Apply Now: Advanced Digital Humanities Institute at the Folger Institute this June

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.061  Tuesday, 10 February 2015


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

Date:         February 10, 2015 at 12:06:31 PM EST

Subject:    Apply Now: Advanced Digital Humanities Institute at the Folger Institute this June


Please forward this to your colleagues who work in the digital humanities, computer science, and other digital environments on your campus: 


“Early Modern Digital Agendas: Advanced Topics” seeks 15 DH scholars and practitioners to bring their own data sets to the Folger in Washington, DC, in the second half of June 2015.


Under the direction of Jonathan Hope, Professor of Literary Linguistics at the University of Strathclyde, visiting faculty and participants will conduct an advanced exploration of data creation and management followed by various forms of hands-on investigation, including text analytics, social network analysis, dimensionality reduction, and research process design. Attention will also be paid to historical reflection on the nature of “exemplarity” claims in humanistic argument.


This institute is supported by a generous grant from the NEH's Office of Digital Humanities. Further details, including the visiting faculty, curriculum, eligibility, and application materials and guidelines, may be found here:


The deadline is 2 March 2015.


Please feel free to contact me with any questions.



Owen Williams, Ph.D. 

Assistant Director for Scholarly Programs

The Folger Institute

Folger Shakespeare Library

201 East Capitol Street, SE

Washington, DC 20003

202 675 0352




Following on the success of the first “Early Modern Digital Agendas” institute—an intensive survey of the most current resources and methods in digital research to be found in July 2013—"Advanced Topics" is a second three-week NEH institute to be hosted by the Folger Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Jonathan Hope, Professor of Literary Linguistics at the University of Strathclyde, will direct an advanced exploration of data creation and management to be followed by various forms of hands-on investigation, including text analytics, social network analysis, dimensionality reduction, research process design, and even historical reflection on the nature of “exemplarity” claims in humanistic argument. It is supported by a $175,000 Institutes for Advanced Topics grant from the NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities.


Program Details

The “Early Modern Digital Agendas: Advanced Topics” Institute will meet from 15 June through 1 July 2015, and admitted participants are expected to be in residence for the entire time. It will convene a technically advanced cohort of fifteen early modern digital humanists for scholarly assessment of the most effective tools by which data sets are gathered, curated, and analyzed. EMDA2015 will build in more time than its predecessor for application and experimentation with the tools to which its participants will be introduced; it will also encourage participants to bring their own data and, as often as is practical, process that data for analysis with the tools that the visiting faculty introduce. Details about the Institute’s curriculum are available.


Participants will reflect on the ways DH expands the universe of possible questions that literary scholars can ask while new technologies produce exponentially larger bodies of evidence faster than ever before. Among the questions visiting faculty will pose and consider with the participants: What is “data”? What transformations lie behind statistical analysis? How is corpus-wide variation being treated? What are the principles of visualization? The aim is to enable participants not just to perform analysis, or curate data, but to understand the processes they engage in—where they enable, how they restrict, and how they might be improved. It remains the Folger’s goal to ensure that DH practitioners question not only what is possible with digital tools, but why one would put them to certain uses, and at what costs.


Applicant Eligibility

This institute is designed primarily for college faculty and staff at U.S. institutions who study the texts, writing, and literature of early modern England. Qualified graduate students, independent scholars, and those employed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations are eligible provided they can effectively advance the teaching and research goals of the institute. Priority in admission will go to applicants who are United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline. Foreign nationals teaching abroad at non-U.S. chartered institutions are eligible to apply; those who have collaborated or who plan to collaborate with U.S. partners in digital initiatives will be more competitive applicants.


An applicant need not have an advanced degree in order to qualify; adjunct and part-time lecturers are eligible to apply, as are staff in digital humanities centers, librarians, and others who are interested in participating in a scholarly assessment of the most effective tools by which data sets are gathered, curated, and analyzed. Individuals may not apply to study with a director who is a current colleague or a family member. Institute selection committees are advised that only under the most compelling and exceptional circumstances may an individual participate in an institute with a director or a lead faculty member who has guided that individual’s research.


Application Information

The Dear Colleague letter (in pdf) is written for all prospective applicants. It contains detailed information about the topic, participation requirements and expectations, and the academic and institutional setting.


All applicants must apply through the Folger Institute’s online application system. The application guidelines will undoubtedly answer many questions that applicants may have. Before submitting an application, they should review the curriculum to ensure that they can address the ways their work will benefit from and contribute to the institute’s goals. The application deadline is 2 March 2015.



Please send any questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


EMDA2015 Visiting Faculty


During “Early Modern Digital Agendas: Advanced Topics,” the scholars listed below will present their views and demonstrate practical applications of tools and approaches digital humanities:


Ruth Ahnert, Lecturer in Renaissance Studies, Queen Mary University of London

Sebastian Ahnert, Royal Society University Research Fellow, Cambridge

Erin Blake, Folger Head of Collection Information Services

Meg Brown, Folger/CLIR Fellow for Data Curation

Matthew Christy, Lead Programmer at the Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media and Culture (IDHMC), Texas A&M University

Alan B. Farmer, Associate Professor of English, The Ohio State University

Erika Farr, Head of Digital Archives, Emory University

Lisa Gitelman, Professor of English and of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University

Mike Gleicher, Professor of Computer Sciences, University of Wisconsin

David Hoover, Professor of English, New York University

Eric Johnson, Folger Director of Digital Access

Markus Krajewski, Professor of Media History and Studies, Universität Basel

Laura Mandell, Director of the Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media and Culture (IDHMC), Texas A&M University

Tony McEnery, Professor of Linguistics and English Language and Faculty Dean, Lancaster University

Trevor Muñoz, Associate Director, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities

Mike Poston, Folger Database Applications Specialist

Andrew Prescott, Professor of Digital Humanities, University of Glasgow

Goran Proot, Conservateur, Bibliothèque Mazarine

Jan Rybicki, Assistant Professor at the Institute of English Studies, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland

Paul Schaffner, Head of Electronic Text Production at the University of Michigan's Digital Production Library Service and the TCP Production Manager

Stephan Thiel, Studio NAND, Berlin

Ted Underwood, Associate Professor of English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Rebecca Welzenbach, TCP Project Outreach Librarian

Michael Witmore, Director, Folger Shakespeare Library

Heather Wolfe, Folger Curator of Manuscripts


EMDA2015 Curriculum


The following outlines the curriculum for the upcoming “Early Modern Digital Agendas: Advanced Topics” institute that will convene from mid-June through 1 July 2015. The application deadline is 2 March 2015. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.


