early modern historian is a genius!

Newly named Macarthur Fellow and early modern historian Jacob Soll talks to Marty Moss-Coane on Radio Times on my old favorite radio station, WHYY in Philadelphia. You should listen to it. Soll talks movingly about struggling as a high school student, what we can learn from studying Renaissance accounting, why the intellectual tradition matters, and what libraries mean to him. Pay attention to the story in the last 15 minutes about his encounter with my friend John Pollack, rare book librarian at Penn!

(There’s also a nice video and brief profile of him on the Macarthur site. I’m almost convinced I should retrain as an accountant.)

myriad marginalia

This week in class I showed my students (too briefly) one of my favorite books in the Folger’s collections, a 1483 printing by William Caxton of John Gower’s long poem Confessio amantis, written some hundred years earlier. I do not love this book because of its text—if I confess that I’ve never read the poem, will you hold it against me?—nor because of its author. I think it’s pretty cool that it was printed by Caxton, the man who established printing in England, and of course, there’s always kind of a thrill to any incunabula, but that’s not it either. No, I love this book because of the traces of its later owners, traces that interact with the text, traces that are all about the book but not the text, and traces that seem to have nothing to do with anything.

Here’s one set of marks that are fabulous:

leaf g1r

It’s a little hard to see what’s going on, so here’s a detail:

getting rid of the pope

Do you see what the reader has done? The ink’s faded, but he or she has scribbled out “pope” everywhere it appears! Even better is the verso of this leaf:

honourable or abominable?

Not only has the reader crossed out “pope”, but he’s struck through “honourable” and replaced it with “abominable.” That’s some thought-out substitution—it keeps the rhyme and the meter (I’m assuming you’d elide the “i” to get four syllables). The final “e” on that “abominable” looks like the sort of two-stroke “e” that you see in mid-sixteenth century secretary hand. Though there isn’t enough for me to be able to date the annotation, you’ll see more in a moment that might give further clues.

Not all the marginalia in this book is so attuned to the text. Other instances simply take the advantage of blank spaces in which to doodle:

a blank space needs to be filled

As you know, I like blank spaces, and I like that page in the Gower because it shows how doodlers will need to use that space. I’m inclined to agree: if you’re not going to include nice initial letters or anything else deliberate in those spaces, really, something should be added.

Blank margins at the bottom of the page are pretty tempting, too:

he's lost his head!

I suppose it’s possible that the bottom edge got trimmed during rebinding and that’s why this man has no head (or torso), but I’m not sure that’s what happened. Check out this guy:

decapitated or deliberate?

There’s clearly some text that’s been trimmed, but I’m not convinced that even before trimming this guy had a head, poor thing.

In any case, all that doodling is pretty great, I think, but the blank spaces of the book have also been used much more intentionally:

recording Swallowe's marriage

That’s just one piece of a series of notes giving information about Christofer Swallowe, this one dating his marriage, and others naming his children. But as fabulous as that is, it’s not my favorite bit of marginalia. This is:

a deed recording the transfer of land

It’s hard to read, so here’s a close-up of each page:

detail leaf i3v

detail of leaf i4r

And here’s an attempt at a transcription:

Ottley      Leonard England haithe in the absence of the court surrendered into the handes of the lord of the said manner by the handes of Peter Baildon and Lawrence fflessher two c[o]stimary tennandes of the said manner being sworne All that one close callid Steren acre conteining by estimation one acar of Land & medowe with thappurte[…]es in Ottley aforesaid Now in the tenure of Christofer

And Dorithe his wife and their assigned for Duringe the naturall liffes of the said Christofer Swallowe & Dorithe his wife and the longer liuer of theme without any rentes or other duties yelding paieng or doinge therefore unto the said Leornard England his heires and assigned During the said terme /// The xii day of Marche 1[…] {lost to trimmed bottom edge}

Isn’t that wonderful? A deed! Recorded in the margins of Gower’s Confessio amantis! It’s got nothing to do with the text and everything to do with the fact that this is a big book with white spaces to spare: there’s room for the information to be copied and security that the book isn’t going to be misplaced or accidentally thrown out with the rubbish. All these different types of writing in books and all in one book!

why blog once when you can blog twice or even thrice?

A quick update for those of you who have missed my online promotions: I am now in charge of a new blog at work, The Collation: a gathering of scholarship from the Folger Shakespeare Library. It is what it says it is, a blog authored by staff and scholars at the Folger that shares research and resources at the Library in terms that are accessible to the general public and of interest to scholars. If you’re interested in the early modern aspects of what I write here, you’ll like The Collation, too. But it’s not all early modern! We’ll be touching on aspects of librarianship, digital curation, theatre history, and humanities research.

