The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0677 Wednesday, 18 July 2006
From: Hardy M. Cook <
Date: Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Subject: SHAKSPER RoundTable and Impending Hiatus
In a little more than two weeks, my daughter Rebecca and I will be on
our way to the UK. The first week of August, we will spend in Stratford
at the International Conference, then a few days in Oxford and a week in
London. I will not be operating the list during this period.
As I edited the digests for today, my thoughts returned to the concept I
suggested six weeks ago of instituting a SHAKSPER RoundTable feature,
discussions that would be more formal and focused than our daily
After the first announcement, I posted two follow-ups with refinements
about how I envisioned the Forum to work and a long-list of possible
topics: http://www.shaksper.net/archives/2006/0606.html and
In this last post, I asked for anyone who might be interested to submit
to me a 300 to 500 word proposal or call for discussion (CFD),
suggesting possible areas of discussion and a question or statement to
be used to initiate discussion for our first RoundTable.
Since I introduced the idea many members have endorsed it, but no one
has volunteered to be our first guest moderator. I would like to see the
RoundTable raise the bar even higher on the level of our discourse on
Today, there were five digests of roughly 3,000 words total. The first
of about 100 words commented on particulars of the historical life
Macbeth, probably worth a hundred words, but I see no reason why the
thread has lasted longer than the initial question and a response or
two. Then three on the "Brando, Depp, Hamlet," a thread that I picked up
from the Internet as a curio but certainly not one worthy of four
follow-up digests. Next, a hundred word reply to a question about the
possibility of the acting companies having their own libraries.
And finally the two biggies - three digests totaling 1,000 words on
Shakespeare and Islam and seven digests of more than 1,500 words on male
actors playing females. The first deserved a hearing and a few responses
but I don't feel it warrants the amount of discussion it has garnered.
The second, well, the second. Charles Weinstein has some very strong
opinions that he states very strongly. I do not precisely know what
prompted this restatement of this belief at this time. But short of a
"smoking gun" like a handwritten letter from the playwright no one is
going to prove conclusively that Shakespeare had feelings one way or
another about males playing females on the Early Modern stage and "some
squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness" is not "indisputable" proof of
anything other than the Cleopatra character does not wish to have her
love for Antony ridiculed and satirized in Rome.
My point, we are all busy and have no time to take on any additional
projects, but I surely hope that there is an academic member of SHAKSPER
who might enjoy being a guest moderator of focused discussion at our
first SHAKSPER RoundTable Forum.
Sometime I wonder
What I'm gonnna do
There ain't no cure
For the summertime blues
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Hardy M. Cook,
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