Announcements

Prof Tim Hitchcock (Sussex University) Speaking at De Montfort University

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 30.034  Friday, 25 January 2019

 

From:        Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         January 24, 2019 at 6:53:38 PM EST

Subject:    Prof Tim Hitchcock (Sussex University) Speaking at De Montfort University

 

Dear SHAKSPERians

 

The historian Prof Tim Hitchcock of Sussex University will give a talk at 1-2.30pm on Wednesday 30 January 2019 in De Montfort University’s Art Factory room AF1.03 (address: 1 Mill Lane, Leicester, LE2 7HU, UK). His topic is “Computer-assisted Distant and Close Reading”. Here’s the blurb:

 

Historians have long practised the art of Close Reading, but there’s also an art of Distant Reading: standing back from any particular text and seeing what we find when we examine large numbers of texts at once. This session will look at the present state of computerized tools for doing both kinds of reading, with a particular eye to historical analyses. A specialist in 18th-century history, Prof Hitchcock’s work in bringing primary sources to public view as online resources has included the creation of The Old Bailey Online <http://www.oldbaileyonline.org> and The Digital Panopticon: The Global Impact of London Punishments, 1780-1925  <http://www.digitalpanopticon.org>. His profile page is at <http://www.sussex.ac.uk/profiles/336034>. 

 

Regards

Gabriel Egan

De Montfort University

 

 

 

A New Season of Shakespeare Guild Programming

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 30.032  Thursday, 24 January 2019

 

From:        John F. Andrews <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         January 24, 2019 at 11:32:58 AM EST

Subject:    A New Season of Shakespeare Guild Programming

 

An Evening with Dakin Matthews

 

Monday, January 28, at 8 p.m.

The National Arts Club

15 Gramercy Park South, Manhattan

Free, but Reservations Requested

 

As we open our 2019 programming for a Speaking of Shakespeare series that is now in its third decade, we’re delighted to announce a special evening with Dakin Matthews, a versatile actor, director, producer, playwright, and drama scholar who’s earning plaudits as Judge Taylor in a critically-acclaimed Broadway staging of To Kill a Mockingbird.

 

In 2015 Dakin played Churchill, opposite Helen Mirren's Queen Elizabeth, in the Broadway transfer of The Audience. He has also won praise in such popular shows as Waitress and The Best Man. In 2003 his script for a Lincoln Center presentation of Henry IV, starring one of his former Juilliard students, Kevin Kline, as Falstaff, garnered a Drama Desk award. And in 2011 he delighted playgoers at Shakespeare in the Park as Lafew in All's Well that Ends Well. His dozens of screen credits include memorable roles in Spielberg's Lincoln, in the Coen brothers’ True Grit, and in such popular TV series as Dallas, Desperate Housewives, House, LA Law, Murder She Wrote, NYPD Blue, The West Wing, and Two and a Half Men

_____________________________________

 

An Afternoon Salon with Alice Quinn

 

Tuesday, January 29, at 2 p.m.

The National Arts Club

15 Gramercy Park South, Manhattan

Free, but Reservations Requested

 

To inaugurate a new daytime series at the NAC, we hope you'll join us for a warm salute to Alice Quinn, who'll soon retire as Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America, a position she's held for more than a decade. Alice served as Poetry Editor for the New Yorker from 1987 to 2007, and prior to that she played a significant role as Poetry Editor for Alfred A. Knopf Publishers. In 2006 she published Edgar Allan Poe & The Juke-Box; Uncollected Poems, Drafts, and Fragments by Elizabeth Bishop, and she is now editing Bishop's journals and notebooks. 

 

In addition to her editorial contributions and her many articles about and interviews with influential writers, Alice is also the arts advocate to whom we're indebted for the poetry that New York commuters enjoy as they ride the Subway

_____________________________________

 

A Frog & Peach Twelfth Night

 

Tuesday, January 29, at 7 p.m.

The Players

16 Gramercy Park South, Manhattan

Free, but Reservations Requested

 

There are so many opportunities to enjoy great theatre in the New York area that some of the city's most imaginative productions get little or no attention. It's thus a pleasure to place a spotlight on Frog & Peach, a troupe that was founded by distinguished members of The Actors Studio to explore new approaches to Shakespeare's classics. Between February 22 and March 17 this innovative company will present Twelfth Night at the Sheen Center (18 Bleecker Street). And in what promises to be an unusually lively gathering, director Lynnea Benson and members of her cast (among them Richard James Porter, who'll be portraying Malvolio) will offer music, brief vignettes, and lively dialogue about an ensemble that has featured such luminaries as Karen Lynn Gorney, Earl Hyman, and Austin Pendleton.   

