Special Issue "Shakespeare and Digital Humanities: New Perspectives and Future Directions"

A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 January 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Stephen O’Neill

Department of English, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Shakespeare; adaptation; Shakespeare and digital cultures

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Shakespeare is now fundamentally digital. The technologies, resources and cultures of the digital age influence how we humans variously read, watch, research, and teach Shakespeare. This influence occurs in both apparent but also unseen ways since digital technologies include hidden processes, or non-human actors such as algorithms. In fact, the thing we call “Shakespeare” is the consequence of the interaction of agential humans and digital, non-human actors. The Special Issue of Humanities explores this technogenic dynamic and its significance for understandings of Shakespeare’s works and their cultural afterlives. It does so from a digital humanities perspective, with the aim of building on trends within Shakespeare studies towards the interrelation between Shakespeare’s works and a variety of contemporary technologies.

The Special Issue especially welcomes approaches that are trans-disciplinary. Papers are invited from an international community of researchers interested in critically examining how digital technologies have enhanced, transformed, or challenged the appreciation and study of Shakespeare. Papers might address questions of methodology, and explore how digital humanities scholarship is applying technology and quantitative analyses to the corpus. What new insights into Shakespearean authorship, characterization, genre, and language, can computational analyses reveal? Papers might map and critically evaluate the available digital resources for Shakespeare research and teaching, including searchable text online editions, databases, and podcasts. Or, they might critically analyse forms and practices in digital cultures, from fan or vernacular productions that reiterate Shakespearean stories and characters on such platforms as Twitter and YouTube, to digital art and curation, and online Shakespeare quotation generators. In turn, papers might examine how Shakespeare theatre companies are using digital technologies both within the live performance itself, and also to create an online, commercial, and interactive presence for a production.

This Special Issue of Humanities offers an opportunity to examine the application of digital technologies to Shakespeare, in all its variety; to explore the implications of that interrelation; and, crucially, to consider what future directions scholarship and practices might take as the encounter with Shakespeare increasingly becomes digital.

Please submit 300 word proposals for original contributions and a 100-word biography (include selected publications) by 14 September 2018; email both the Guest Editor, as indicated above, and the journal ([email protected]).

Deadline for completed papers, if selected (5000–7000 words): 28 January, 2019

Dr. Stephen O’Neill
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Shakespeare
  • Digital Humanities
  • Digital cultures and practices
  • Algorithms
  • Technogenesis
  • Digital resources

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle @Shakespeare and @TwasFletcher: Performances of Authority
Humanities 2019, 8(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8010046
Received: 4 February 2019 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 23 February 2019 / Published: 4 March 2019
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Abstract
‘@Shakespeare: Trying to keep incognito with #WSCongress16 in town. If a scholar sees me I just say, “Hullo, lovely to meet you. I’m Peter Holland”/@TwasFletcher: Tell them you’re Me!’ (1 August 2016). This article looks at the anonymously-managed @Shakespeare account and its performance [...] Read more.
‘@Shakespeare: Trying to keep incognito with #WSCongress16 in town. If a scholar sees me I just say, “Hullo, lovely to meet you. I’m Peter Holland”/@TwasFletcher: Tell them you’re Me!’ (1 August 2016). This article looks at the anonymously-managed @Shakespeare account and its performance of Shakespeare’s authority on social media, in the context of the parody bot account @TwasFletcher. I argue that authority is established and performed by @Shakespeare through interaction with other authoritative accounts, literary in-jokes, engagement with academic conferences, and, most crucially, anonymity. The destabilising or undermining of Shakespeare’s online authority as performed by @TwasFletcher, is especially significant for its lack of anonymity: created by Hofstra University professor and associate dean Vimala C. Pasupathi, @TwasFletcher raises questions about how scholars who are not white, cis-het men make space for themselves within the authority commanded by Shakespeare, especially online. By inserting Fletcher into Shakespeare, Pasupathi herself performs authority in opposition to Shakespeare and the dominant idea of who a Shakespeare scholar should be or what s/he should do. This essay will therefore argue that two meanings of “authority”—recognized as true or valid on the one hand, and domineering, autocratic, or imposing on the other—play out through the relationship between @Shakespeare and @TwasFletcher on Twitter. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Digital Humanities’ Shakespeare Problem
Humanities 2019, 8(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8010045
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 23 February 2019 / Published: 4 March 2019
PDF Full-text (262 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Digital humanities has a Shakespeare problem; or, to frame it more broadly, a canon problem. This essay begins by demonstrating why we need to consider Shakespeare’s position in the digital landscape, recognizing that Shakespeare’s prominence in digital sources stems from his cultural prominence. [...] Read more.
Digital humanities has a Shakespeare problem; or, to frame it more broadly, a canon problem. This essay begins by demonstrating why we need to consider Shakespeare’s position in the digital landscape, recognizing that Shakespeare’s prominence in digital sources stems from his cultural prominence. I describe the Shakespeare/not Shakespeare divide in digital humanities projects and then turn to digital editions to demonstrate how Shakespeare’s texts are treated differently from his contemporaries—and often isolated by virtue of being placed alone on their pedestal. In the final section, I explore the implications of Shakespeare’s popularity to digital humanities projects, some of which exist solely because of Shakespeare’s status. Shakespeare’s centrality to the canon of digital humanities reflects his reputation in wider spheres such as education and the arts. No digital project will offer a complete, unmediated view of the past, or, indeed, the present. Ultimately, each project implies an argument about the status of Shakespeare, and we—as Shakespeareans, early modernists, digital humanists, humanists, and scholars—must determine what arguments we find persuasive and what arguments we want to make with the new projects we design and implement. Full article
Open AccessArticle Innovating Shakespeare: The Politics of Technological Partnership in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Tempest (2016)
Humanities 2019, 8(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8010042
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 20 February 2019 / Accepted: 23 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
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Abstract
This article examines the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) recent focus on digital ‘innovation’ by analysing the relationship between their emerging digital-focused business practices and digital performance practice for The Tempest (2016). To assess this relationship, I first review the socioeconomic context of 21st [...] Read more.
This article examines the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) recent focus on digital ‘innovation’ by analysing the relationship between their emerging digital-focused business practices and digital performance practice for The Tempest (2016). To assess this relationship, I first review the socioeconomic context of 21st century neoliberal UK economic policy that encourages arts organisations such as the RSC to participate in innovative digital production practices. I follow with a definition and deconstruction of ‘innovation’ as a key term in UK economic policy. I then demonstrate how the RSC has strategically become involved in innovation practices throughout the 2010s. I will then analyse the digital, motion-capture performance practices the RSC developed in partnership with Intel and motion-capture studio The Imaginarium for The Tempest. In doing so, I will demonstrate that The Tempest serves to legitimise the RSC’s status as a competitor and collaborator in the wider digital economy. Full article
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