The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0251  Friday, 2 May 2008

From: 		Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, May 02, 2008
Subject: 	Meta-Comment on Intentions Roundtable

John Drakakis concludes his thoughtful contribution to the SHAKSPER 
Roundtable: Shakespeare's Intentions with the following paragraph:

I have taxed patient readers with too long an introduction, but may I 
make one request: the previous "Roundtable" strands have petered off 
into obscurity simply because particular contributors used the 
opportunity to parade thoughtless prejudice. Perhaps on this occasion, 
we might pause to think about how we might take the debate forward 
without getting bogged down in entrenched positions. We have enough 
material within the Shakespeare oeuvre to provide us with a variety of 
examples that we can profitably discuss, and that may, I think, lead us 
to conclusions that we might not have expected when we started to think 
about this topic.

As SHAKSPER's editor/moderator, I am moved to comment here. I developed 
the concept of the Roundtable format as a means of re-capturing some of 
the excitement of SHAKSPER's early days. At that time, virtually all of 
the members of SHAKSPER were academics for the simple reasons that in 
the early 1990s, for the most part, the majority of those who had access 
to the Internet were members of the military or members of the academy 
-- AOL, HOTMAIL, GMAIL, EARTHLINK, and such did not exist. During these 
early years, members of SHAKSPER were pioneers, adventurous spirits from 
the academy, who were creating an electronic alternative to Shakespeare 
Association of America seminars and departmental lounges, a place where 
the likeminded discussed their scholarship and ideas, shaping in the 
process the very medium used for that discourse. The Internet brought 
together academics from around the world: a Shakespearean in Malta no 
longer felt isolated from her colleagues in Europe or in the United 
States; scholars from small colleges in rural Kansas could exchange 
ideas with their colleagues from major research universities on the 
coasts or across "the pond"; graduate students and tenure-track 
assistant professors could hone their academic eye-teeth debating with 
eminent scholars; while those eminent scholars could test their latest 
theoretical creations, getting reactions from a broad spectrum of 
potential buyers of their next scholarly tome. Now, that I have waxed 
nostalgic, let me return to the matter at hand.

I share John Drakakis's hope that in Roundtable 2 we will have 
profitable discussions of the topic rather than our being diverted into 
endless repetitions of the same-old, same-old culture wars 
confrontations that have characterized some of our efforts in the past 
to examine subjects of a theoretical nature.

Hardy M. Cook
Editor-Moderator of SHAKSPER
Professor of English

S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

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