General Overview

The institute will convene in the Folger Board Room, which has been recently upgraded in terms of its presentation technology and wireless access. All participants will be required to attend all sessions. The institute will meet from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. This schedule provides for a two-hour morning session and a three-hour afternoon session, with a generous break for lunch. The afternoon session also has a built-in break; participants and visiting faculty will join Folger staff and readers at the Library’s daily tea from 3:00 to 3:30 on weekdays. Weekly evening social events will allow for conversations to continue and community to build outside the sessions.


The schedule will allow for consultation among participants, faculty, and Folger staff. Discussions of assigned and pre-circulated readings will be led by the director and the visiting faculty, and links to digital exemplars and tools will be made available before presentations.

Week 1: 15-19 June 2015


Data: Creation, Management, and Curation

After orientations and community-formation steps, this week considers issues relating to the creation, management, and curation of data in early modern DH. That work begins by recognizing that most early modern digital projects have been—and will continue to be—built upon the corpus provided by the Text Creation Partnership. That project has transcribed the digital facsimiles found in Early English Books Online, which are themselves converted from mid-twentieth-century microfilms. The digital resources available to early modern scholars are more extensive than in many fields. But they are a product of the history of their creation, and participants will also investigate options beyond EEBO-TCP. Regardless of how text is produced, it must be managed and curated, and participants will discuss best practices in the field of data curation.


Monday morning will begin with an orientation necessary for work in a restricted-access, non-circulating, rare book library: reader registration will be followed by an introduction to the rules and regulations of the Reading Room in the course of a tour of the Library. Owen Williams will organize introductions to the Folger’s online catalogue, Hamnet, and growing digital repositories like LUNA. Underway since the mid-1990s, LUNA provides high-resolution imaging of collection material, made freely available online, with source master digital images and associated metadata. Participants will confer with the institute’s two Technical Assistants to configure wireless protocols and the like. Following these orientations, Professor Jonathan Hope and the participants will convene for a welcome lunch.


The first afternoon session will be crucial for community-building and accomplishing the agenda of the rest of the institute. Priorities include: (1) establishing a level of critical discussion which theorizes and contextualizes DH within the broad field of the humanities; and (2) establishing sub-groups within the institute which allow for the development of good inter-personal relations, the sharing of knowledge, and the creation of a supportive context in which participants’ research plans can be refined. The fifteen participants will meet in three sub-groups of five people each. In each sub-group, participants will introduce themselves and describe their work, research interests, and experience in early modern studies and DH. The institute will then reconvene as a whole, and each person will introduce another member of their sub-group. The aim of these introductions is to establish a research problem for each participant that relates to DH and for which the participant will develop a solution, a visualization, a guided approach, or a list of resources over the coming weeks. Professor Hope and Dr. Williams will also outline plans for the institute’s digital presence. They will point out EMDA2013’s success with live tweeting of presentations and discussions (with over 3,400 tweets); private wiki-sites for each sub-group to record ongoing work and allow sharing between participants; and a public blog to present the participants’ work and interim discoveries.


Professor Hope will draw upon the participants collective introductions to scope out the group’s sense of current issues—both theoretical and practical—that are of current concern in early modern digital humanities. This discussion will provide an overview of the meta-critical questions with which the institute is interested. Professor Hope will lead discussion of the first set of assigned texts that are concerned with not only the advanced analysis of data, but also with the particulars of how its creation affects the product being analyzed and the producer.


In a scholarly roundtable on Tuesday morning called “Historicizing Data,” Professors Lisa Gitelman (Professor of English and of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University) and Markus Krajewski (Professor of Media History and Studies, Universität Basel) will address the issue of what data is, how it overlaps with and differs from information, and discuss the importance of creating, historicizing, and curating it for scholarly applications and analysis. The panelists will draw participants’ attention to points in history (including early modernity) when the explosion of data and its technological manipulation framed new kinds of inquiry.


On Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Paul Schaffner (Head of Electronic Text Production at the University of Michigan’s Digital Production Library Service and the TCP Production Manager) and Rebecca Welzenbach (TCP Project Outreach Librarian) will discuss the Text Creation Partnership (TCP) component of EEBO, by which a growing proportion of EEBO’s books are available in full-text form. For these advanced TCP users, they will provide an insiders’ look, describing not just how many books and bytes EEBO-TCP provides, but where the inconsistencies lurk, where the data may exhibit sufficient bias to affect analysis, what kinds of variation are present, and how significant they are. They will outline the creation process briefly before focusing on the effects of process and process-related constraints and what kinds of uses those effects would facilitate or impede. Dr. Schaffner and Ms. Welzenbach will also sketch out the likely future of EEBO-TCP beyond the eventual Phase II release, especially concerning ways the project plans to maintain and preserve the data’s reliability and permanence while anticipating multiple (and dynamic) uses.


