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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: July ::
SHAKSPER RoundTable and Impending Hiatus
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0677  Wednesday, 18 July 2006

From: 		Hardy M. Cook <
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Date: 		Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Subject: 	SHAKSPER RoundTable and Impending Hiatus

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

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 
discussions: http://www.shaksper.net/archives/2006/0583.html

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 
http://www.shaksper.net/archives/2006/0628.html

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 
this list.

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

Hardy

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