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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: March ::
Re: About This List
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0227.  Wednesday, 20 March 1996.

(1)     From:   Richard Kincaid <
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        Date:   Sunday, 17 Mar 1996 15:52:57
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0220  Re: About This List

(2)     From:   Shirley Kagan <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Mar 1996 15:38:41 -1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0223 Re: About This List

(3)     From:   Peggy Galbraith <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Mar 1996 22:41:42 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0223 Re: About This List

(4)     From:   A. E. B. Coldiron <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Mar 1996 07:34:54 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0223  Re: About This List


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Kincaid <
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Date:           Sunday, 17 Mar 1996 15:52:57
Subject: 7.0220  Re: About This List
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0220  Re: About This List

I have been a member of SHAKSPER for one month now and I have enjoyed most of
the postings. From what I've observed, it doesn't seem that there are anymore
stupid questions asked by non-intellectuals than there are excessive discussion
on a topics (i.e., the Funeral Elegy) by scholars who seem more intent on
showing themselves to be right than by enlightening anyone. But,  if someone
asks something inappropriate or beleaguers a point,  I just say "yadayadayada"
and press the delete. (try it, it works!). And what is a stupid question, if it
is sincere?

On a more philosophical note, I do have to ask: What  good is knowledge if it
is not to be shared, and who better to share it with than those less learned
than yourself. It seems to me that "scholarly"  discussion amongst ones peer is
just a step above mental masturbation. Some of you write as though you are
writing doctorate thesis. If that=92s the same tone you  use with your
students, I have  to  wonder if you're reaching them at all.

I know some of you spend your day teaching Shakespeare to students who for the
most part are only there for the credits, whereas all I have to do get on stage
and make it real and vital to an audience weaned on sitcoms, sound bites and
sensationalism, and maybe you don't want to have to deal with the less learned
on your own time, and if that's the case than I can understand. But I'll bet
that none of you who make a new group will leave this one. I don't want to be
cut out of the loop. I enjoy the discussions, as dry as they might get
("yadayadayada" --delete), and I believe I and others like me bring something
to the party, an open mind, a different perspective, an appreciation of His
works as an expression of the human spirit that goes beyond the quantifying of
feminine ending and the usage of  "of". That's my thoughts, and if I've
offended anyone, well, enjoy your list.

Rick Kincaid

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Shirley Kagan <
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Date:           Tuesday, 19 Mar 1996 15:38:41 -1000
Subject: 7.0223 Re: About This List
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0223 Re: About This List

Dear Gabriel Egan,

In response to your recent remarks:

>Does anybody have a definition of a community with which they would like
>to share their opinions which is not elitist?

>That last is not a rhetorical question. I'd like to hear responses from
>undergraduate subscribers to SHAKSPER (one of the groups I would
>exclude) who wouldn't mind if school children joined in our discussions.

Although I am not an undergraduate (I am currently finishing up an MFA in
Directing) I would most certainly NOT mind it if school children joined in our
discussions.  On the contrary, I would find it refreshing and bewildiringly
heartening to know there are school children out there who care.  My teaching
career has not yet been long and is far from being formidable, but at this
early stage I still view education as a symbiosis.  My desire to educate does
not limit itself to whom I would care to educate; if through my theatre and
teaching I can reach someone - anyone, then I have done a good thing.  In the
same way, I do not have any set rule about whom I may be educated by; it
usually means that those who are older and wiser teach me, but I have been
consistently surprised by the number of times I have learned something from
those who are beneath me in the academic food chain.

Sincerely,
Shirley Kagan

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peggy Galbraith <
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Date:           Tuesday, 19 Mar 1996 22:41:42 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0223 Re: About This List
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0223 Re: About This List

I just wanted to respond, belatedly, to Michael Saenger's post regarding
undergraduates using this list in a manner which he termed "plagiarism," as
well as to Gabriel Egan's more recent call for undergraduates who would like to
hear from school children.  I do not take objection to the splitting of
SHAKSPER; if it does happen, I'll just subscribe to both and watch and enjoy
quietly from the sidelines as I normally do with the single list we have now.
However, I am disturbed by some of the comments which have surfaced in
relationship to the proposed split. First, the unfounded accusation of
plagairism.  Last year, when I was working my term paper on Shakespeare's use
of the dramatic metaphor, I twice used this list to ask questions of those who
knew more about my topic, and scholarship on my topic, than I did.  In my mind,
this is what SHAKSPER, and education in general, should be about.  In both
instances, I received a great deal of assistance which I otherwise would not
have been able to receive, and my paper, as well as my appreciation of
Shakespeare, benifitted from this exchange.  Virtually every undergrad I know
would have been estactic to get such great help, and would have, as I did,
CITED IT PROPERLY AND TAKEN EVERY CARE NOT TO COMMIT THE DREADED "P" WORD.
Trust me, we're all neurotic enough to follow up on that kind of thing.

Secondly, the implication that no one without a PhD and years of experience has
ever had a new or exciting idea.  I think that it is precisely BECAUSE many
undergraduates (and yes, even lowly school children) aren't confined by
traditional scholarship that they are in a wonderful position to make fresh
insights into plays and sonnets which have been studied extensively for
hundreds of years.  If a sixth grader had an interpretation which I had never
considered, I would welcome reading it on this list.  I am still naive enough
to believe that everyone has something to offer, and it is my firm belief that
even the experts who subscribe to this list can benefit from an intelligent
dialogue which includes "the rest of us."

Sincerely,
Peggy Galbraith
Duke University
Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Class of 1998

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           A. E. B. Coldiron <
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Date:           Wednesday, 20 Mar 1996 07:34:54 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0223  Re: About This List
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0223  Re: About This List

Dear Prof. Cook and fellow list-readers,

I come to this discussion a little late, so I'll ask that this not be posted if
it repeats what has already been said here.  I understand and share a desire
for academically informative talk on this list.  I also understand the
nonspecialist's desire to have Shakespeare as a "hobby."  But it seems to me we
academics have here a rare opportunity. Instead of being perceived and
stereotyped as ivory-tower-bound, overly-theorized, anti-civilisation,
post-rational, elitist, geekish, or otherwise irrelevant to our culture, we can
in such a forum show ourselves capable of meaningful discourses with a wider
public.  Recent efforts to shrink academic budgets have sometimes used such
stereotypes as justification (well, maybe not the "geek" stereotype); here's a
place we can show that our arcana are not only that, that our work has value in
the world of 1996, that no one need de-fund us on the grounds of perceived
irrelevancy (or worse).

That is--if we can explain ourselves in such a way that specialists will find
our talk illuminating while non-specialists will find it interesting.  I think
we can do that, and everyone will win.  (We can always delete messages or
threads we don't want to read--thanks to Hardy Cook's good work.)

  A. Coldiron
  University of Virginia
 

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