While EEBO-TCP is the primary source for most textually based early modern DH work, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is potentially another way to create texts on a large scale from EEBO. Professor Laura Mandell (Director of the Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media and Culture (IDHMC), Texas A&M University) and Matthew Christy (Lead Programmer at IDHMC, Texas A&M University) will introduce the OCR process of data creation over two days. On Wednesday morning, they will demonstrate how to access mechanically typed texts from EEBO (Early English Books Online) and ECCO (Eighteenth Century Collections Online) documents through the Mellon-funded early Modern OCR Project (eMOP). These documents can then be used in all the tools that Mandell and Christy will introduce as available for the EEBO and ECCO texts, including the Cobre tool for comparing editions and witnesses of the same text; the Aletheia Web Layout (AWL) editor for documenting paratextual data like marginalia and glosses; and TypeWright, a tool for correcting any errors in the mechanically typed text and outputting either plain text or TEI-encoded text that can be further processed to create a digital edition.


On Thursday morning, Christy and Mandell will also demonstrate how to train Tesseract by using an IDHMC tool called Franken+, which generates an ideal early modern document in a specific font. Afterwards, in a hands-on session, participants can select documents from their own projects or from the thousands of high-resolution images found in the Folger’s LUNA digital repository. Participants will be shown how to use Tesseract, an open-access OCR engine, with training libraries that have been made by Christy to run Tesseract on early modern documents, and then will have the opportunity to OCR their own page images. Results will be shown on the eMOP dashboard that indicates which pages need to be processed further. In the afternoon, Christy and Mandell will conclude their workshop with another hands-on session tailored to the participants’ interests that allows them to take full advantage of the available tools that can be applied to their own texts. Participants may choose from several options: take the plain text they have corrected and manipulate it in Voyant-tools; edit their documents in order to make a digital edition; work in Cobre to compare their document to other editions or witnesses in EEBO or ECCO; or use AWL to mark up interesting features of the page not captured by metadata. At the end of the two days of alternating presentation and hands-on work, the goal is to give participants some idea of the range of possibilities available through OCR and related tools.


The first week concludes with discussion focusing on of the management and curation of data, whether it is produced through TCP, OCR, or transcription and TEI-encoding. On Thursday afternoon, Dr. Erika Farr (Head of Digital Archives, Emory University) and Dr. Trevor Muñoz (Associate Director, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH)) discuss the need for good file management practices including data back-up, consistent file naming, and adherence to standards (e.g. metadata and file formats). The importance of maintaining preservation-quality storage either locally or through cloud-based services will be addressed. Farr and Muñoz will help participants synthesize the many elements of preservation and curation into practical and actionable data management plans for their own projects as well as to develop strategies for sharing data that are relevant and valuable to their communities of practice.


One of the main limitations of EEBO-TCP and eMOP’s OCR processing is that they are restricted to print sources. Dr. Heather Wolfe (Folger Curator of Manuscripts and Project Director of Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO) project), and Mike Poston (Folger Database Applications Specialist and principal developer of the EMMO database) will introduce the Folger’s own ambitious project to encode a non-print corpus. They will demonstrate current developments in online manuscript transcription and tagging, discuss the challenges of building a manuscript corpus, and encourage the participants to think about the pros and cons of various output models.


The Institute wraps up the week with a turn to Folger projects and the role of a library in shaping DH. Eric Johnson (the Folger Shakespeare Library’s first Director of Digital Access), Dr. Erin Blake (Head of Collection Information Services), and Dr. Meg Brown (Folger/CLIR Fellow for Data Curation) will offer a roundtable presentation on how the Folger curates data and knowledge generated by its staff and others. They will discuss Folger’s federated search, open-access wikis, and other initiatives. Dr. Williams will chair the session.


With reference to their own projects discussed at the beginning of the week, participants will share their experiences using EEBO-TCP as a research and teaching tool, OCR as an alternative for early modern text creation, and the TEI-encoding projects they might want to undertake. Readings for the second week will be distributed, assignments set, and the Technical Assistants will support the installation of requisite software as needed.


Week 2: 22-26 June 2015

Data Analysis: Statistical, Linguistic, Visual, Network


For many scholars of early modern English, DH is equated with the analysis of data. Following from the hands-on demonstrations of advanced data creation, management, and curation in week one, the second week will feature a series of experts who will discuss the principles of analysis before shifting to advanced techniques in the most challenging areas of DH. Object lessons will be taken from major projects currently underway that expand the set of data available to scholars and the tools through which they are created and accessed. The participants will consider the theories and applications of statistical analysis that underlie so much of the analytical work done in the field before turning to advanced corpus analysis. Presentations on visualization and its design will likewise return participants to first principles. How does visualization impede or advance access to patterns now intelligible with DH techniques? How can visualizations support what John Tukey called “exploratory analysis” of data rather than statistical description? Quantitative network analysis (QNA) is a burgeoning field in early modern studies that will be presented by two of its leading practitioners. Week 2 will be rounded out by a case study that brings together many of the topics addressed during the week, including Principal Components Analysis (PCA), topic modeling, and visualization.


Professor Hope will begin with discussion on the nature of the transformations scholars perform on texts when subjecting them to statistical analysis. To what extent is this analogous to “traditional” literary criticism, in as much as it involves comparison and assessment of similarity and difference? To what extent does it depart from the “traditional,” changing the object of study, and the mode of argument? Building on the “Historicizing Data” roundtable in Week 1, can scholars better understand the fundamentals of statistical analysis by thinking about the historical development of libraries and their catalogues? Libraries organized by subject “project” their books into three-dimensional space, so that books with similar content are found next to each other. Many statistical procedures function similarly, projecting books into hyper-dimensional spaces, and then using distance metrics to identify similarity and difference within the complex mathematical spaces the analysis creates. Once DH scholars understand the geometry of statistical comparison, they can grasp the potential literary significance of the associations identified by counting—and can begin to understand the difference between statistical significance and literary significance, and realize that it is the job of the literary scholar, not the statistician, to decide on the latter.