I wrote the introductory post on the word “collation” as well as a later post about my tweeting the @FolgerResearch #wunderkammer series. There are also posts so far from Steve Galbraith, the recently departed Curator of Books, about the Folger’s official count of 82 First Folios and from Erin Blake, the Curator of Art and Special Collections, on a new acquisition of an artists’ book of The Tempest. Upcoming posts will introduce some of the Library’s digital resources, feature key staff members, highlight items in our collections, and focus on academic programs at the Library. I am, of course, not neutral about this, since it was my brainchild and I’m now spearheading the effort. But if this sounds like the sort of thing that might tickle your fancy, I hope you’ll check The Collation out. There will be posts twice a week and we’ll do our best to entertain and educate you!

I hope that this won’t slow me down more on the slow schedule I’m already posting over here. Some of what I might write here will end up over at The Collation. (There’ll be a post in the next few weeks on a mid-sixteenth-century printer’s specimen sheet, for instance.) But I’ll continue to blog here, too, especially because I have greater flexibility to indulge in my sassiness when I’m not at work and because there’s so much more that I need to spout off about than early modern books!

In the meantime, if you can’t get enough of my craziness, I’m also writing over at The Idler, doing a column on Netflix Instant with Tim Carmody and Sarah Pavis and a rotating cast of other characters. I’m up once a month, on Wednesdays–I think I’m the third Wednesday of the month. It’s got nothing to do with books or libraries and it’s good fun. My first piece was on why Paul Newman is hot. I’m not sure why that’s a question anyone would ask–who cares WHY he’s hot, he’s Paul  Newman!!–but it gave me an excuse to catch up on some of his early movies I’d missed. Tim definitely brings the smart to “In the Queue” and Sarah brings the funny. I haven’t figured out my niche yet, but I like to think of myself as the one who connived to get everyone else to provide movie recommendations for my enjoyment.

More soon from me here. I’m thinking about starting an iPad app review series focused on early modern and library stuff, so stay tuned!

the serendipity of the unexpected, or, a copy is not an edition

My last post focused on my frustration with the assumption that digitization is primarily about access to text:

But access is not all that digitization can do for us. Why should we limit ourselves to thinking about digital facsimiles as being akin to photographs? Why should we think about these artifacts in terms only of the texts they transmit? Let’s instead think about digitization as a new tool that can do things for us that we wouldn’t be able to see without it. Let’s use digitization not only to access text but to explore the physical artifact.

I spent the remainder of that post brainstorming some suggestions about what digitization might enable other than access to text, and there were some great comments about the ramifications of textualizing the digital that I’m still mulling over. In this post I want to offer some examples of why we might want to look at books rather than digital surrogates as a way of approaching the relationship between digital and physical from another angle.

So why might we want to look at physical books rather than digital surrogates, other than a fetish of smell and a sense of the magical presence of the original? Here are a few examples that start to get at what physical books offer that digital surrogates miss.

The making of the book

One of the things that we learn from examining books is how they are made. There are all sorts of things you can see in physical books that reveal their making: watermarks and chain lines in the paper (which can help date a book, as Carter Hailey has shown ); sewing structures in bindings (which can reveal if pages have been cut out or added in later); and pasted-in cancels or errata slips (which show changes made due to correct errors or in response to censorship).

It’s true that some of these features could be incorporated into digital surrogates; as my photo above shows, it’s absolutely possible for digital images to reveal paste-ins such as this one. But it’s also true that most users of digital surrogates of early modern books rely on EEBO, in which the equivalent page appears thusly:

The text might be the same, but there is no indication in the EEBO reproduction that the text appears on a slip of paper that has been pasted onto the page (although a keen eye might notice that the lines are not quite square with the rest of the page). If all you care about is text, that’s fine, but you’re missing a key part of the book’s history. And what happens if you were looking at a copy that didn’t have the errata slip (not all copies did)? You might never know it was an option–see the later section, “a copy is not an edition” for more on that.

My larger point here is that while digitization could convey some aspects of this category of information, they generally do not.

The history of the book’s use

The best thing about old books, I think, is their longevity and the traces of the history that they carry with them. Inscriptions, marginalia, doodles, vandalism, erasures, cutting out images and leaves–none of those are captured if your focus is solely on the text, and all of them have something to tell us about how a book was used.

