The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0025 Monday, 15 January 2007
Date: Monday, January 15, 2007
Subject: 18.0018 What's in a Name?
Comment: Re: SHK 18.0018 What's in a Name?
Last week, I solicited suggestions for a name for the upcoming new
feature that I have been calling the SHAKSPER Roundtable, a designation
that would distinguish it from the everyday discussions that take place
I would like to thank everyone who sent me suggestions. They were
thoughtful and provocative. Here are some of those I received:
"SHAKSPER High Table"
"Roundtable Forum Number 1"
Internet-, Web-, Net- or Electronic Seminar
EMPAD, for Electronic Moderated Panel Discussion
The RETREAT, The SANCTUARY, or The WEEDED GARDEN
The PRIVY COUNCIL or The STAR CHAMBER
If I were assign these responses to two groups, I would call one group
the creative suggestions and the other the descriptive suggestions.
In Love's Labour's Lost, Act I, scene i, lines 13 - 14, the King of
'Our court shall be a little academe,
Still and contemplative in living art.'
The editor of The Arden Shakespeare version, H.R. Woudhuysen, notes that
'academe/academy: a unique Shakespearean form. The Academy was
originally the name of Plato's school in Athens. It was taken up in the
mid-fifteenth century by the Medici, rulers of Florence, and imitated at
other courts, esp. in France, where academies held formal discussions of
matters relating to philosophy and to the arts.'
Since the following line in the quotation may be interpreted as meaning
'calmly and consistently meditating on the living quality of art', I
would respectfully propose 'SHAKSPER Academe' as the title for the
SHAKSPER Forum/Roundtable since 'academe' is, as aforementioned, a
uniquely Shakespearean term and since the word describes a distinctive
'milieu' in which special and formal discussions take place.
Since the program will be confined to a narrowly defined topic, and
there will be a reading list which I presume all participants will be
expected to follow, with the discussion moderated by a leader, this
sounds like nothing so much as a "seminar." Why not just call it that?
"Symposium" or even "colloquium" will also do, but are not are precise.
Although I appreciate the more creative suggestions, I was looking for a
designation that, even though prosaic, was more descriptive. Since
traffic had been rather slow lately, I decided to put my three choices
to an informal vote of the membership.
1. SHAKSPER Seminar
OED: "a select group of advanced students associated for special study
and original research under the guidance of a professor."
American Heritage: "A small group of advanced students in a college or
graduate school engaged in original research or intensive study under
the guidance of a professor who meets regularly with them to discuss
their reports and findings."
2. SHAKSPER Colloquium
OED: "A meeting or assembly for discussion; a conference, council. spec.
an academic conference or seminar."
American Heritage: "An academic seminar on a broad field of study,
usually led by a different lecturer at each meeting."
3. SHAKSPER Roundtable (The original title)
OED: "Used generally to denote a number of persons seated round a
circular table, or imagined as forming a gathering of this kind; spec.
an assembly of people for a conference or discussions at which all
participants are accorded equal status Also transf., a collection of
opinions or remarks on a particular subject.
American Heritage: "A conference or discussion involving several
If you have a preference from among these three, please let me know, and
in a few days I will let the list know my decision.
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