In the afternoon, Professor Alan B. Farmer (Associate Professor of English, The Ohio State University) and Dr. Goran Proot (Conservateur, Bibliothèque Mazarine) will present work derived from physical examinations of early modern books and from curated metadata of what are called “short title catalogues.” Professor Farmer will discuss using the print Short-Title Catalogue of English titles and the online English Short Title Catalogue to examine the ephemerality of different kinds of publications in the book trade of early modern England. He will consider the relative impact of format, leaf counts, edition-sheets, genre, and binding on the likelihood of entire editions becoming lost, as well as the topic of how lost editions might change our sense of the larger English book trade. He will also address certain methodological issues involved in using both online catalogues and printed reference works in order to conduct this kind of research. Dr. Proot will work with the Short Title Catalogue Flanders (STCV) and the Universal Short Title Catalogue to elucidate and uncover the data that can be recovered about the material object through statistical analysis of format, typography, and title-page layout. In comparing this data with the book production of other regions on the European Continent, Dr. Proot will also raise some quantitative questions concerning how representative the existing corpus of early English titles is and what types of books were most likely to be lost. Dr. Proot will discuss the importance of Sammelbände (volumes consisting of more than one edition or title) for survival rates, the importance of leaf counts, and the impact of the English (bibliophile) book trade from the late eighteenth-century to the present. Both Professor Farmer and Dr. Proot examine printing cycles and trends, the economies of the early modern book trade, and the statistical analysis of material objects through physical analysis and metadata. Together, their presentations will illuminate the vital frontiers between DH and the book history field.


On Tuesday, Professors Tony McEnery (Professor of Linguistics and English Language and Faculty Dean, Lancaster University), David Hoover (Professor of English, New York University), and Jan Rybicki (Assistant Professor at the Institute of English Studies, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland) will introduce recent advances in corpus linguistics and stylometrics and their applications for literary analysis. Professor McEnery will survey the history of corpus linguistics before reviewing several areas in detail. He will guide discussion on the key techniques used in corpus linguistics, principally collocation and keyword analysis. He will look at the use of corpora to explore language change through time, a key topic for the study of the literature in the early-modern period. He will explore a recent development in corpus linguistics that is of interest to scholars in the study of literature in particular, namely the use of GIS techniques to visually comprehend literature and related materials, e.g. author’s letters. Professors Hoover and Rybicki will then join the discussion. Professor Hoover will provide an overview of stylometric research as it applies to English literature by drawing on his deep experience in the field. Following this, the session will shift to a hands-on approach to literary analysis. Professor Rybicki will provide the participants with suitable electronic literary texts (if they do not have their own), start them on a stylometric analysis of the texts using the stylo R package (or its spring 2015 descendant), and further process the results with network analysis software (e.g., Gephi). The goal is for each participant to have a network graph to share by the end of the afternoon. Time permitting, participants will discuss their own experiences with corpus linguistics analysis and the tools they have employed. They will also propose the best visualization work they have seen and discuss affordances and shortcomings in preparation for upcoming presentations.


The institute moves on to the fundamental principles of data visualization and its related processes from a practical design perspective. Visiting faculty will not only provide the experience of critiquing existing visualizations and tools, but will also model design challenge exercises to help participants practice applying the concepts. Professor Mike Gleicher (Professor of Computer Sciences, University of Wisconsin) and Stephan Thiel (Studio NAND, Berlin) will lead a day of sessions on visualization techniques, tools, and workflows. Professor Gleicher will explore the foundations of data visualization: how we turn data into pictures to help in understanding or communicating it. He will review principles of human perception, statistics, and design to develop a basis for “Data Science” before discussing the unique challenges of applying these tools to humanities scholarship. Participants will develop their skills at analyzing visualizations, allowing them to practice critiquing visualizations to understand how specific designs can help with data interpretation and communication. Professor Gleicher will not advocate any particular visualization tools or approaches, but rather provide participants with a foundation in visualization and analysis that can help them understand the potential for visualization in their work, assess tools and techniques, create and adapt visual designs to fit their needs, and better communicate with visualization developers and designers.


Mr. Thiel, a visualization designer, will describe the processes related to visualization and analysis from a practical design perspective. He will explain the high-level design process behind emoto, the award-winning data visualization artwork for the 2012 London Olympic Games, to reflect on the project’s design decisions. He will guide participants through the entire process of visualization design. Participants will get the chance to explore the hands-on process of visualization using a mix of existing (e.g., Tableau or Lyra) and custom software tools that do not require programming knowledge. Participants will be invited to use either their own data or a prepared set of thirty-seven German translations of Act 1, Scene 3 from Shakespeare’s Othello from the TransVis project on which Mr. Thiel is collaborating.


Although much theoretical work has been done elucidating networks, from Jean François Lyotard’s evocative description of the postmodern self as a “nodal point” to Tiziana Terranova’s analysis of global network culture in “Free Labor,” surprisingly little work has addressed the question: why networks? What is the conceptual power of networks? Dr. Ruth Ahnert (Lecturer in Renaissance Studies, Queen Mary University of London) and Dr. Sebastian Ahnert (Royal Society University Research Fellow, Cambridge) bring expertise on early modern literature and network science to the study of large early modern letter collections. Network analysis is a highly interdisciplinary field that has grown rapidly over the past fifteen years as a result of the ubiquity of network data in everyday life. Drs. Ahnert will introduce participants to the basic ways in which network connectivity can be quantified. Their recent publication on Protestant letter networks (English Literary History 82.1) has shown how various network measurements can highlight the different roles that individuals play in a correspondence network, including those who inhabit crucial infrastructural roles without necessarily writing many letters. This application will serve as an example of the kinds of historical and literary questions that network analysis can help us to answer. Drs. Ahnert will then provide a practical, step-by-step guide to turning historical records into data suitable for computational analysis. They will use their current work, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK), on the massive archive of Tudor State Papers Online as an example of the steps involved, including the disambiguation of individuals and places, the classification of relationships between people, and decisions on how to include the temporal dimension of correspondence networks. Leading from this, Drs. Ahnert will introduce participants to a variety of network visualization and analysis tools with different technical skill requirements, such as Gephi and the Python NetworkX library. As part of a hands-on tutorial session, participants will have the opportunity either to explore a sample dataset or learn how to convert their own data into a network dataset for analysis.