______________________________________

 

Visit www.shakesguild.org for highlights about these and other Shakespeare Guild offerings, among them an October UK Theatre Awards ceremony in London's historic Guildhall, where Sir Ian McKellen presented our 2018 Gielgud trophy to Sir Richard Eyre. Upcoming events will include evening programs with directors Nagle Jackson (Tuesday, February 26, at the NAC) and Ethan McSweeny (Thursday, March 14, at the NAC ), and a special Ides of March tour of Edwin Booth's final home (to be conducted by curator Raymond Wemmlinger on Friday, March 15, at The Players).  

 

 

 

Adaptation Studies

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 30.031  Thursday, 24 January 2019

 

From:        Douglas Lanier <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         January 24, 2019 at 10:59:16 AM EST

Subject:    Adaptation Studies

 

Dear SHAKSPERians,

 

I’m spearheading an effort to get “Adaptation Studies” approved as a discussion forum at the national MLA, and I’m hoping that those readers of SHAKSPER who are MLA members might consider helping, since many of us are involved in Shakespeare adaptation studies.

 

The process of approval has two stages. First, we need to get sufficient signatures on a petition (35 is the minimum) to establish the discussion forum. Once we have sufficient signatures and national MLA recognizes the petition, stage two will be to craft a formal proposal after which the MLA committee will evaluate and approve the proposal and officially establish the group.

 

For the moment, what’s needed is for MLA members to sign the online petition in favor of establishing the forum. Here are instructions for doing so:

 

1. Log on to MLA Commons at https://mla.hcommons.org/. If you’re not already registered for MLA Commons, you can do so on this page (and it’s free).

2. Click on “Groups and Forums” on the left side of the page.

3. Type “Adaptation Studies” in the search box. This will take you to the link for “Prospective Forum: Adaptation Studies.”

4. After clicking on the “Prospective Forum: Adaptation Studies”  link, click on the “Petition” link which you’ll see in the replies. That will take you to the petition.

5. Reply to the petition with the sentence “I support this petition.” If you are willing to be considered for a leadership position in the forum, add “I am willing to serve in a leadership position in this forum.”

 

That’s it. It’s very easy to do. Signing the petition does not obligate you to do anything more, unless you’d like to be involved in the process of writing the formal proposal. Unfortunately, you have to be an MLA member to sign the petition. And to be clear, this group will be devoted to “Adaptation Studies” more generally, not only adaptation of Shakespeare, but its work should benefit all of us laboring in that field. I appreciate you considering support of this petition.

 

Douglas Lanier

Department of English

University of New Hampshire

 

 

 

CFP: World Shakespeare Congress 2021, Singapore

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 30.030  Thursday, 24 January 2019

 

From:        Hardy Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         January 23, 2019 at 1:21:09 PM EST

Subject:    Call for Proposals - World Shakespeare Congress 2021, Singapore

 

 

‘SHAKESPEARE CIRCUITS’ SINGAPORE, 19-23 JULY 2021

CALL FOR PROPOSALS

FOR THE 11th WORLD SHAKESPEARE CONGRESS, SINGAPORE

 

The Programme Committee of the 2021 International Shakespeare Conference welcomes proposals for panels, roundtables, seminars, and workshops responding to the conference theme ‘Shakespeare Circuits’.

 

The trope of circuits draws attention to the passage of Shakespeare’s work between places and periods, agencies and institutions, positionalities and networks of production, languages and mediums. Topics may include, but are not restricted to:

  • Renaissance circuits: socio-cultural economies, ecologies, and performance practices
  • Transmissions: textual transfer, translation, intermediaries
  • Colonial and postcolonial Shakespeares and their intertwining
  • Shakespeare in virtual networks, computing, and the digital humanities
  • Intercultural, transnational, diasporic engagements
  • Media, intermedial and cross-platform circulations
  • Relationships among performances and texts over four centuries of afterlives
  • Tracking and tracing: quotation, allusion, echo, revision, reference
  • Circulations of identity and difference within or between plays and their appropriations
  • Failures, distortions and blockages in transmission
  • Nodal points and their relations: festivals, centres, exhibitions, venues, and archives
  • Relations conducted via Shakespeare among broader historical events, eras, or periods

 

Attached to this message are guidelines for submitting programme proposals.

All proposals must be submitted to http://wsc2021.org The deadline for all proposals is 1 JULY 2019.