(This is an image of one of the Folger’s three copies of Sacro Bosco’s Sphaera Mundi; this one happens to be heavily marked up, with additional diagrams penned in and plenty of annotations, but the other two are significantly less annotated. It looks yellow, by the way, because I took the photo myself, sans flash, per Folger requirements. There’s not a whole lot of light in the Old Reading Room, and I did a sort of half-hearted job of color-correcting my picture.)

Here’s a detail from a blank leaf from the middle of a 1550 Chaucer Works that’s covered in marginalia. I count at least four hands in this picture, three sixteenth-century and one twentieth-century. There’s other marginalia in this book, too:

So add two more hands (this time a seventeenth-century and a twentieth-century one that is mistaken about the date) to the collection of readers who have left their traces in this book. And then there’s this, from the same volume:

So that’s one more inscriber (although he doesn’t appear to have been an owner of this book). There’s also the cover of the book, with two more names incorporated into the binding, eighteenth-century descendants of Frances Wolfreston. I’ve written about this book and this collector before, so I won’t go on further here. But this kind of passage through history tells us not only about one particular family and one particular book, but gives a window into different responses to and uses of Chaucer’s poetry.

I suppose it’s possible that digitizing could capture this; if I can take pictures of these inscriptions, there’s no reason a digitization project couldn’t. Oh, except time and money. This is a big book of more than 300 pages, and only one of two copies we have of this imprint, and one of five copies of this edition, and one of I-don’t-know-how-many mid-sixteenth-century copies of Chaucer’s Works. Are we talking about a project that will digitize all pages, cover to cover, of all these books? Who’s going to fund that? Is it worth funding that as opposed to, say, funding digitizing all the books that were once owned by Ben Jonson?

The serendipity of finding the unexpected

This sounds a lot like the sort of paean to open stacks and browsing that you hear from some book fetishists. But I’m talking about something a bit more complicated, I think. When you look at a digital surrogate, someone has already made the decision for you about what you want to see and how you are going to use it. There’s no reason you can’t use the surrogate differently, but every choice they’ve made impacts your ability to circumvent it. For instance, some of the biggest digitization projects out there don’t include blank leaves or pages in their digitization. ECCO is the chief culprit that comes to mind: they prioritize text, and so their surrogates start with the frontispiece or title page, then move to the dedication/preface/letter to the reader/start of the text. But you know what’s missing? The blank verso of the title page. Does that matter? I don’t know. It might. It depends on what you’re looking for. But you’ll never know that you might be looking for an answer that depends on that blank presence if you don’t know that it’s not there.

Jeffrey Todd Knight has written about this serendipity in his most recent article, “Invisible Ink: A Note on Ghost Images in Early Modern Printed Books”. His focus is on ghost images left behind when some of the Pavier Quartos were bound together in early collections with non-Shakespearean works, so that an image of the title page of Heywood’s A Woman Killed with Kindness appears faintly on the verso of the last leaf of Henry V. Knight draws out some of the implications of what this means for the Pavier Quartos and our understanding of Shakespeare book history–go read the piece yourself–but he also makes a broader argument for the need to consider the invisible, reminding us that “it has been easy to forget that text reproduction technologies, at every level, carry biases”:

The onscreen interfaces that give us Shakespeare and Heywood’s plays today are not transparent windows onto the text themselves; they define and regulate a field of visibility, as do all forms of curation going back to the early copies, which also carried biases.

What I would emphasize is that we don’t know what we’re missing until it’s possible to see it. We can’t see the blank pages or the invisible ink if we’re experiencing a book through decisions that have already eliminated the possibility of seeing them.

A copy is not an edition

This is true for all books, but especially early modern books: no two copies are the same, whether through the process of how they were printed or their subsequent use by readers. The practice of stop-press changes being made at any stage of production, and at multiple stages of production, and the habit of mixing sheets so that “uncorrected” sheets can appear in the same copy as “corrected” sheets, means that any book that had changes made during the printing process will exist in different states. Nor are those states typically indicated on a book’s title page or (depending on how important a book is seen as being and how well cataloged it has been) in its bibliographic record. You can only find these variants by looking at multiple copies of a single edition–hence the brilliance of things like the Hinman collator, the Lindstrand Comparator, the McLeod Portable Collator, and Hailey’s Comet, all devices that allow their user to compare multiple copies of books without actually reading them. (Reading, as any copy editor will tell you, will only distract you from what you’re actually seeing on teh page; collators–or, as I like to think of them, the original textual/machine hacks–let you look instead of read.)

