Valerie Fazel Post-Conference Post and Comments

Valerie M Fazel commented on her own Questions.

In response to iShakespeare:

1. I’m most interested in Shakespeare online performance. Some of these performances are “homegrown” ala YouTube. How do all the questions that appear here on this wiki so far speak to online Shakespeare performances, “homegrown” or otherwise? Should we encourage student creation and posting of these kinds of performances? If so, what ethical, moral, and […]

Thank you Kevin and Sheila for organizing the iShakespeare workshop. I enjoyed meeting everyone in our workshop on Saturday. The five presentations on technology in the classroom and technology as the classroom demonstrated some of the ways Shakespeare pedagogy can enrich our teaching experiences and our students perspectives on Shakespeare’s global range. While conference experiences can be evanescent, I hope that we might continue conversing on this wiki for a little longer. I would enjoy reading additional experiences and see how teaching Shakespeare using early 21st century technology enriches (or not) learning (and teaching) Shakespeare. I have been teaching a first time course of my own design titled Shakespeare on Screen this Spring at ASU. Throughout the semester students have explored on-line archives, resources, performance, etexts, games, blogs, etc. (and of course film and television) and have, in turn, been working on their own semester-long blogs. I designed the course after paying careful attention to how students in my Fall Shakespeare Studies courses responded to media I brought into class (we all do this–bring in film, television, YouTube clips to enhance the play reading) and after cultivating ideas on using electronic tools to add to students’ learning experiences. Through my Shakespeare on Screen course I’ve learned that some of my assumptions about students and technology, and their responses to online Shakespeares, are somewhat accurate while some of those assumptions have been completely debunked. For instance, the notion that people in 18-25 year-old are “digital natives” is only true for about one third of my students (debunked my assumption). Also, they believe that adaptation and appropriation of Shakespeare cannot be unrestrained, but must incorporate certain characteristics of the playtexts to “qualify as Shakespeare” (affirmed my assumption). They have also been inculcated with biases against wikis and blogs and online Shakespeare playtext sites, and while they believe these are not quite valid and have not learned to cultivate a possible role as critical assessor of such online resources, they still include these sources in building their own platforms of Shakespeare knowledge (debunked and affirmed my assumptions). I would have a great many questions for the workshop panel on these and more situations if I thought we might continue the conversation on this wiki.

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Questions from Julia Flanders

I am the latest of the late in joining this discussion and have found a tremendous amount to think about in what has already been said. I’d like to echo and expand on some of the questions that have already been raised:

1. How can we make better, more nuanced and expert use of collaboratively sourced material? In other words, how can we turn “crowd-sourcing” into something more focused and less scattershot, particularly in a pedagogical context? I’m particularly interested in having students work in consequential ways to annotate and add value to online resources (whether Shakespeare or other texts). What kinds of information or annotation work can students most effectively tackle, and what kind of pedagogical context is needed to make this work successful (both from a learning perspective and from a data perspective)?

2. How can the online medium help us look more closely at small numbers of texts, as well as more “distantly” at large numbers of text? While acknowledging the interest and value of scale as a hallmark of the digital medium, I’d also like to keep close reading in view, particularly in light of Christie Carson’s question about the use of computers and the role of quantitative methods. Leaving aside the current crop of interfaces, which may not really support this kind of work, what could a digital Shakespeare do to bring us closer to the text, in ways that aren’t possible with print?

3. Is there a pedagogical space for digital Shakespeares that represent textual and editorial history? How might we use, for instance, a digital variorum in the classroom?

Looking forward very much to the workshop!

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Erin Presley’s Questions

Questions from Erin Presley:

I’m excited about the direction of the questions you all have posed at this point. My own questions overlap with many of those that have already been posted.

1. As many of the readings make clear, digital humanities is interdisciplinary at its core, blurring the boundaries between the disciplines. What interdisciplinary connections might a digital Shakespeare course produce? I’m particularly interested in the possibility of collaborations between faculty across the curriculum.

2. Several of you have asked questions about intellectual property and how it might affect research and teaching. How do we negotiate with the very real consequences of violating IP law?

3. What are the goals of “digital” Shakespeare(s)? To reproduce play texts online that merely mimic the older technology of print (albeit with the handy addition of searchability)? Or does digital Shakespeare(s) hope to take full advantage of its digital medium?

I look forward to discussing these issues with you all next month.

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Laurie Osborne’s Questions

I really like the questions posted so far; I am pretty sure that mine are not going to add much new. I also freely admit that current institutional concerns are driving some the questions I am offering.