One of the most striking methodological issues facing researchers is the vast quantity of data that is becoming available, as corpora shift from 40 texts to 400, and then to 400,000. If scholars are focused on a history of words, then such data sets are an advantage. But when scholarship seeks to move beyond words to study the development of genres, for example, then the quantities of data pose significant challenges for the researcher. On Friday afternoon, Professor Hope, Professor Gleicher, and Dr. Mike Witmore (Director, Folger Shakespeare Library) will demonstrate the tools being developed as part of the “Visualizing English Print” (VEP) project, a major Mellon-funded initiative. Its team seeks to develop tools and protocols that enable researchers to analyze and visualize the data being made available through EEBO-TCP and other archives. Dr. Witmore will explore with the group a number of approaches that have grown up alongside the tools being developed within VEP, providing several case studies that have developed out of this group’s work with EEBO-TCP texts drawn from the years 1530-1799. Emphasizing the need for corpus-wide findings to engage existing and emerging questions in literary studies, Dr. Witmore will focus on three areas where those findings seem relevant: the apparent distinctiveness of Shakespearean drama as compared with early modern drama more generally, the relationship between fictional prose (the novel) and works of “moral philosophy,” and the relationship of literary genre to authorship.


Week 3: 29 June-1 July 2015

The Implications of Digital/At-Scale Research for the Field of Literary Studies


In the third week, Professor Hope will redirect participants’ attention to the challenges digital tools and methods pose to literary studies and scholars. He will also broaden the scope of the institute’s agenda to the larger (period) ecosystems of DH. Challenges range from the practical ones of how scholars collaboratively conceive a digital project and organize its workflow, interoperability and sustainability, to fundamental questions about the basis, aims, and procedures of literary studies. To facilitate discussion, participants will be joined by two of the most trenchant practitioners and theorists of DH: Professors Andrew Prescott (Professor of Digital Humanities, University of Glasgow, and Digital Fellow with the AHRC, in which role he leads and advises on almost all UK DH funding) and Ted Underwood (Associate Professor of English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). Prescott is a medievalist, with expertise in imaging, and a keen sense of the history of DH and computational approaches to the humanities generally; Underwood works on mainly nineteenth-century materials, but his publications have consistently raised the issue of what literary scholars must take responsibility for if they are to use digital methods critically and effectively. Underwood has argued that DH poses a challenge for literary scholars who are used to basing their arguments on “turning points” and exceptions, whereas digital evidence, usually collected at scale, typically tells stories about continuity and gradual change. The discussions will focus on this, using the projects of participants as examples: do digital corpora and tools place DH practitioners at the dawn of a new world, or are they just in for more (or a lot more) of the same?


To provide the institute’s coda, participants will prepare and then deliver individual presentations, in which they will be charged to respond to the institute’s themes and lay out plans and issues for their future research. They will discuss what they have learned, speculate on what needs to be done or made available to researchers in the field, and describe what they have been inspired to investigate. They will also indicate what their continuing contribution to the Institute’s digital presence will be. In EMDA2013, these sessions were extremely successful, even celebratory, as they generated offers of support and collaboration. Again in EMDA2015, these sessions also mark the beginning of the lasting digital presence that the participants will create.


Call for Papers: ESTS

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.058  Monday, 9 February 2015


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

Date:         February 9, 2015 at 12:41:31 PM EST

Subject:    Call for Papers: ESTS


SHAKSPERians involved in scholarly editing might be interested in the follow conference and its Call for Papers.


"Users of Scholarly Editions: Editorial Anticipations of Reading, Studying and Consulting"


The 12th Annual Conference of the European Society for Textual Scholarship (ESTS) will be held at the Centre for Textual Studies, De Montfort University, Leicester England 19-21 November 2015


The ESTS returns to Leicester where it was founded in 2001 to stage a major collective investigation into the state and future of scholarly editing. Our focus is the needs of users of scholarly editions and proposals for 20 minute papers are invited on topics such as:


* Are users’ needs changing?

* How does edition design shape use?

* Stability in print and digital

* Where are we in the study of mise en page?

* Facsimiles and scholarly editions

* Collaborative and social editing

* Editorial specialization in the digital age

* APIs and mashups versus anticipation

* The logic of annotation

* Is zero the best price point for editions?

* Readers versus users

* Can we assume a general reader'?

* Indexing and annotation versus search

* Editors, publishers and Open Access

* Is technology changing editing?

* Digital editions or digital archives?

* Are editions ever obsolete?

* Scholarly editions versus popular editions

* Any other topic related to the use or users of scholarly editions


Plenary Speaker (subject to confirmation) include:


Hans Walter Gabler (Munich University)

David Greetham (City University of New York)

Tim William Machan (Notre Dame University)

Gary Taylor (Florida State University)

Elaine Treharne (Stanford University)

Andrew Prescott (Glasgow University)


Hands-on workshops will be given on setting movable type, letterpress printing, and getting started with XML.