 

 

‘SHAKESPEARE CIRCUITS’ SINGAPORE, 19-23 JULY 2021

GUIDELINES FOR SUBMITTING PROPOSALS

FOR THE 11th WORLD SHAKESPEARE CONGRESS, SINGAPORE

 

In recognition of the international character of the conference, the committee encourages proposals led by or involving participants from diverse national or regional backgrounds, languages, or cultural traditions. No one person should submit more than one proposal or be part of more than one proposal. Participants are encouraged with their proposals to respond to the conference theme of ‘Shakespeare Circuits’.

 

The 2016 World Shakespeare Congress had 20 panels and roundtables, 46 seminars and workshops. Proposers for the 2021 Congress should be aware that there will similarly be more room on the 2021 programme for seminars and workshops than for panels and roundtables.

 

The Programme Committee specifically invites five types of proposals:

  • Panels
  • Roundtables
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Calls for collaboration

 

PANELS typically include three papers of approximately twenty minutes’ presentation time each, and may be chaired by a fourth person, who need not be specified by the organiser(s). Proposals should address the conference’s commitment to international diversity among the panellists.

 

Panel proposals should include:

  1. The name(s) of the session organiser(s), with affiliation(s) as applicable and e-mail address(es).
  2. The title of the proposed session.
  3. A description of the objectives of the proposed session, ideally responding to the conference theme in some way. (The online submission form allows for 2,500 characters including spaces.)
  4. The names of each presenter or participant, with university affiliations as applicable, and e-mail addresses.
  5. The title for and a brief description of each presentation or paper. (For each, the online submission form allows for 1,500 characters including spaces.)
  6. Short biographical statements for the session organiser(s) and each presenter or participant. (For each person, the online submission form allows for 750 characters including spaces.)

 

ROUNDTABLES typically feature short statements on a given topic, followed by focussed discussion among five to ten specified participants, conducted in an open public forum and chaired by a moderator. Proposals should address the conference’s commitment to international diversity among the roundtable participants.

 

Roundtable proposals should include:

  1. The name(s) of the session organiser(s), with affiliation(s) as applicable and e-mail address(es).
  2. The title of the proposed session.
  3. A description of the objectives of the proposed session, ideally responding to the conference theme in some way. (The online submissions form allows for 2,500 characters including spaces.)
  4. The names of each presenter or participant, with affiliations as applicable and e-mail addresses.
  5. Short biographical statements for the session organiser(s) and each presenter or participant (For each person, the online submission form allows for 750 characters including spaces.)

 

SEMINARS are convened by at least two organisers from different national backgrounds, languages, or cultural traditions. The conveners set out the research agenda for a group of scholars who are assembled through an open-enrolment process. Each seminar member will contribute a written research paper of a specified length; advance work may also include assigned readings and other preparatory activities. At the conference, conveners guide the seminar discussion.

 

Seminar proposals should include:

 

  1. The names of the seminar organisers, with affiliations as applicable and e-mail addresses.
  2. The title of the proposed seminar.
  3. A description of the objectives of the proposed session, ideally responding to the conference theme in some way. (The online submission form allows for 2,500 characters including spaces.)
  4. Short biographical statements for the session organisers, including any previous relevant experience with seminar direction. (For each person, the online submission form allows for 750 characters including spaces.)

 

WORKSHOPS are convened by at least two organisers from different national backgrounds, languages, or cultural traditions. These sessions typically bring together a larger group of participants to explore an issue in performance, pedagogy, criticism, or creative work. Advance work may involve readings, viewings, online discussions, shared syllabi, performances, and pedagogical and practical exercises. At the conference, workshops tend to have a looser format than seminars.

 

Workshops proposals should include:

  1. The names of the workshop organisers, with affiliations as applicable and e-mail addresses.
  2. The title of the proposed workshop.
  3. A description of the objectives of the proposed session, ideally responding to the conference theme in some way. (The online submission form allows for 2,500 characters including spaces.)
  4. Short biographical statements for the session organisers, including any previous relevant experience with workshop direction. (For each person, the online submission form allows for 750 characters including spaces.)

 

CALLS FOR COLLABORATION are welcome for panels, roundtables, seminars, or workshops. In this case, one or more persons will propose a topic and solicit interested partners. For example, one person may seek a partner for directing a seminar or workshop; two or more persons may seek a third panellist; one or two persons may seek multiple roundtable participants. Calls will be publicly posted at http://wsc2021.org with the contact information of the caller(s) so that those responding can communicate with the caller(s) directly. When assembling a formal proposal, those issuing the call should consider the conference’s commitment to international diversity. The deadline for calls is 1 April 2019, to allow time for callers to assemble proposals that observe the regulations given above, as applicable to the specific format, in time for the proposal deadline of 1 July 2019.