1) Since digital humanities projects involve collaborative work that is NOT the usual mode of humanities research, how do we best build strong collaborations and reflect/explain the power of those collaborations when humanities research traditionally takes a different model? (This question is really a combination of Christie’s concern about moving the humanities into social and natural science models for developing knowledges and Peter’s question about the productivity of collaborative digital humanities projects)

2) In what ways can collaborative digital humanities projects give us the same kinds of opportunities for involving students in our research projects that researchers in social and natural sciences increasingly adopt to engage students more directly in their disciplines? What effects, both positive and not-so-positive, accrue from such collaborations in the humanities? In the non-humanities disciplines, research with professors often gives students a boost in applying to graduate schools and in pursuing research positions, would our potential collaborations with students reap similar benefits?

3) When/if we incorporate student-generated performances into our work and teaching — with all the ethical issues that Valerie raises — how do we potentially change writing itself (as well as the production of editions) for both students and teachers?

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Eleanor Rycroft’s Questions

Here are my questions for the workshop:

What are the tensions between open access research and intellectual property rights, and how do we resolve them as scholars?

What outlets for pedagogical engagement are afforded by social media, and how should both tutors and students approach this relationship? On a related note, does modelling such a pedagogical practice raise questions about own private/professional identities, as well as those of our students? (I’m thinking in terms of Google +’s ‘circles’ and the control of who sees what we post online.) 

How feasible is it to create online research communities? What does and doesn’t work when we attempt to do so?

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Renuka Gusain’s Questions

1) What kinds of methodologies and critical models emerge from our engagement with the digital humanities that help our students (and us) becomes better writers, literary critics, and producers of knowledge?

2) What would be an example of a digital assignment for a Shakespeare course and how do we evaluate it? This would have to be more than simply posting an entire essay on a wiki and it should enhance our students’ understanding in ways a traditional paper assignment would not.

3) What can we do to make our work on digital editions and open source databases count as much as more traditional forms of scholarship such as books with university presses and journal articles? I’m interested in this especially with regard to the appointment/ promotion process across institutions.

All best,

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Valerie M Fazel’s Questions

1. I’m most interested in Shakespeare online performance. Some of these performances are “homegrown” ala YouTube. How do all the questions that appear here on this wiki so far speak to online Shakespeare performances, “homegrown” or otherwise? Should we encourage student creation and posting of these kinds of performances? If so, what ethical, moral, and practical responsibilities do we need to instill in these students? How do these projects effectively (or not) shape student understanding of Shakespeare body of work?

2. Should, or can, Shakespeareans approach Internet research in the same manner as textual research, or do we need to develop new theoretical, methodological, and interpretative lenses to perform humanities-based Internet research?

3. What new skills do we need to develop in order to play a key role in the framework of evaluation, which is so important to the scholarly experience of iShakespeares or digital Shakespeares? And as digital materials change so quickly, how do we keep these skills fresh and relevant?

4. What skill-sets, methodologies, theories, practices, etc should be glean from other disciplines and what should we ignore? How do we make our own theories, methodologies, practices, etc more useful to other disciplines? (Should we even care?)

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Brett Hirsch’s Questions

Here are my questions for the group:

1. Is an open-source Shakespeare course possible and, if so, what might it look like?

2. How should digital Shakespeare research and pedagogy be assessed and valued?

3. How important is backward compatibility when it comes to producing digital Shakespeare resources?

4. What do students and scholars want from electronic editions?

Best wishes,

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Peter Kuling’s Questions

Posting from Peter Kuling:

1. Do collaborative textual projects or individually edited editions better serve digital humanities scholars and students? Is collaborative digital editing a more productive model for academic innovation with new multimedia editions?

2. What paratextual digital content will new readers of digital Shakespearean eBooks desire in the future? How do we begin to model our scholarship to address unknown digital updates resulting from future technological innovation?

3. Should all extent versions of Shakespearean texts (foul papers, fair papers, bad quartos, good quartos, folios) be integrated into digital editions to allow readers can see revisions, alterations, and deletions in all known manuscripts and printed versions?

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Christie Carson’s Questions

Posting from Christie Carson:

1. Does the use of digital resources in the classroom run the risk of creating passivity in our students as we try increasingly to keep them entertained?

2. Does the new discipline of Digital Humanities break down or minimise the distinctiveness of the individual traditional Humanities disciplines?

3. Does the use of computers in the Humanities inevitably push our research towards the Social Sciences model of measuring quantitative data versus appreciating the qualitative aspects of the subjects we study?

4. Does the World Wide Web actually make the world a smaller and more connected place or does it simply give one the impression of connectivity in an increasingly atomised world?

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