The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0460  Wednesday, 13 August 2008

From:       Larisa Kocic-Zambo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Tuesday, 12 Aug 2008 09:21:42 +0200
Subject:    Petition Regarding Arden Shakespeare's Termination of Patricia Parker

 From the Reinstate Pat Parker Web Site


In July, the publisher of the Arden Shakespeare unjustly terminated Professor 
Patricia Parker's editorship of a planned third edition of A Midsummer Night's 
Dream, a project on which she has been working diligently for over ten years. 
The results of her work on the edition thus far, which are both scholarly and 
path-breaking, have met with widespread acclaim from academic Shakespeareans and 
from the theater world. Pat's inability to complete the edition has resulted 
largely from extraordinary delays -- often years at a time -- on the part of the 
Arden's general editors and publisher in replying to her queries and requests 
for instruction and clarification. The process as a whole casts doubt on the 
professional procedures of the Arden's publishers and on the transparency and 
accountability of its editorial process. Further, ownership of the Arden 
Shakespeare has passed to a private equity company, and there is concern that 
Pat's termination is in part an effort to elevate corporate profitability over 
the principles of scholarly diligence and thoroughness. Beyond the personal 
outrage that those of us who know and admire Pat inevitably feel, then, this 
episode raises general issues of scholarly integrity and labor to which it is 
crucial to respond. Pat's termination must be reversed, and she must be granted 
the necessary time and editorial cooperation to bring her important work to a 
successful conclusion.

MORE INFORMATION: Parker's Letter to Arden General Editors

An account of the roadblocks that Pat has faced in attempting to complete her 
edition, along with details of the termination itself, are contained in her 
letter to the Arden general editors, the text of which can be accessed here: 

Some of the early letters sent to the Arden editors can be read here: 


1. Send an email -- as soon as possible -- to Margaret Bartley and Ronald Dunn 
at Cengage Learning (publisher of the Arden Shakespeare) and cc both Arden's 
general editors and the editors of individual volumes. This last step is 
especially important, since Arden seems to be imposing restrictions on its 
general editors about communicating on this matter. A list of the necessary 
e-mail addresses, which can be copied and pasted into the address box of your 
message, is available here: http://reinstatepatparker.com/Contact_Arden.html 
Margaret Bartley should be the formal  addressee of your letter.

2.  Sign a petition to the publisher, expressing our dismay at Pat's termination 
and urging her reinstatement. We need as many names as possible, so please sign 
even if you have already written a letter to the publisher: 

The Petition reads as follows,

To whom it may concern:

We, the undersigned, protest the unjust termination of Patricia Parker as editor 
of the Arden Shakespeare's planned third edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream. 
Professor Parker's sterling reputation, as well as the wide acclaim her work on 
the edition has thus far received in both the academic and theatrical worlds, 
impels us to deplore the possible loss of a major new edition of Shakespeare's 
play -- one that promises significantly to enrich critical discussion and 
theatrical performance. We are concerned as well that a personal and 
professional injustice has been done to Professor Parker. The circumstances of 
her dismissal, along with the record of problems emanating from Arden that 
impeded progress on the edition, cast doubt on the professionalism with which 
she was treated, and on the editorial transparency and accountability of the 
Arden Shakespeare in this matter. Finally, the fact that the Arden Shakespeare 
has recently been purchased by a private equity company in the latest of a 
series of corporate publishers, raises concerns that commercial profitability 
may be trumping a commitment to scholarly thoroughness and diligence. We fear 
that the excellent repute of the Arden Shakespeare, on which generations of 
scholars and Shakespeare lovers have come to rely, may be tarnished by this episode.

For all of the above reasons, we the undersigned urge the publishers of the 
Arden Shakespeare to reinstate Patricia Parker as editor of this play, and to 
give her the necessary time and editorial cooperation to bring her important new 
edition to a successful completion.


[Editor's Note: After reading all of the information provided at the above site, 
any reasonable person should be shocked at the injustice of Prof. Parker's 
dismissal as editor of the Arden 3 _A Midsummer Night's Dream_. I encourage all 
SHAKSPEReans to visit this site, read the information provided, reflect upon it, 
and sign the petition on Prof. Parker's behalf. --Hardy M. Cook, Editor 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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