The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0423  Thursday, 4 November 2010

From:         Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         Thursday, November 4, 2010
Subject:      Shakespeare Virtual Special Issues 

Shakespeare Virtual Special Issues


The editors of Shakespeare have selected articles from past issues of the journal 
which cover 4 key topics from the field of Shakespearean Studies. Each virtual issue 
is presented with a short editorial piece outlining the themes of the articles. 

This collection of articles on Hamlet shows the variety of modern approaches to the 
play that many commentators consider the pinnacle of Shakespeare's dramatic 
achievement. It's a ghost story, a political whodunnit, a love story, and a domestic 
tragedy all in one: not as separate stories but intertwined so that the hero is at 
once the jilted lover and the detective, the avenger and the philosopher. The play's 
many meditations on death are, in Graham Holderness's account, related to the 
religious murals that Shakespeare would have seen in the Guild Chapel in his home 
town, which his own father was instructed to destroy. John Shakespeare did the job 
so poorly (on purpose?) that what remains are shadowy glimpses of visions of 
redemption and final justice, rather like the imperfect visions that the play offers 
us. When pictures were first made to move in the late nineteenth century, 
Shakespeare's plays were soon made into short films. Judith Buchanan's analysis of 
two silent cinema Hamlets discusses the gains as well as the losses that attend the 
stripping away from this play the very thing we start with, Shakespeare's words. 
Like Holderness, Richard Wilson sees Hamlet to be alive with religious significance, 
but of a terrifying (and terrorist) kind. Hamlet's meditation on suicide invokes its 
active form expressed by those who "take arms against a sea of troubles, / And, by 
opposing, end them", not by succeeding but by defiantly dying while killing their 
enemies. Yet there is, of course, also a comedy of Hamlet inside the tragedy. Gunnar 
Sorelius explains how the voices and known gestures of famous actors from the 
Swedish stage were reproduced in a puppet-theatre performance of the Graveyard Scene 
from Hamlet in Stockholm in 1909. This was clearly personal satire, but it also 
manifested what Sorelius diagnoses as a genuine modernist anxiety about just what it 
is that humans do in impersonating other, fictional, human beings. Kevin Quarmby, a 
scholar and an actor, presents his accounts of performing in two famous Shakespeare 
productions, alongside Peter O'Toole in Macbeth and Jonathan Pryce in Hamlet. By 
turns serious and hilarious, Quarmby's essay embodies the inseparable entanglement 
of comedy and tragedy, both in the text and in the very processes that theatre 
practitioners have to go through over many weeks to ready their performances and 
then give them. This bundle of Hamlet-related essays from the journal Shakespeare is 
rounded off with a selection of reviews of productions of the play over the past six 
years, and an interview with one of the more celebrated performers of the role, 
David Tennant.

Vanishing Point: Looking for Hamlet 
Graham Holderness 
Volume 1, Issue 2, December 2005

'Orgies of gesticulation'?: Pedigree and performance codes in Sir Johnston Forbes- 
Robertson's and Rugger Ruggeri's silent films of Hamlet 
Judith Buchanan 
Volume 2, Issue 1, June 2006

When the Cock Crew: The Imminence of Hamlet 
Richard Wilson 
Volume 3, Issue 1, April 2007

The Graveyard Scene in Hamlet as Puppet Theatre and Early Twentieth-Century Distrust 
of the Actor 
Gunnar Sorelius 
Volume 4, Issue 4, December 2008

A Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Study of Rehearsal and Performance Practice in the 1980 
Royal Court Hamlet and the Old Vic Macbeth: An Actor's View 
Kevin Quarmby 
Volume 1, Issue 2, December 2005

Review of Shakespeare's Hamlet (directed by Jonathan Miller) at the Tobacco Factory, 
Bristol, March-May 2008 
Peter Smith 
Volume 4, Issue 3, September 2008

Review of Shakespeare's Hamlet (directed by Gregory Doran) at the Courtyard Theatre, 
Stratford-upon-Avon (September 2008) 
Deborah Cartmell 
Volume 5, Issue 2, June 2009

Interview: David Tennant on Hamlet 
Abigail Rokison 
Volume 5, Issue 3, September 2009

Review of Shakespeare's Hamlet (directed by Michael Grandage) at Wyndham's Theatre 
in the Donmar West End season, May-August 2009 
Ann Thompson 
Volume 5, Issue 4, December 2009

Review of Shakespeare's Hamlet (directed by Gregory Doran for BBC TV), BBC Two, 29 
December 2009 
Yvonne Griggs 
Volume 6, Issue 2, 2010

This collection comprises the articles published in the special issue, Reinventing 
Digital Shakespeare (Volume 4, Issue 3). After an Introduction by Alan Galey and Ray 
Siemens, which probes the historical relationship between Shakespearean texts and 
new information technologies, the other contributors explore the development of 
online Shakespeare editions and resources, and discuss the impact of resources like 
these on Shakespeare teaching and scholarship. Paul Werstine tells the story of the 
development of an electronic edition of The Winter's Tale based on the New Variorum 
edition, and considers broader questions concerned with online editions of 
Shakespeare. Michael Best, founder and coordinating editor of the Internet 
Shakespeare Editions, discusses both the opportunities and the challenges offered by 
the online medium for the publication of texts, performance records, and contextual 
information. Peter S. Donaldson, director of the Shakespeare Electronic Archive at 
MIT, describes current projects to enable the online annotation of video clips of 
Shakespearean performances, to expand an online Hamlet archive, and to produce a 
collection on Shakespeare Performance in Asia including video records of 
productions. Peter Holland and Mary Onorato provide a history of the production of 
commercial CD-ROM and online Shakespeare materials. Christie Carson surveys the 
impact of digital technology on live performance and its dissemination, and suggests 
some critical and pedagogical responses. Jeremy Ehrlich discusses the use of 
electronic resources such as wikis, blogs, online editions and multimedia in the 
teaching of Shakespeare. Finally, Martin Mueller considers the far-reaching impact 
of digital technology on the practice of literary scholarship in general and 
Shakespeare studies in particular.

