors gradually assume a higher level as these people learn the language
of scholarship.  And some of our better discussions have come as the result of
answers to fairly naive questions from obvious non-specialists.  And those
stupid, careless remarks?  Well, they give me the satisfaction of thinking I
know something someone else doesn't.

Keep this democracy, with its messy, chaotic mish-mash of peasants, bourgeoise,
and nobles.  Save the tracking for the pages of juried publications.  Let this
remain the eclectic coffee room of the Shakespearean's experience, not become
another lecture hall.

Kay Campbell Pilzer
Vanderbilt University
 

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