Proposals for papers should be emailed to Prof Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>


See for information and registration


Summer Course at Mount Holyoke College

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.056  Friday, 6 February 2015


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

Date:         February 6, 2015 at 10:50:40 AM EST

Subject:    Summer Course at Mount Holyoke College


This summer, the Mount Holyoke College Professional and Graduate Education program will offer a 5-week, four-credit on Shakespearean adaptationopen to all undergraduate students, graduate students, and members of the public. It runs May 26-July 1, Tuesdays and Thursday 9am-12pm, and Mondays, 1pm-5pm. The course considers how The Tempest has provoked creative expressions from artists in different media from the seventeenth century to the present. After reading and mastering Shakespeare’s play, we will explore how it has been adapted into and inspired other plays, opera, music, the visual arts, film, poetry, and prose. Students will also develop, in the medium of their choice, their own original creative work based upon the play, its themes, language, or characters. Information on enrollment is available online. Space is limited. For questions about the course, contact Dr. Matteo Pangallo (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


CFP: Shakespeare Recreated: New Contexts, New Interpretations

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.055  Friday, 6 February 2015


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

Date:         February 6, 2015 at 3:08:47 AM EST

Subject:    CFP: Shakespeare Recreated: New Contexts, New Interpretations







Shakespeare International Studies Centre together with Geoffrey Chaucer Student Society and CULTUR(N)ED Student Society are proud to announce the 2015 student conference on Shakespeare. Although the Bard appears to be the most researched author in the world, his works and his own person still inspire, puzzle and encourage heated debates. Our conference marks a special three-year period in the history of the appreciation of Shakespeare, with the 450th anniversary of his birth in 2014 and the 400th anniversary of his death in 2016. 


We would like to invite proposals for 20 minute presentations (followed up by approximately 10 minutes of discussion) in all areas of studies connected with the works of William Shakespeare. Suggested topics include but are not restricted to: 


• Shakespeare and popculture: comics, computer games, youtube, parodies, etc.; 

• Filming Shakespeare: Shakespeare on film and television, adaptations and appropriations, representations of the playwright on screen; 

• Performing Shakespeare: staging Shakespeare then and now; 

• Polish explorations of Shakespeare: Shakespeare’s presence in Polish literature, film, theatre and art; 

• Representations of (and inspirations by) Shakespeare’s works in world literature, film, theatre and art; 

• Reviving Shakespeare: methods of popularizing Shakespeare in Britain and other countries; 

• Movements and disruptions within the Shakespearean canon: why some of his works are more popular in certain moments in history or even gain a lasting popularity, while others are neglected? 

• Elizabethan culture—society, economy, fashion—and the works of Shakespeare; 

• Apocryphal Shakespeare: plays attributed to Shakespeare, collaborative works and lost plays; 

• Intertextual Shakespeare: Shakespearean references in modern works; 

• Shakespeare in the light of modern theories: Ecocriticism, Poststructuralism, 

• Postcolonialism, New Historicism, Gender & Queer Theory, etc. 


The conference will be held at the Faculty of International and Political Studies, University of Łódź, on 22-23 April 2015. 


The following distinguished guests have confirmed their participation: 


-prof. Virginia Mason Vaughan (University in Worcester, Massachusetts); 

-prof. Alden T. Vaughan (University in Worcester, Massachusetts); 

-dr Dmytro Drozdovsky (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine). 


We invite all undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students to participate. The conference will be held both in English and Polish. Abstracts of ca. 250 words should be submitted to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than 29 March 2015. Selected papers will be published. The registration fee is 30 PLN (10 EURO for overseas participants), which covers coffee breaks, conference materials and publication. 


Conference organisers 


-prof. dr hab. Krystyna Kujawińska Courtney – Head of Shakespeare International Studies Centre 

-dr Piotr Spyra – Academic Supervisor of Geoffrey Chaucer Student Society 

-dr Monika Sosnowska – Academic Supervisor of CULTUR(N)ED Student Society 


For more information, please contact the secretaries of the conference 

Agata Ptasińska 

Justyna Dąbrowska 

Magdalena Popłońska 

Małgorzata Smorawska


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


To find out more about us, please visit the official conference website: 


and the website of Shakespeare International Studies Centre:


Book Announcement: Words Like Daggers

 The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.049  Thursday, 5 February 2015

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

Date:         February 4, 2015 at 5:15:17 PM EST

Subject:    Book Announcement: Words Like Daggers: Violent Female Speech in Early Modern England


Dear colleagues,


I’m thrilled to announce the publication of my monograph, Words Like Daggers: Violent Female Speech in Early Modern England (Early Modern Cultural Studies), University of Nebraska Press, 2015. 


Publisher’s site:,676009.aspx


Amazon USA:


Dramatic and documentary narratives about aggressive and garrulous women often cast such women as reckless and ultimately unsuccessful usurpers of cultural authority. Contending narratives, however, sometimes within the same texts, point to the effective subversion and undoing of the normative restrictions of social and gender hierarchies. Words Like Daggers explores the scolding invectives, malevolent curses, and ecstatic prophesies of early modern women as attested to in legal documents, letters, self-narratives, popular pamphlets, ballads, and dramas of the era. Examining the framing and performance of violent female speech between the 1590s and the 1660s, Kirilka Stavreva dismantles the myth of the silent and obedient women who allegedly populated early modern England.


Table of Contents


Introduction: Bitter Words and the Tuning of Gender

1. Feminine Contentious Speech and the Religious Imagination

2. Gender and the Narratives of Scolding in the Church Courts

3. Unquiet Women on the Early Modern Stage

4. Witch-Speak in Late Elizabethan Docu-Fiction

5. Courtly Witch-Speak on the Jacobean Stage

6. Gender and Politics in Early Quaker Women's Prophetic "Cries"

Epilogue: Margaret's Bitter Words and the Voice of (Divine) Justice, or, Compulsory Listening


Kirilka Stavreva

Professor of English

Cornell College

Mount Vernon, IA 52314, U.S.A


Wooden O Symposium

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.049  Thursday, 5 February 2015


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

Date:         February 4, 2015 at 11:51:27 AM EST

Subject:    Wooden O Symposium




The 2015 Wooden O Symposium will be held on the campus of Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah, August 10-12.  The Wooden O Symposium, sponsored by the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Southern Utah University and the Gerald R. Sherratt Library is a cross-disciplinary peer-reviewed conference focusing on the text and performance of Shakespeare's plays. Scholars attending the conference will have the unique opportunity of immersing themselves in research, text, and performance in one of the most beautiful natural settings in the western U.S.