Special Issue Articles 
Introduction: Reinventing Shakespeare in the digital humanities
Alan Galey; Ray Siemens

Past is prologue: Electronic New Variorum Shakespeares
Paul Werstine

The Internet Shakespeare Editions: Scholarly Shakespeare on the Web 
Michael Best

The Shakespeare Electronic Archive: Collections and Multimedia Tools for Teaching 
and Research, 1992-2008 
Peter S. Donaldson

Scholars and the Marketplace: Creating Online Shakespeare Collections
Peter Holland; Mary Onorato

eShakespeare and performance
Christie Carson

Back to basics: Electronic pedagogy from the (virtual) ground up
Jeremy Ehrlich

Digital Shakespeare, or towards a literary informatics
Martin Mueller

A feature of Shakespeare is the regular inclusion of articles surveying recent 
critical work in a given field, while offering new perspectives and future 
directions for new scholars. These articles are specially commissioned by the 
editors and written by internationally renowned academics. They have become 
compulsory reading for anyone engaged in work in the areas under discussion. This 
cluster of articles offers readers an opportunity to both review and update their 
awareness of recent debates and issues in key areas of contemporary Shakespeare 
scholarship. Beginning with a general survey of the discipline, Hugh Grady, in 
"Shakespeare Studies, 2005: A Situated Overview", suggests that the era dominated by 
New Historicism is drawing to a close and is being replaced by criticism which 
attempts to create Shakespeare's historical context empirically and scholarship that 
self-consciously interprets Shakespeare within the context of our own culture. 
Accordingly, this selection juxtaposes survey articles on Repertory Studies, 
contextualizing early modern plays through the perspective of the playing companies, 
and an analysis of work in the undying area of Shakespeare and biography with survey 
articles in what have become established fields in Shakespeare criticism in the late 
20th and early 21st centuries: cultural studies, film adaptation and ecocriticism.

Shakespeare Studies, 2005: A Situated Overview
Hugh Grady
Volume 1, Issue 1, June 2005

Shakespeare and Cultural Studies: An Overview
Douglas Lanier
Volume 2, Issue 2, December 2006

Shakespeare on Film in the New Millennium
Ramona Wray
Volume 3, Issue 2, August 2007

Repertory Studies: A Survey
Tom Rutter
Volume 4, Issue 3, September 2008

The State of the Green: A Review of Shakespearean Ecocriticism
Sharon O'Dair
Volume 4, Issue 4, December 2008

'Author! Author!': Shakespeare and Biography
Graham Holderness
Volume 5, Issue 1, April 2009

From sound in Shakespeare adaptations to Shakespeare in silence to a survey of 
criticism of Shakespeare on screen in the new millennium, the journal has a range of 
articles that are of interest to both the Shakespearean critic and film scholar. The 
first piece, Evelyn Tribble's "'When Every Noise Appalls Me': Sound and Fear in 
Macbeth and Akira Kurosawa's Kumonso-jo (Throne of Blood)", looks at one of the 
mostly justly celebrated of Shakespeare films, which brilliantly reimagined Macbeth 
in the context of mediaeval Samurai culture. Whereas many previous commentators on 
Kurosawa's film have noticed its use of space, Tribble focuses on its soundscape, 
and relates it to that of Macbeth itself. In the second, Judith Buchanan looks at 
two little-known silent films of Hamlet starring Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson and 
Ruggero Ruggeri, considering particularly how they were informed by their stars' 
earlier stage performances to illustrate how the success of both films was 
conditioned as much by extra-textual associations as by the intrinsic qualities of 
the films themselves. In "Sex, Lies and Videotape: Representing the Past in 
Shakespeare in Love, Mapping a Future for Presentism", Cary DiPietro uses John 
Madden's popular biopic to argue the case for a presentist approach to Shakespeare, 
while in "Shakespeare on Film in the New Millennium" Ramona Wray helps readers 
orient themselves in this rapidly growing field. Finally Yvonne Griggs reviews the 
TV film version of Gregory Doran's Hamlet, starring David Tennant.

"'When Every Noise Appalls Me': Sound and Fear in Macbeth and Akira Kurosawa's 
Kumonso-jo (Throne of Blood)" 
Evelyn Tribble 
Volume 1, Issue 1, June 2005

"Orgies of gesticulation"?: Pedigree and performance codes in Sir Johnston Forbes- 
Robertson's and Rugger Ruggeri's silent films of Hamlet" 
Judith Buchanan 
Volume 2, Issue 1, June 2006

Sex, Lies and Videotape: Representing the Past in Shakespeare in Love, Mapping a 
Future for Presentism 
Cary DiPietro 
Volume 3, Issue 1, April 2007

Shakespeare on Film in the New Millennium
Ramona Wray
Volume 3, Issue 2, August 2007

Review of Shakespeare's Hamlet (directed by Gregory Doran for BBC TV), BBC Two, 29 
December 2009 
Yvonne Griggs 
Volume 6, Issue 2, June 2010

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>

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