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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: July ::
RT: Shakespeare's Intentions Reactions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0413  Friday, 18 July 2008

From:       Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:       Friday, July 18, 2008
Subject:    RT: Shakespeare's Intentions Reactions

I just sent out the concluding digest in the second SHAKSPER Roundtable: 
Shakespeare's Intentions.

I have been asked by Cary and John to contribute a brief essay to the upcoming 
special issue of _Style_ that is to evolve out of this online discussion. I had 
also intended to add a few words of my own here to mark end of this exchange, 
one that I believe has helped to shape the medium in which it appeared as a 
forum for scholarly discourse; however, I also just finished reading Cary's 
concluding essay and my mind in racing from what I read, requiring me to take 
some more time to reflect upon what I would Iike to add.

All of this said, I invite meta-commentary from list members regarding reactions 
to Cary's essay or to the evolving Roundtable format, as well as other related 
matters.

As I have mentioned a number of times, SHAKSPER was created in an academic 
environment for an academic community. Somewhere along the way that academic 
focus became blurred. In the middle of December of 2005, the SPARC 10 that had 
been SHAKSPER's physical home for many years died, providing me the longest 
hiatus I have had in the then more than ten years that I had been its editor to 
reflect on my tenure. During that time, I had a proverbial "ah-hah moment," 
during which time I had some insights into why this blurring of purpose might 
have happened. I wrote about these reflections in an essay that appeared 
recently in _Borrowers and Lenders_: 
http://lachesis.english.uga.edu/cocoon/borrowers/request?id=590387. Since 
SHAKSPER came back online in February 2006, I have been vigorously been striving 
to recapture that focus:  <http://www.shaksper.net/archives/2006/0000.html>.

The Roundtable format was one of the ideas I had to that end, to enable exciting 
and engaging conversation on subjects of current academic interest to the 
discipline of Shakespeare and Early Modern Studies.

When I first thought of the idea for the Roundtable, I used the metaphor of the 
"virtual faculty lounge" to describe it:

	In the early days of the list, Shakespeareans who taught in smaller,
	relatively isolated institutions around the world would often seek me
	out at conferences to thank me for providing them a kind of virtual
	faculty lounge, a sense of belonging to a community of scholars with
	whom they could share their thoughts and explore their ideas despite the
	comparative dearth of actual colleagues where they lived and worked.

	It has occurred to me that we might be more intentional about this
	aspect of our community and institute periodic topics to discuss amongst
	ourselves - a SHAKSPER Roundtable.

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

Others have used the metaphor of online SAA-style seminars, but as Cary has 
noted in his thoughtful essay there is something about the medium of the 
Internet itself that affects any efforts tt comparing these kinds of 
deliberations to other forms of scholarly colloquy.

Well, I have ended up writing much more than I had intended, but my purpose 
remains the same to encourage your reflections, public or private, to the 
Roundtable format and to the discussions that we have just concluded.

Hardy M. Cook
Editor of SHAKSPER

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