 

Calls should include:

  1. The name(s) of the caller(s) with affiliation(s) as applicable and e-mail address(es).
  2. A title of the proposed program or event.
  3. A description of the themes and objectives of the proposed session, ideally responding to the conference theme in some way. (The online submission form allows for 2,500 characters including spaces.)

1. MEMBERS OF THE PROGRAMME COMMITTEE WELCOME ENQUIRIES and are

happy to work with ISA members in crafting programme proposals. Contact:

 

Tom Bishop: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ton Hoenselaars: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bi-qi Beatrice Lei: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lena Cowen Orlin (Chair): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Yong Li Lan: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

For other questions about the 11th World Shakespeare Congress, contact: Nick Walton: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Proposals must be submitted to: http://wsc2021.org.

The deadline for all proposals is 1 JULY 2019.

 

 

 

Folger Shakespeare Library - Digital Asset Platform

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 30.020  Thursday, 17 January 2019

 

From:        Hardy Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         January 16, 2019 at 11:23:09 AM EST

Subject:    Folger Shakespeare Library - Digital Asset Platform

 

The Folger Shakespeare Library has released a new way to explore the entire Library Collection: Miranda, a Digital Asset Platform.

 

https://collections.folger.edu/

 

 

What is Miranda?

 

Miranda helps you discover something new to see, hear, and learn from the world of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

 

Whether you’re doing research or searching for something fun, Miranda can help you find what you’re looking for.

 

Miranda holds images, videos, podcasts, and datasets for you to explore. Miranda also holds library records for the thousands of objects in the Folger’s collections that are not yet digitized, giving you rich and detailed information about what you can’t see online.

 

Miranda helps you save and organize what you find on My Shelf. And with the items in our collection, Miranda shares insights on Shakespeare, the world he lived in, and the legacy he left behind.

 

 

The Miranda Digital Asset Platform

 

The Folger is building a new digital home for its collections.

 

In September 2017, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a grant to Amherst College, for the benefit of the Folger Shakespeare Library, to build a full digital asset platform. This platform, called Miranda, will be the primary foundation for the Folger's future digital projects. 

 

Miranda is currently in beta at collections.folger.edu. At the project's conclusion by the end of 2019, Miranda will contain virtually all of the Folger’s publicly available digital assets, which range from various kinds of texts to images, videos, audio recordings, and databases. Going far beyond a simple repository for digital materials, the platform will also host digital exhibitions, publications, and software applications.

 

Miranda will foster new collaborative possiblities with cultural institutions around the world that have complementary collections. This will enable the Folger to acquire, catalog, and share digital resources — born within the Folger, or elsewhere — which might otherwise be lost or unavailable to the public. This generous grant follows on an earlier award from the Mellon Foundation in September 2016, which provided funding for the platform prototype. 

 

How is the platform built? 

 

Miranda is made up of three components:

  • A web interface that allows users to explore, discover, and view content.
  • A set of API services that allow developers to search and interact with our data. There is an Elasticsearch API that allows for complex searching and filtering of platform data, a GraphQL API for utilizing and consuming DAP content, and a content-type validation microservice that lets developers know the type and structure of different kinds of content stored in the DAP.
  • A centralized repository for all of the Folger's assets. This repository is designed to handle all sorts of assets, and allow for the use of different kinds of storage options.

When will Miranda be available?

 

Right now! Miranda is currently available in beta at collections.folger.edu. There's a lot to see, read, hear, watch, and explore, and there is more on the way. We will continue to improve the platform and add to its contents through the next and final phase of the Mellon-funded project.

 

Who can use it?

 

Miranda will be free and publicly available for anyone to use. 

 

Where can I find the technical documentation for the prototype?

 

Visit our developer portal for the platform's technical documentation, which will be expanded and updated as Miranda grows.

 

 

 

Teaching Position

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 30.013  Thursday, 10 January 2019

 

From:        Jason Mahn <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         January 9, 2019 at 8:53:29 PM EST

Subject:    Teaching Position

 

I write to announce the following open postdoctoral position teaching Shakespeare, first year inquiry, and literature and theology during the 2019-2020 academic year to the SHAKSPER  site. The position is posted here:

 

https://www.augustana.edu/about-us/offices/hr/employment/faculty/fellow-111-19

 

 

Fellow in English and Religion

 

Augustana College invites applications for a visiting interdisciplinary Fellow in English and Religion for the 2019-2020 academic year.

