The cultural production of “Shakespeare” on the Internet has received growing attention in recent years, particularly in reference to newcomers in the field such as media users or “prosumers”. This is potentiated by the connectivity of digital platforms and growing access to digital means of production and distribution. From a field perspective on digital cultural production, participation online can be seen as a socially situated activity, often differentiated and marked by the habitus of digital media users. The present article aims firstly to discuss the utility of a field conceptualization of the cultural production of Shakespeare online, with reference to the work of Pierre Bourdieu. Secondly, through a critical framework derived from cultural and media economies, this article analyses Romanian appropriations of Shakespeare’s works on YouTube as cultural productions inscribed in both the global digital economy and also in the local cultural field. Thirdly, based on an overview of Romanian producers who have published Shakespeare videos and on the analysis of their visibility and circulation online, as well as their chosen genres and discourses, I argue that the Romanian digital (re)production of Shakespeare is situated at the periphery of both the national and the global digital field. User-made Shakespeare productions are yet to find valuation in the local cultural and media fields, being situated in an illegitimate location for appropriating Shakespeare. This will be contextualized in the larger discourse regarding the fundamental role of curation, but also in light of recent concerns about privileged locations, languages, and algorithmic bias across online cultural production, circulation, and consumption.
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