The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0339 Friday, 6 June 2008
From: Hardy M. Cook <
Date: Friday, June 06, 2008
Subject: Planning for SHAKSPER Roundtable 3
Let me speak for all members of the SHAKSPER Electronic Conference in offering
my sincerest gratitude to Hugh Grady for assuming the mantle of Guest Moderator
for the first SHAKSPER Roundtable on the subject of Presentism and to Cary
DiPetro for volunteering to be Guest Moderator for the second Roundtable on the
subject of Shakespeare's Intentions.
Hugh took an idea of mine that was not thoroughly formed and presided over
stimulating exchanges that set a new standard for high-level scholarly discourse
on this list. Cary followed and brought his own vision to the Roundtable,
inviting scholars from a variety of critical practices in the discipline to
contribute "leading essays" to the weekly Roundtable digests.
He and I also refined the Roundtable (RT) format by my publishing responses to
the weekly digest as they arrived in the SHAKSPER Inbox and then having Cary in
his role as Guest Moderator integrating the daily submissions into the following
week's digest to which he added his moderator's commentary and the leading
essays he had solicited.
In the end, the Roundtable format evolved in a manner that encourages focused
scholarly engagement in a climate in which contributors take time to reflect
upon their submissions rather than simply firing off a reply in the heat.
I would like to comment on another factor that has evolved in the Roundtable
format. Since there is a clearer distinction now being established between the
expectations of a RT post and those of the daily discussions, the Guest
Moderator and I have been more actively engaged in vetting which submissions get
included in the Roundtable thread. We have rejected a higher percentage of
submissions that are not focused on the issues under discussion than I normally
do for daily posts to the list. An example here might be when a member uses a
point mentioned in a RT digest to introduce another theory or position to which
the submitter is committed but which does not fall directly into a category
under the RT's purview. However, in some cases, when a post in response to a
point raised in a RT digest makes a point that is interesting and that deserves
to be given the opportunity to have members respond to it in a thread of its
own, even though it is not clearly related to RT issues, I have published that
contribution with a new subject line. Also, we have not included posts that, for
example, simply register agreement with a RT poster but do not in themselves
advance any further points in the RT discussion.
I hope that I am not going too far in what I am about to claim, but I believe
that these refinements are shaping the very medium in which they appear, forging
and helping to define a new arena for scholarly exchange that is not as rigid as
print publication, or conference presentations, or SAA-style seminar
contributions for that matter but that is distinctly more formal than the
current rage for blogging or than the listserv posts on SHAKSPER that preceded it.
Even though Roundtable 2 shows no signs of slowing down, I thought that before
it concluded that I would start planning for SHAKSPER Roundtable 3. To do this,
I would like once more to float the idea of having prospective guest moderators
submit proposals to me. In what follows, I will delineate RT procedures as they
have evolved, list possible topics that have been mentioned as possible RT
topics, and invite anyone with an interest to submit a proposal to me.
SHAKSPER Roundtable Procedures:
1. Roundtable forums are distinguished from regular SHAKSPER discussions in a
number of ways. The subject line in each digest clearly identifies it as a
SHAKSPER Roundtable digest.
2. Roundtable forums have a guest moderator who initiates discussions by
providing a brief list of suggested readings that participants in the discussion
are expected to be familiar with; who outlines the parameters for the
discussion, who monitors the on-going contributions, who acts as a meta-voice
commenting on the threads as they develop, who keeps the discussion focused, and
who concludes the Roundtable when it has reached its useful end.
3. After a Roundtable concludes, the moderator is expected to provide a summary
of the discussions. Then the reading list, the guest moderator's initial essay,
the weekly digests, and the moderator's concluding statement will be stored on
the SHAKSPER website, as a record of the scholarly exchanges that have taken place.
4. Roundtable discussions are conducted on a more formal level than ordinary
list discussions: contributors are expected to reflect upon their offerings
before submitting them, to conduct any research that may be necessary to support
their positions, and to provide a Works Cited List as called for at the end of
their submissions. In other words, subjective responses -- such as, I have not
read Tamburlaine, but I feel
Marlowe meant . . . and the like -- will not be published. Also, all
contributions are expected to stick to issues clearly related to the stated
topic. Posts that use Roundtable discussions to introduce issues not clearly
related to the stated topic will either be rejected or published with a new
subject line and not considered a part of the Roundtable exchanges.
5. The guest moderator is responsible for providing the editor RT digests that
will appear approximately a week apart. The editor will publish responses
without comment to weekly digests as they appear. These daily comments will then
be include in the next weekly digest with the guest moderator's commentary and
other materials (such as, "leading essays") the guest moderator wishes to include.
6. Participants are expected to make a commitment to a Roundtable. Anyone posing
a question or challenging someone else's position will be expected to be
available to respond to those who respond to his or her points. Members should
not drop a line of thought and then disappear from the discussion.
7. The guest moderator will determine when to conclude the Roundtable.
8. Prospective moderators (PM) will submit to me a 300 to 500 word proposal/call
for discussion (CFD), providing a brief biography of themselves and their
academic background and interest, a reading list, and a brief commentary
suggesting possible directions that discussions might take.
9. Roundtable submissions should be send to me either at
. I will forward the individual submissions to the guest
editor, who will return them to me in a digest. I will perform final formatting
and distribute the Roundtable digest to the members of the list.
Possible Topics for SHAKSPER Roundtable Discussions:
* The State of Shakespeare Biography
* The Place of Theory in Shakespeare Studies: Where we are and where we are going?
* Performance Criticism: Thirty Years After
* Lukas Erne's Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist: Shakespeare Stage or Page or . . .
* Electronic Shakespeares
* The State of the Discipline
* New Uses for Old Books
* Pedagogy: The Shakespeare Classroom Today
* Verse Speaking: Its Value. Does it matter?
* Realization of Text into Performance.
* Editorial Practices
* Shakespearean (Early Modern) printing and publishing
* Shakespeare on film
I welcome as private correspondences any proposals or any topics to consider for
future Roundtable forums.
Hardy M. Cook
Editor of SHAKSPER
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook,
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>
DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the opinions
expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the editor assumes no
responsibility for them.