 

Augustana College is a selective liberal arts college of 2,500 students, most of whom live on a wooded 115-acre campus. Rock Island, Illinois, is one of the Illinois-Iowa Quad Cities along the Mississippi River, a diverse metropolitan area with 400,000 residents, located about three hours west of Chicago and 45 minutes east of Iowa City, home of the University of Iowa.

 

We seek a candidate with expertise in Early Modern English Literature and Shakespeare, with an additional interest in and ability to teach first-year academic writing and a “Reasoned Examination of Faith” course. We especially welcome candidates whose research on Early Modern English Literature includes religious studies (whether historical, theological, or other), and who welcome the challenge of teaching academic reading, writing, and inquiry to first year students.

 

Anticipated teaching expectations: six courses per year, including two sections of First Year Inquiry (FYI 101), two sections of a Shakespeare course serving primarily English majors and minors, and two sections of RELG 208: Literature and Theology or another “Reasoned Examination of Faith” (REF) course.

 

Being a diverse and inclusive community is central to the college’s mission and reflected in the strategic plan. We seek applicants with a demonstrated commitment to fostering an inclusive learning environment for a diverse student body. Minorities and members of underrepresented populations are encouraged to apply.

 

Augustana College is an equal opportunity employer; we do not discriminate based on age, race, color, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability or creed and strongly encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply for this position.

 

Details about Augustana College, our expectations of the faculty, the selection process, and the Quad Cities all are available at Teaching at Augustana.

 

A complete application includes: curriculum vita, copy of graduate transcript, three letters of recommendation, statement of teaching philosophy, and writing sample.  To apply, please email application materials to Sherry Docherty at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. using the subject line: Search #111-19 English/Religion, and directed to Jessica Schultz, Associate Dean of the College.

 

Alternatively, application materials can be mailed to: Search 111-19, C/O Jessica Schultz, Associate Dean of the College, Augustana College, 639 38th Street, Rock Island, Ill., 61201.

 

Questions may be directed to the co-chairs of the search committee: Meg Gillette at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (English) or Jason Mahn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Religion). Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled..

 

Warmly,

Jason A. Mahn

Associate Professor of Religion

 

 

 

 

CFP: Shakespeare and Morality Symposium

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 30.009  Tuesday, 8 January 2019

 

From:        Neema Parvini <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         January 7, 2019 at 11:00:59 AM EST

Subject:    Call for Papers: Shakespeare and Morality Symposium

 

Call for Papers

Event: Shakespeare and Morality Symposium

Date: 21st June 2019

Place: Guildford School of Acting, Stag Hill Campus, University of Surrey, Guildford

Hosted by: Guildford School of Acting & University of Surrey, School of English and Languages

 

We invite papers on the topic of Shakespeare and Morality in criticism, performance, and theory. Themes may include but are not limited to: authority, loyalty, fairness, sanctity, care, and liberty. We encourage papers from scholars in both literary and performance studies, as well as teachers from English or Drama departments who are currently teaching Shakespeare at A-level.

 

The aim of this one-day symposium is to bring together leading scholars, teachers, and students who are working on Shakespeare and Morality, or Renaissance Ethics, to share their research.

 

If interested, please send a 300-word abstract to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 31st March 2019.

 

 

Many thanks,

Neema

Senior Lecturer in English

University of Surrey

 

 

 

Shakespeare & Queer Theory / Shakespeare & Postcolonial Theory

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 30.002  Monday, 2 January 2019

 

From:        Evelyn Gajowski <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         December 31, 2018 at 3:37:57 PM EST

Subject:     Shakespeare & Queer Theory / Shakespeare & Postcolonial Theory

 

Dear SHAKSPER Friends, 

 

“Congratulations!” to Melissa Sanchez and Jyotsna Singh on the upcoming publication (24 Jan. 2019) of the next 2 titles in the Arden Shakespeare and Theory Series --  

 

Sanchez, Melissa E. Shakespeare and Queer Theory. Arden Shakespeare and Theory Series. London: Bloomsbury, 2019. ISBN 9781474256674/

https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/shakespeare-and-queer-theory-9781474256674/

 

Singh, Jyotsna G. Shakespeare and Postcolonial Theory. Arden Shakespeare and Theory Series. London: Bloomsbury, 2019. ISBN 9781408185742 -- 

 

https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/shakespeare-and-postcolonial-theory-9781408185742/

 


These titles are currently available for pre-order. If you would consider ordering them for your campus library, your courses, or yourself, I would be grateful. 