The Wooden O Symposium invites panel and paper proposals on any topic related to the text and performance of Shakespeare’s plays.  This year's conference seeks papers/panels that investigate how his works reflect and intersect with early modern life and culture.  The symposium also encourages papers and panels that speak to the Utah Shakespeare Festival's 2015 summer season: The Taming of the Shrew, Henry IV Part Two and King Lear. 


Selected papers from the symposium are published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the Wooden O.


Deadline for proposals is May 1, 2015.  Panel chairs and individual presenters will be informed of acceptance no later than May 15.  250-word abstracts or session proposals (including individual abstracts) should include the following: name, affiliated institution, academic rank (faculty, graduate student, undergraduate student, aficionado,) contact information including email. 


Wooden O Symposium                                                                                         

ph. 435-586-7880

c/o Utah Shakespeare Festival                                                                               

fax 435-865-8169

351 W. University Blvd.                                                                                    

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

Cedar City, UT 84720                            


Tales of Woo and Woe

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.044  Tuesday, 3 February 2015


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

Date:         February 3, 2015 at 4:54:07 PM EST

Subject:    Tales of Woo and Woe


Tales of Woo and Woe: a journey of the heart opens Friday for a 2-weekend run at Center Stage Theater, upstairs at Paseo Nuevo in downtown Santa Barbara. Please join us! 


February 6,7, 13 and 14 at 8 p.m.; matinees at 2 p.m. Sunday February 8 and Saturday Feb 14. The show runs about an hour and fifteen minutes without intermission. 


General admission $23; students and seniors $18 from the Center Stage box office.; 963-8198


Here’s the playwright's note I wrote for the program:


How dare I collaborate with the bard, dead for 399 years? I’m grateful to DramaDogs for offering me this challenge. Shakespeare has much to say about how “the course of true love never did run smooth.” The five-part structure of Tales of Woo and Woe draws on his plays, poems and songs to create a new arc: the journey of the heart. There’s the thrill of love at first sight, then follies committed in the name of love, and then the exchange of vows. Alas, promises can fail, tormenting the heart with grief, loss, and jealousy. Valentine’s month requires a happy ending: the enduring power of love. Tales of Woo and Woe, a journey of the heart, requires little knowledge of Shakespeare’s works: its focus is on the universal challenges and delights of love that we experience in our own lives. As Romeo says, Love ‘is too rough, too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like a thorn,’ and yet—it offers transcendent joy.


[A blogpost on writing in collaboration with William Shakespeare may be viewed at, Sex and Gender in Shakespeare's England Blog]


See you at the theater!

Jinny Webber


The Merchant of Venice as Shakespeare Heard It

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.041  Monday, 2 February 2015


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

Date:         January 31, 2015 at 3:00:33 PM EST

Subject:    The Merchant of Venice as Shakespeare Heard It


[Editor’s Note: I received this e-mail about an OP production of MV in Baltimore, Maryland. There is a request for those interested to donate money to a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a video of the production. If you are so inclined, the Kickstarter link is below.. –Hardy]


Dear Dr. Cook:


Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Josephine Yun, and I am the bookkeeper for a theatre company in Baltimore, Maryland called the Baltimore Shakespeare Factory.


We are very excited to be producing Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice in Original Pronunciation in March of this year. As you may know, it will be the first time that modern audiences will be able to hear the play in OP.


We would like to make a high-quality video of this production so that anyone in the world may be able to see it, but need to raise a total of $18,000 in order to afford the recording equipment and staff. Currently, we have raised close to $12,000. And so we would like to request a quick favor. Would you be willing to share the link to our Kickstarter campaign with your colleagues and friends?


Please see the link below:


Any help you could provide would be sincerely appreciated. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this!





Registration for Making Links Conference Now Open

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.040  Monday, 2 February 2015


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

Date:         Friday, January 30, 2015 at 1:22 PM

Subject:    Registration for Making Links Conference Now Open


Registration is now open for the conference, ”Making Links,” at the University of Victoria on 7th-8th April, following the SAA meeting in Vancouver:


The cost of registration is CAD55 before 1 March, CAD75 thereafter. Lunch for both days is included in the registration fee.


The conference venue is on the campus at the University of Victoria; the conference hotel is the Laurel Point Inn right on Victoria’s inner harbor and a short walk from downtown. Transportation will be provided from the hotel to the University. The section of the website that offers advice on accommodation and travel has a link to the hotel, where you can book at the conference rate of CAD99.00 per night. This rate will apply both before and after the conference if you have time to make a holiday of your trip. You will also find information about traveling from Vancouver to Victoria in the section of the site on accommodation.


As you will see from the program the conference features a range of papers looking at the opportunities presented by the digital medium in developing and publishing editions of Early Modern drama. Our plenary speaker will be James Mardock, whose paper is titled  "Cyborgs are the New Codex: Reading Machines and the Editing of Early Modern Texts.” 


The afternoons will each offer a choice between two workshops, one targeted at those working with texts specifically being created for the ISE (and its sibling sites, the Queen’s Men Editions and Digital Renaissance Editions), the other at more general issues in the creation of digital editions. When you register, you will have an opportunity to sign up for the workshops that interest you — it would be wise to make your choice early.


The conference banquet will be held at Il Covo, a short walk from the hotel, and will cost CAD55 per person. You can sign up for the banquet (and include a guest) when you register.


We very much look forward to seeing you in Victoria.


All good wishes,

Michael, Janelle, and Erin


Michael Best

Coordinating Editor, Internet Shakespeare Editions


Department of English, University of Victoria

Victoria B.C. V8W 3W1, Canada. 


Lexicons of Early Modern English User Survey

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.038  Wednesday, 28 January 2015


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

Date:         January 28, 2015 at 9:41:49 AM EST

Subject:    Lexicons of Early Modern English 


Lexicons of Early Modern English User Survey


your feedback is needed...

