I'm just back from Siena and Florence, so today is dedicated to laundry, financial matters, email, and spending time with the family. And I'm tired. Wendy and Alex waited up for my me even though my plane was delayed by the French air traffic controllers on strike, a towing truck that broke with our aircraft attached to it, and storms along the US East Coast. Katherine popped out of bed early to see what loot I'd returned with (a Ciao Bella pocketbook, three Smurfs, and some fish shaped chocolates). So far I've done little else besides catch up on what needs to be caught up, and eat spicy foods, since Italy has great cuisine but only the weather there will make you sweat.
Anyway, check out this experiment in peer review undertaken by the Shakespeare Quarterly under the guest editorship of Katherine Rowe. The approach is called "partially open" or "hybrid" review, and has not been undertaken previously by a prominent humanities journal. Here is the experiment as described by the latest Folger Research Bulletin:
Shakespeare and New MediaThe site hosting the issue (mediacommonspress) may be accessed here, and is well worth your time if you'd like to contemplate what the future contours of scholarly publishing. The online portion of the review attracted 41 participants and 350 comments. As Kathy Rowe writes in her introductory essay: "To refuse to reflect critically on, reformulate, and reaffirm the value of our discipline in an electronically networked world is to court irrelevance ... Whether we ourselves blog, vlog, tweet, or don’t, our classrooms convene a generation of born-digital students." The general discussion is ongoing. Wouldn't it be great to try this for Exemplaria, postmedieval, SAC, JMEMS ... ?
Shakespeare Quarterly's special issue Shakespeare and New Media will be out soon. The essays for this issue were part of SQ's first-ever open-review process, where authors and respondents shared valuable comments and feedback before the articles were finalized. The review period is now closed, but you can read the transcripts at the link below.
In this issue, Kate Rumbold explores how the Globe Theatre, British Library, and other institutions are embracing new media outlets to promote themselves and how this changes their traditional roles. Jonathan Hope and Michael Witmore describe their "iterative criticism," identifying frequent word combinations and text-tagging programs to unpack Shakespeare's genres. Ayanna Thompson analyzes the role of youth culture and racial identity in YouTube appropriations and adaptations of Shakespeare by high-school students. And Alan Galey discusses the "virtual Shakespeare text," tracing its emergence from bibliographic studies, information theory, and computing.
In the review section, Christian Billing writes about Ivo van Hove's The Roman Tragedies, a London-based, Dutch-language production which uses new media and technologies to "manipulate historical political agendas." Andrew Murphy evaluates the online sites Open Source Shakespeare, the Moby text, and Shakespeare's Words for their efficacy in text searches, concordances, and content downloads. Finally, Whitney Trettien examines four Web sites—Staging Shakespeare, XMAS, Shakespeare Quartos Archive, and BardBox—studying how online Shakespeare is shaped, and restrained, by the digital humanities discipline.
More on Italy adventures soon.