 

FYI, podcast interviews with Series authors (#21 - #32) are accessible via either 

 

http://blogs.surrey.ac.uk/shakespeare/page/3/

 

or

 

http://blogs.surrey.ac.uk/shakespeare/page/2/ 

or 

 

https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/series/shakespeare-and-theory/ 

 

All the best,

Evelyn Gajowski, Series Editor

Arden Shakespeare and Theory Series

 

 

 

Happy New Year and Announcement

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 30.001  Monday, 2 January 2019

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Subject:    Happy New Year and Announcement

 

Dear SHAKSPER Subscribers:

 

Happy New Year to all and welcome to Volume 30 of SHAKSPER.

 

This will be my final year as your daily Editor. At this time in 2020, I will hand over the Editor mantle to Stephanie Chamberlain, Professor of English at Southeast Missouri State University. I will be Editor Emeritus and will take over whenever Stephanie needs me. 

 

Ken Steele, then a graduate student at the University of Toronto, founded SHAKSPER on July 26, 1990: http://shaksper.net/archive/1990/25-july/22-10001-shaksper-initial-message. Because volume numbers are associated with calendar years, SHAKSPER today enters its 30th year of serving the academic Shakespeare community. Many of you know the SHAKSPER story; a few have even been around from its inception. SHAKSPER began in a computing world far different from the one we know and use today. Being the 30th anniversary, I thought I would celebrate with a LONG posting—a really LONG posting—looking back at some key events of those years.

 

The Internet, without being too technical, can be said to have begun in 1961 when Leonard Kleinrock developed “the theory of packet switching, which was to form,” according to Walt Howe, “the basis of Internet connections.” In 1966, The Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA) worked on Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) so researchers in the United States could share supercomputers. ARPANET was brought online in 1969, at first connecting four United States universities. In 1971, Ray Tomlinson invented an “email program to send messages across a distributed network”; this program became operable on ARPANET the following year. In 1973, ARPANET was connected to University College in London and the Royal Radar Establishment in Norway, creating an international network.

 

Throughout the 1970s, technical advances continued. In 1981, that “BITNET (Because It’s Time Network) connected IBM mainframes around the educational community (Howe),” which provided “electronic mail and listserv servers to distribute information, as well as file transfers” (Zakon). BITNET next became “gatewayed” (i.e., connected) to ARPANET, or the Internet as it was beginning to be called. What had been, according to Howe, long the domain of “computer experts, engineers, scientists, and librarians” was rapidly spreading across the rest of the academy. Pioneering academics started exchanging messages electronically, joining USENET newsgroups and electronic bulletin boards, and becoming members of e‐mail distribution lists as mini-computers and personal computers expanded in number and popularity. Non‐technical people progressively began using these and other developing tools: Archie, which made library catalogs accessible; WAIS (Wide Area Information Server), which indexed files into text searchable databases; gopher, which created easy to use menu systems to access files; spider, which indexed gopher menus; and a variety of others with colorful names like Veronica and Jughead.

 

In 1991, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN) developed “a new protocol for information distribution . . . which became the World Wide Web in 1991. [ . . . It] was based on hypertext—a system of embedding links in text to link to other text” (Howe). Initially, hypertext text, as well as all Internet materials, was reachable from a prompt (C:\>_) after which commands were typed. The next most crucial step in the popularization of the Internet was the 1993 introduction of Mosaic, a graphical interface for the World Wide Web. The Mosaic-style interface changed computing completely; now anyone could “surf” the Internet with ease and without needing to know often-obscure commands or without necessarily having to type anything. The “point‐and‐click world” was born; and, as a result, the Internet and the world were changed forever. 

 

Many early computer enthusiasts began with personal computers and connections to university servers from offices on-campus. I bought my first personal computer in 1983, frustrated with having Wite-Out all over my fingers and typewriter. I used my first computer principally for word processing. Initially being thrilled by the spellchecker, I soon began experimenting with and then adopting other applications as equipment in my ever‐expanding electronic toolbox: a thesaurus, an outlining program, proofreading and editing software, a bibliography generator, basic text scanning and optical character recognition (OCR) software, a laptop computer (Radio Shack’s Model 100), and later a notebook computer (NEC UltraLite), all of which, in retrospect, seem crude when compared to their sophisticated, contemporary iterations. During these early years for me, two items standout: getting access to the Internet (through a VAX terminal at my university office and through an Internet service provider, ISP, at my home) and using WordCruncher, a program I continue to use today that enables me to search the Riverside Shakespeare quickly and effortlessly. Getting access to the Internet and using WordCruncher afforded me a foretaste of some electronic resources that would follow—“O, brave new world” that has such wonderful technology in it.