Why do we care about these textual variants? We might care because they tell us something about how the book was made, because it might say something about economic or societal pressures (if they were changes introduced in response to something other than correcting an error), or because the presence of and differences between states might help us understand the range of textual meaning available.

One example of the stop-press changes can be seen in the second quarto of Hamlet, in which Hamlet’s lines to Osric exist in three states, two of which can be compared in the Shakespeare Quartos Archive:

We are in no danger of missing the many textual variants of any of Shakespeare’s plays. But imagine if we were talking about, say, a Webster play, or a poem in praise of Queen Elizabeth. Those have not been as extensively, even fanatically, collated as Shakespeare’s works have. Nor have the funds been lavished on reproducing many digital surrogates of a single edition, as they have with Hamlet.

Remember above when I pointed out that some copies of The General History of Virginia have an errata slip, but others do not? If you encounter a digital surrogate of a copy that has the slip, you will treat that copy as if it represents the entire run of that edition, as if all copies of that edition of General History have errata slips. What is the characteristic of a single copy becomes a characteristic of the edition. But a copy is not an edition; what is unique to a copy is not common to the edition.

This list of possibilities has gone on long enough. Nearly everything I write about on this blog dwells on what we discover from looking at one copy of one book. If you’re curious to see more examples of what you might find from looking at physical books rather than digital surrogates, try some of the following posts in addition to the ones I link to above about blanks and Frances Wolfreston: “an armorial binding mystery“, focusing on overlapping book stamps; “essayes of a prentise“, about the significance of the binding on a volume of James I’s writings; “David and Goliath, redux“, about finding the same pattern of embroidered bindings; and “bibles for historical occasions“, in which I think about, um, bibles used on historical occasions.

I would love to hear more thoughts from you on this subject, particularly of lucid examples of what we can learn from looking at physical books beyond the sort of intangibility of emotions that books can evoke.

fetishizing books and textualizing the digital

For some time I’ve been perplexed by the way both pro-digitization and pro-book people talk about digitizing books. A crude characterization of the ways in which the two sides depict the argument as having two sides might look like this:

pro-digitization: Look, I can access all these wonderful old materials without leaving my armchair!

pro-book: Those aren’t books; you can’t feel the paper and breathe in their smell!

pro-digitization: But we can create a universal library!

pro-book: You’re not creating a library, you’re destroying libraries!

pro-digitization: Nyah nyah!

pro-book: Pfft!

And there you go. The digitization folks talk about access and the book folks talk about being in the presence of the object. Neither side tends to present a more nuanced sense of how they might each have something to offer the other, or to recognize that there might be other considerations and uses at stake.

Lest you think I’m exaggerating, consider the most recent salvos in this inanity: the op-eds from Tristram Hunt and James Gleick. Tristram Hunt’s “Online is fine, but history is best hands on” was published in The Observer on July 3rd. In it, Hunt argued that the digital is not only not fine, but an impediment to studying history:

Yet when everything is down-loadable, the mystery of history can be lost.Why sit in an archive leafing through impenetrable prose when you can slurp frappucino while scrolling down Edmund Burke documents?

But it is only with MS in hand that the real meaning of the text becomes apparent: its rhythms and cadences, the relationship of image to word, the passion of the argument or cold logic of the case. Then there is the serendipity, the scholar’s eternal hope that something will catch his eye. Perhaps another document will come up in the same batch, perhaps some marginalia or even the leaf of another text inserted as a bookmark. There is nothing more thrilling than untying the frayed string, opening the envelope and leafing through a first edition in the expectation of unexpected discoveries. None of that is possible on an iPad.

This is such ridiculous tripe, it’s hard to know where to start. The basis of his argument seems to be that access diminishes value: if you can come across this stuff too easily, you won’t really have earned understanding it. In fact, James Gleick’s op-ed, “Books and Other Fetish Objects” (New York Times, July 17th), takes it down pretty nicely: “I’m not buying this. I think it’s sentimentalism, and even fetishization. It’s related to the fancy that what one loves about books is the grain of paper and the scent of glue.” (A point of clarification: that the link to is there in the NYT piece; I’m not sure I’ve seen them do that kind of bloggy commentary before, but kudos to Gleick for getting it in there.)

Gleick’s piece isn’t all snark, far from it. His main point is that

It’s a mistake to deprecate digital images just because they are suddenly everywhere, reproduced so effortlessly. We’re in the habit of associating value with scarcity, but the digital world unlinks them. You can be the sole owner of a Jackson Pollock or a Blue Mauritius but not of a piece of information — not for long, anyway. Nor is obscurity a virtue.

