The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0339  Friday, 6 June 2008

From:       Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Friday, June 06, 2008
Subject:    Planning for SHAKSPER Roundtable 3

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

Let me speak for all members of the SHAKSPER Electronic Conference in offering 
my sincerest gratitude to Hugh Grady for assuming the mantle of Guest Moderator 
for the first SHAKSPER Roundtable on the subject of Presentism and to Cary 
DiPetro for volunteering to be Guest Moderator for the second Roundtable on the 
subject of Shakespeare's Intentions.

Hugh took an idea of mine that was not thoroughly formed and presided over 
stimulating exchanges that set a new standard for high-level scholarly discourse 
on this list. Cary followed and brought his own vision to the Roundtable, 
inviting scholars from a variety of critical practices in the discipline to 
contribute "leading essays" to the weekly Roundtable digests.

He and I also refined the Roundtable (RT) format by my publishing responses to 
the weekly digest as they arrived in the SHAKSPER Inbox and then having Cary in 
his role as Guest Moderator integrating the daily submissions into the following 
week's digest to which he added his moderator's commentary and the leading 
essays he had solicited.

In the end, the Roundtable format evolved in a manner that encourages focused 
scholarly engagement in a climate in which contributors take time to reflect 
upon their submissions rather than simply firing off a reply in the heat.

I would like to comment on another factor that has evolved in the Roundtable 
format. Since there is a clearer distinction now being established between the 
expectations of a RT post and those of the daily discussions, the Guest 
Moderator and I have been more actively engaged in vetting which submissions get 
included in the Roundtable thread. We have rejected a higher percentage of 
submissions that are not focused on the issues under discussion than I normally 
do for daily posts to the list. An example here might be when a member uses a 
point mentioned in a RT digest to introduce another theory or position to which 
the submitter is committed but which does not fall directly into a category 
under the RT's purview. However, in some cases, when a post in response to a 
point raised in a RT digest makes a point that is interesting and that deserves 
to be given the opportunity to have members respond to it in a thread of its 
own, even though it is not clearly related to RT issues, I have published that 
contribution with a new subject line. Also, we have not included posts that, for 
example, simply register agreement with a RT poster but do not in themselves 
advance any further points in the RT discussion.

I hope that I am not going too far in what I am about to claim, but I believe 
that these refinements are shaping the very medium in which they appear, forging 
and helping to define a new arena for scholarly exchange that is not as rigid as 
print publication, or conference presentations, or SAA-style seminar 
contributions for that matter but that is distinctly more formal than the 
current rage for blogging or than the listserv posts on SHAKSPER that preceded it.

Even though Roundtable 2 shows no signs of slowing down, I thought that before 
it concluded that I would start planning for SHAKSPER Roundtable 3. To do this, 
I would like once more to float the idea of having prospective guest moderators 
submit proposals to me. In what follows, I will delineate RT procedures as they 
have evolved, list possible topics that have been mentioned as possible RT 
topics, and invite anyone with an interest to submit a proposal to me.

SHAKSPER Roundtable Procedures:

1. Roundtable forums are distinguished from regular SHAKSPER discussions in a 
number of ways. The subject line in each digest clearly identifies it as a 
SHAKSPER Roundtable digest.

2. Roundtable forums have a guest moderator who initiates discussions by 
providing a brief list of suggested readings that participants in the discussion 
are expected to be familiar with; who outlines the parameters for the 
discussion, who monitors the on-going contributions, who acts as a meta-voice 
commenting on the threads as they develop, who keeps the discussion focused, and 
who concludes the Roundtable when it has reached its useful end.

3. After a Roundtable concludes, the moderator is expected to provide a summary 
of the discussions. Then the reading list, the guest moderator's initial essay, 
the weekly digests, and the moderator's concluding statement will be stored on 
the SHAKSPER website, as a record of the scholarly exchanges that have taken place.

4. Roundtable discussions are conducted on a more formal level than ordinary 
list discussions: contributors are expected to reflect upon their offerings 
before submitting them, to conduct any research that may be necessary to support 
their positions, and to provide a Works Cited List as called for at the end of 
their submissions. In other words, subjective responses -- such as, I have not 
read Tamburlaine, but I feel
Marlowe meant . . .  and the like -- will not be published. Also, all 
contributions are expected to stick to issues clearly related to the stated 
topic. Posts that use Roundtable discussions to introduce issues not clearly 
related to the stated topic will either be rejected or published with a new 
subject line and not considered a part of the Roundtable exchanges.

5. The guest moderator is responsible for providing the editor RT digests that 
will appear approximately a  week apart. The editor will publish responses 
without comment to weekly digests as they appear. These daily comments will then 
be include in the next weekly digest with the guest moderator's commentary and 
other materials (such as, "leading essays") the guest moderator wishes to include.

6. Participants are expected to make a commitment to a Roundtable. Anyone posing 
a question or challenging someone else's position will be expected to be 
available to respond to those who respond to his or her points. Members should 
not drop a line of thought and then disappear from the discussion.

7. The guest moderator will determine when to conclude the Roundtable.

8. Prospective moderators (PM) will submit to me a 300 to 500 word proposal/call 
for discussion (CFD), providing a brief biography of themselves and their 
academic background and interest, a reading list, and a brief commentary 
suggesting possible directions that discussions might take.

9. Roundtable submissions should be send to me either at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 
at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I will forward the individual submissions to the guest 
editor, who will return them to me in a digest. I will perform final formatting 
and distribute the Roundtable digest to the members of the list.

Possible Topics for SHAKSPER Roundtable Discussions:

* The State of Shakespeare Biography

* The Place of Theory in Shakespeare Studies: Where we are and where we are going?

* Performance Criticism: Thirty Years After

* Lukas Erne's Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist: Shakespeare Stage or Page or . . .

* Electronic Shakespeares

* The State of the Discipline

* New Uses for Old Books

* Pedagogy: The Shakespeare Classroom Today

* Verse Speaking: Its Value.  Does it matter?

* Realization of Text into Performance.

* Editorial Practices

* Shakespearean (Early Modern) printing and publishing

* Shakespeare on film

I welcome as private correspondences any proposals or any topics to consider for 
future Roundtable forums.

Best wishes,
Hardy M. Cook
Editor of SHAKSPER

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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