 

What was to become the most radical change in my computing life happened as a result of my listening to Willard McCarty present a paper, “Humanist: Lessons from a Global Electronic Seminar,” at the 1989 MLA Convention in Washington, D.C. McCarty founded HUMANIST in 1987, the prototype of the academic “electronic seminar,” as he called it. He used Listserv©, e-mail distribution software, to deliver and archive messages so as to “foster discussion of basic problems and exchange of information among humanists world-wide, thus aiding research and strengthening the community.” I immediately joined, dutifully submitting the required biography. Soon afterwards, I participated in the seminar on using computers in Shakespeare studies at the 1990 Shakespeare Association of America Annual Conference in Philadelphia. Other seminar members as were Michael Best (founder and Coordinating Editor of Internet Shakespeare Editions), James L. Harner (World Shakespeare Bibliography Online), and Ken Steele. During the Conference, Ken shared with me his thoughts about starting an electronic conference dedicated to Shakespeare following the model of HUMANIST. 

 

SHAKSPER began at the University of Toronto on an IBM mainframe connected to BITNET and using Listserv© software. About a dozen Shakespeareans including myself formed the core of founding members, with the membership quickly growing to twenty and continuing to rise. During the first year and a half, if my memory serves, all but one of SHAKSPER’s members, Vint Cerf (an Internet pioneer), were affiliated with colleges and universities. It would take another ten years before large numbers of non-academics joined SHAKSPER. Two years after its founding, almost all of SHAKSPER’s 293 members continued to be from academia. Commercial Internet Service Providers were just getting started in the early 1990s. The January 1, 1992, membership list of 223, for example, contains only eight addresses that ended in “.COM,” and none of these are from the Internet service providers with which we are now familiar. The remaining addresses, except for one with an “ORG” extension were Bitnet or Internet addresses from academic institutions. On February 21, 1992, I became SHAKSPER’s co-editor, at first being responsible for the fileserver. On March 25, I took over the editing of the daily submissions into the digests. On June 3, Ken decided to take a leave of absence from his graduate studies, and I became SHAKSPER’s owner, editor, and moderator. 

 

Over the years, SHAKSPER’s membership continued to grow: 400 in October 1993, 500 in February 1994, 700 in September 1994, 1,000 in March 1995, about 1,250 in January 1997, peaking at around 1,500 after 2000, with approximately 1,000 members currently. The Internet had opened up rapidly and transparently with the introduction of graphical interfaces and the subsequent proliferation of commercial Internet Service Providers and free Internet e-mail services. This opening was reflected in the growth of SHAKPER’s membership.

 

Thousands of topics have been discussed throughout SHAKSPER’s thirty years. Members surely will differ about the ones they consider most memorable, but I will never forget Terence Hawkes’s response to the announcement of the As You Like It Hike performed by Equity actors at various locations throughout a forest: “We may have to abandon our annual ‘King Lear’ Cakewalk. Persuading the audience to jump off the cliff was always difficult. However, guests will continue to be welcome at the Titus Andronicus Lunch (no substitutions).” I will also not soon forget the disagreements about the appropriateness of postings about Shakespeare-related pornography, the extended discussion of A Funeral Elegy, the first mentions of “Presentism,” or the question of whether Hamlet and Ophelia had sexual relations and the responses: Louis Scheeder’s “Only in the Chicago company” and Terry Hawkes’s “The theory shared by a number of MY colleagues is that Hamlet and Ophelia had textual relations.”

 

In her “President’s Letter: 1993-94” in the Shakespeare Association of America Bulletin, Phyllis Rackin, mentioned a heated discussion on SHAKSPER that followed the announcement that Sam Wanamaker had been awarded a CBE for his work on the Bankside Globe: “Outraged responses from the UK provoked a series of exchanges that exposed profound differences between the political and cultural locations occupied by ‘Shakespeare’ on the two sides of the Atlantic.” This exchange was one of my most memorable threads on SHAKSPER, exploring the political dimensions of building of the “New” Globe theatre.  

