joining the SAA workshop on New Media

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4 Responses to joining the SAA workshop on New Media

  1. laurieoz says:

    Laurie Osborne
    Colby College

    Hello, all,

    This business of self-introduction is odd, particularly since I know a good many of you already! My interest in web-based and computer-related uses and representations is longstanding. I was drawn to this particular workshop in large part because I feel constantly out of date with these materials and have found SAA seminars and workshops particularly helpful in keeping up!

    I started thinking about these issues in rudimentary ways before “digital humanities” became a popular topic in our discipline. I offer as evidence a link to my first SAA contribution along these lines, a hyper-essay that I wrote in 1996, now long out of date: Some of my observations in that work have proven all too true, from the static quality of a website that does not change with new materials and new programming possibilities to the considerable problem of access when the server is down or has changed its file architecture! Since then both my pedagogy and my scholarship have evolved in concert with the changes that digitizing texts and performances have brought with them.

    Most recently my work has drawn in digital resources in a variety of ways, including two different analyses of the short films on Herbert Fritsch’s web installation, Hamlet_X (, research on Shakespearean animation drawn from YouTube, and participation as a reviewer on MediaCommons for the recent issue of Shakespeare Quarterly on new media. Frankly, I am not quite sure what to do with some materials that I find– like the Facebook-to-real-book media crossings like Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don’t Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook — but my Shakespeare in Popular Culture course always returns every other year to still more rich and various online interactions.

    Basically my interests range from the early moves in Shakespeare in the virtual world to the recent proliferation of materials and intermedial moments, some of which I contemplated recently in “iShakespeare: Digital Art/Games, Intermediality, and the Future of Shakespearean Film” in Shakespeare Studies, fall 2010. Soon I will realize a long-held ambition to publish critical work online — “Serial Shakespeare: Intermedial Performance and the Outrageous Fortunes of Slings & Arrows” will appear in/on Borrowers and Lenders sometime this fall!

  2. presleyerin says:

    Erin Presley
    Eastern Kentucky University

    Hello, and happy Halloween! I am excited to be a participant in this workshop and look forward to seeing everyone in Boston.

    With an interest in contemporary appropriations of Shakespeare’s work, I have a particular interest in digital engagements with the plays. I have written about Shakespeare’s presence on blogs, exploring how people outside of academe employ the bard in a variety of ways (e.g., to establish their own ethos, to make political statements, etc.):

    I am also interested in how these “born-digital” engagements compliment the teaching of Shakespeare, especially in undergraduate courses, by expanding classroom considerations of Shakespeare’s current relevance to non-canonical (and often, non-literary) texts and by giving students the opportunity to produce their own digital responses. At Eastern Kentucky University, I will teach an asynchronous online section of a senior-level Shakespeare survey. I hope this workshop will better prepare me to critically navigate the wealth of digital iterations and engagements with Shakespeare.

  3. Valerie M Fazel says:

    I am a fifth-year Ph.D. Candidate at Arizona State University defending my dissertation titled, “YouTube Shakespeares: Encountering Ethical, Theoretical, and Methodological Challenges in Researching Online Performance.” It might seem incongruous to state my “long-time” interest in researching YouTube Shakespeares brings me to this workshop, as YouTube’s lifespan seems to barely span that of a kindergartener. Suffice it to say I was first fascinated by fan-constructed Shakespeare revisions—mostly manifested as film-clip mash-ups—and the commentary such mash-ups generated from viewers as far back as July 2006. Added to these now are the collection of Shakespeare related publicity channels, which are, I think, remarkably astute in their use of YouTube’s ever expanding social mediatized capabilities. So while YouTube Shakespeares might, for some, lack immediate inspiration or excitement, they are undeniably a cultural (and ephemeral) practice that calls for critical registration in the larger history of Shakespeare’s performance.

    YouTube Shakespeares are now regularly included in most Shakespeare classrooms (I use them myself every class session), but my interests extend beyond their use as a pedagogic tool. For instance, to me YouTube Shakespeares call attention to a kind of uncanny reception study born through the re-creation/resurgence of actor/audience interactivity analogous to the Elizabethan theater. I’m interested in the human behaviors connected to digitized viewing. I have to wonder (as have other Shakespeare media scholars), for instance, what impact watching Shakespeare performances on mobile media like the iPad has for users, and for performance as a concept?

    Next semester I will teach a special topics course titled “Shakespeare on Screen.” We will begin with critically evaluating Shakespeare e-texts before we move through multiple screen genres of Shakespeare performance.

    I look forward to our workshop’s readings and follow-up conversation as we all grapple with what I think is the most exciting area of Shakespeare studies today.

  4. Kris McAbee says:

    I apologize for chiming in so late! I am an Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. My research primarily concerns modes of literary circulation in the Renaissance and I’ve recently become interested in how the underpinnings of new media theory can help provide a framework for understanding such circulation. In the Spring semester, I will be teaching an “Unread Shakespeare” honors seminar (the syllabus is built after a survey determining which Shakespearean texts have been read the least by the students). I also direct the “Shakespeare Scene Festival,” an outreach event in which local schools are invited to perform scenes from Shakespeare on the University main stage. My engagement in the digital humanities is primarily through digital archiving, currently as the project manager for UALR’s satellite involvement in the English Broadside Ballad Archive. I am very excited about this workshop and am interested in part because I have in the past employed a social media based assignment for teaching Shakespeare. This assignment exploits the performance aspect of building online profiles for use in classes on dramatic texts; I would like to develop this project because existing social media platforms (like Ning and Grouply) either do not fully accommodate course management tools or provide other obstacles to use in the classroom (e.g., cost). I’m looking forward to our work together!

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