Help us share LEME, Lexicons of Early Modern English, with a larger audience by providing information about your usage, feedback on the current resource, and ideas for the future of LEME. Information collected will support the upcoming ten year review of LEME.  Take the short survey here  –

Your input is very important to us. Thank you! 


For a partial bibliography of publications that employ LEME, see here


Join the LEME email list!

Sign up for important news relating to Lexicons of Early Modern English. You'll receive emails highlighting new and upcoming additions to the database, editorial announcements and LEME news. You can unsubscribe at any time and we will never publish, rent or sell your contact details to anyone . Sign up here –



Recently added to Lexicons of Early Modern English


§  Stephen Batman, "A note of Saxon wordes" (1581) 

§  Edmund Bohun, Geographical Dictionary (1693): 11,681 word-entries 

§  Richard Boothby, A Brief Discovery or Description of the Most Famous Island of Madagascar (1646) 

§  Thomas Dekker, O per se O (1612) 

§  John Heydon, "A Chymical Dictionary" (English; 1662): 70 word-entries. 

§  Gregory Martin, The New Testament of the English College of Rheims (1582) 

§  Gerhard Mercator, Historia Mundi Or Mercator's Atlas (1635) 

§  Guy Miège, A New Dictionary French and English, with another English and French (1677): 18,376 word-entries, 73,641 sub-entries 

§  John Ogilby, Asia, the First Part (1673) 

§  John Rider,  Bibliotheca Scholastica (English-Latin, 1589): 42,000 word-entries and sub-entries. 

§  Richard Rowlands,  A Restitution of Decayed Intelligence in Antiquities (1605; Richard Verstegan; text replaced by an extended and analyzed version) 

§  Nicholas Stone, Enchiridion of Fortification (1645) 

§  John Thorie, The Theatre of the Earth (1601; place-names): 3,100 word-entries. 

§  John Turner, A Book of Wines (1568) 


Coming soon to LEME  

§  Ortus Vocabulorum (Latin-English, 1500): 25,500 word-entries. 

§  Henry Hexham, A Copious English and Netherdutch Dictionary (1647): 33,000 word-entries. 


Lexicons of Early Modern English is a growing historical database offering scholars unprecedented access to early books and manuscripts documenting the growth and development of the English language. With more than 660,000 word-entries from 199 monolingual, bilingual, and polyglot dictionaries, glossaries, and linguistic treatises, encyclopedic and other lexical works from the beginning of printing in England to 1702, as well as tools updated annually, LEME sets the standard for modern linguistic research on the English language.  


Use Modern Techniques to Research Early Modern English!

200 Searchable lexicons

149 Fully analyzed lexicons

665 354 Total word entries

445 779 Fully analyzed word entries

574 231 Total analyzed forms and subforms

445 780Total analyzed forms

128 451 Total analyzed subforms

60 891 Total English modern headwords


LEME provides exciting opportunities for research for historians of the English language. More than a half-million word-entries devised by contemporary speakers of early modern English describe the meaning of words, and their equivalents in languages such as French, Italian, Spanish, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and other tongues encountered then in Europe, America, and Asia.


University of Toronto Press Journals 

5201 Dufferin St., Toronto, ON, Canada M3H 5T8

Tel: (416) 667-7810 Fax: (416) 667-7881 

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


posted by T Hawkins


REED Post-Doctoral Fellowship Opportunity Posting

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.030  Friday, 23 January 2015


From:        Sally-Beth MacLean <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         January 22, 2015 at 8:17:35 PM EST

Subject:    REED Post-Doctoral Fellowship Opportunity Posting




The Records of Early English Drama (<>), an international humanities research project focusing on medieval and early modern performance studies that is based at the University of Toronto, invites applications for a post-doctoral digital humanities fellowship for up to two years. The successful candidate will participate in REED’s development of a dynamic collection of freely available digital resources for research and education. REED is a longstanding research and editorial project, with partnership for maintenance and sustainability of its digital resources at the University of Toronto Libraries. REED is overseen by an international Executive Board, with a Digital Advisory Committee guiding its digital initiatives.


The Digital Humanities Fellow will be expected to join the project on site at the University of Toronto and will work closely there with the general editor, editorial staff, developers, and research assistants. Members of the REED Digital Advisory Committee will also provide support and mentorship for the postdoctoral fellow, who will be key to the development of a new digital editing and publication environment for REED’s forthcoming collections.


The Digital Humanities Fellow will engage in the development of REED’s new digital production environment, including the editing and encoding of TEI XML documents, new strategies for glossing medieval and early modern records, and, in consultation with others on the editorial team, developing the terms for online indexing of REED collections to be linked with other databases.


The successful candidate will demonstrate skills and aptitudes in early modern research, textual studies, and scholarly editing in digital humanities contexts. Advanced competency in TEI-compliant XML (P5) and some XSLT 2.0 experience is required. Engagement in open source development, digital scholarship frameworks and open access scholarship is essential. In addition, he or she should possess strong organizational skills and the desire to learn and pursue research in an interdisciplinary, collaborative environment.


The successful applicant will be encouraged to pursue his or her own research while at U of T, while receiving training and career development opportunities through REED’s international network.


Salary for this position is competitive in the Canadian context.


Applicants must have completed their PhD within five years of the beginning of the fellowship. Applicants who will defend their thesis before 1 July 2015 are eligible, but a letter from their supervisor or Chair may be requested. Any award will be conditional on a successful defense. Applicants who received their PhD prior to 1 July 2010 are ineligible.


The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may further expand the range of ideas and perspectives.


All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.


Applications, comprising a brief cover letter, CV, and the names and contact information for three referees, may be sent electronically to the general editor, Sally-Beth MacLean, at <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>. Applications will be received and reviewed until the position is filled; the position can begin as early as April 2015. All applications received will be acknowledged.


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