 

In the early years, another thread led me to ban discussion of the purported Authorship Question. The first authorship-related posting on SHAKSPER appeared on February 27, 1991: an announcement by Mike Ellwood of a BBC radio program that claimed that the scroll the Shakespeare figure on the statue in Westminster Abbey is holding contains a cipher that Francis Bacon was the playwright. September 20, 1991, witnessed an announcement of the competing articles in the Atlantic Monthly: one by Tom Bethell, advocating that the Earl of Oxford wrote Shakespeare’s plays, and another by Irvin Matus, defending the traditional attribution to William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon. More than a year later, Peter Scott announced the Frontline program that examined the possibility that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, composed the plays attributed to William Shakespeare. A year after this, Anthony Hatch asked whether anyone had attended that mock trial in Boston in which Shakespeare’s identity was debated. However, a sustained discussion of “Authorship” did not begin until after April 4, 1994, when John Cox posted an anti-Oxfordian limerick cycle that had been sent to him by David Bevington. Oxfordian Pat Buckridge charged that Bevington had “an interest in ridiculing the actually very powerful Oxford claim.” David Kathman and Steve Urkowitz rose to Bevington’s defense and the “Authorship” debate of 1994 was underway. The exchanges persisted unabated through October, November, and December. Dave Kathman and others continued with facts and grace to answer every assertion made by the avowed Oxfordians and those who simply identified themselves as anti-Stratfordians. I become fatigued by the demands that these posting were making on my time and patience. On December 27, 1994, I forbade further discussion of the topic on SHAKSPER.

 

Happy New Year to all,

Hardy

 

 

 

Doubling Your Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 29.0468  Monday, 31 December 2018

 

From:        Brett Gamboa <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         Sunday, December 30, 2018 at 12:13 PM
Subject:    Doubling Your Shakespeare

 

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

 

Please forgive this one-time advertisement. I’m writing as the lights go out on 2018 is out and while my book on Shakespeare and theatrical doubling, Shakespeare’s Double Plays, is still warm off the Cambridge press.

 

I hope that scholars and theatre makers interested in early modern performance may find the book useful, particularly those interested in casting, doubling roles, dramaturgy, phenomenology and audience reception, boy actors and female representation, metatheater and more. It offers a new theory of Shakespeare’s working practices and early performance, and it includes tables and charts with casting requirements and possibilities for each play, so it may be helpful for student actors and directors to have in hand for their own productions or as a basis for course exercises in dramaturgical analysis.

 

With libraries ordering fewer books, I hope you will encourage yours to order a copy. Of course, it would be great, too, if you recommended it to colleagues and students to whom it may be of interest, as well as favorite theater companies and directors, less favored theater companies and directors, etc. The link above and attached flyer have more information and a discount code for Cambridge UP. Thanks for your consideration and warm wishes for the New Year.

 

Yours,

Brett Gamboa

 

 

 

Shakespeare Theatre Conference

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 29.0450  Tuesday, 18 December 2018

 

From:        Hardy Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         December 18, 2018 at 7:58:18 AM EST

Subject:    Shakespeare Theatre Conference

 

  2nd Call for Papers
2019 Shakespearean Theatre Conference:
“Festival and Festivity”

 

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers, full sessions, and workshops for the third Shakespearean Theatre Conference, to be held June 20-22, 2019, in Stratford, Ontario. While all approaches to Tudor-Stuart drama are welcome, we especially encourage proposals that respond to our broad theme of “Festival and Festivity.” How do we understand and perform festive, antic, celebratory, or bacchanal elements in the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries? How did these plays draw on and contribute to early modern festive cultures, and how have historical changes to such cultures shifted the meaning of theatrical revelry? To what extent is the festive limited or invigorated by genre and convention? In what ways do cultural and theatrical festivals, including dedicated Shakespeare festivals and Shakespearean playhouses, influence and shape contemporary Shakespearean performance? What do the histories of these festivals have to tell us about changing responses to early modern drama, and what new directions seem promising?  

 

Plenary speakers:

Farah Karim-Cooper (Shakespeare’s Globe)

M. J. Kidnie (Western University)

Paul Prescott (University of Warwick)

 

The conference is a joint venture of the University of Waterloo and the Stratford Festival, and will bring together scholars and practitioners to talk about how performance influences scholarship and vice versa. Paper sessions will be held at the University of Waterloo’s Stratford campus, with plays and special events hosted by the Stratford Festival. The conference schedule will include free time to attend evening performances of Othello, Henry VIII, and Merry Wives of Windsor. By arriving a day early or leaving a day late, conference goers will also be able to see the world premiere of Mother’s Daughter, Kate Hennig’s historical drama about the ascension and reign of Mary Tudor. Additional conference information will be posted as it becomes available at https://uwaterloo.ca/english/shakespeare. Full details of the Festival’s schedule are available at https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/.   


By February 1, 2019, please send proposals to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Lois Adamson                    Kenneth Graham             Alysia Kolentsis

Director of Education     Dept. of English                 Dept. of English

Stratford Festival             Univ. of Waterloo            St. Jerome's Univ.

 

 

 

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