He makes another, excellent point about the value of such digital repositories as London Lives: “They enrich cyberspace, particularly because without them the online perspective is so foreshortened, so locked into the present day.” That’s a key point, I think, especially for those of us who study the past; it’s easy to lose sight of the past, to rewrite it to suit present needs.

As you can guess, I find much more that is compelling in Gleick’s point of view than I do in Hunt’s. But Gleick goes astray in the sentence that immediately follows the passage in the block quote: “A hidden parchment page enters the light when it molts into a digital simulacrum. It was never the parchment that mattered.”

“It was never the parchment that mattered.”

Now if all you’re interested in is the text, the words on the page, then maybe the parchment might not matter. The Magna Carta matters beyond its material presence, that is certainly true. But no text exists outside of its material manifestation. And this is where the pro-digitization folks seem blind to me. So much of that rhetoric has focused on access: let’s digitize these books/manuscripts/bits of paper and parchment so that more people can read them. And that is a great thing, it really is, especially when they are open access and available to folks who might not be able to travel far and wide to research libraries and who might not have the right credentials to get into those libraries. That sort of access is radical.

But access is not all that digitization can do for us. Why should we limit ourselves to thinking about digital facsimiles as being akin to photographs? Why should we think about these artifacts in terms only of the texts they transmit? Let’s instead think about digitization as a new tool that can do things for us that we wouldn’t be able to see without it. Let’s use digitization not only to access text but to explore the physical artifact. What would be the book equivalent of the extreme zooms, as you have in Google’s Art Project’s depiction of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” or in the alternate lighting view of their image of Chris Ofili’s “No Woman, No Cry”? Could we have digitized books that let us virtually unsew the leaves and examine the formes in which they were printed? Could we strip black ink off of pages to let us better see the watermarks and chainlines? Could we alternate between regular light and raking light so that we can see the impression left by bearing type? Those are pretty tame suggestions off the top of my head. What could we come up with if we put some open-minded bibliographers and keen coders in a room together?

This post has gone on long enough, but I’ll scout down some examples of what we cannot see when we think about digitization as being only about text and post them next time.

(A note about the images: The top is a screenshot of the zoomed-in “Starry Night”; the bottom is a screenshot of a zoomed-in detail of “No Woman, No Cry” showing the woman’s tears of photos of Stephen Lawrence. Go to Google Art Project and see the paintings for yourself.)

SAA 2012 seminar description

(If you’re a seminar member looking for the papers, you can find them here.)

As some of you might have seen in the most recent Shakespeare Association of America Bulletin, Pascale Aebischer and I are directing a seminar on non-Shakespearean Drama and Performance. Both of us have a strong interest in shifting away from early modern performance studies’ dominant interest in Shakespeare to thinking about performance in relationship to drama by other early modern and modern playwrights. Since the Bulletin text is so necessarily brief, we thought it might be helpful to share our longer seminar proposal so that folks interested in participating can get a sense of the questions that are driving our seminar.

If you’re looking for an SAA seminar to participate in next year and you’re interested in these questions, please consider ours. We’d be happy to see position papers alongside seminar papers; review essays surveying the field might also be helpful contributions. Mostly, we are eager to have a conversation about what is at stake in defining performance studies beyond the terrain of Shakespeare and welcome anyone interested in that discussion. More information about SAA, membership, and the conference is at their website.

A quick aside on the seminar title: Pascale and I struggled to come up with a title and phrasing to use that conveyed our interest in moving beyond Shakespeare without defining those other playwrights and plays in terms of Shakespeare. “Non-Shakespearean”, alas, does just that, but it is really the only shorthand available. “Shakespeare’s contemporaries” runs into the same problem—defining everything in terms of Shakespeare—while introducing an emphasis on contemporaneity that excludes too much of interest. With some reluctance, then, we stuck with describing our interest as lying in the non-Shakespearean, hoping that recognizing the inadequacy of the phrase might open up avenues for moving through the challenges of this field. A further aside: when I went looking for some image to illustrate this post (all blogs should be beeyooteefull as well as stimulating), I couldn’t find something that worked to my satisfaction? Choosing one non-Shakespearean playwright just seemed to privilege that writer over others; replacing Shakespeare with Middleton or Jonson isn’t really adequate for our conversation. Instead, I took the Droeshout portrait and erased his face. In addition to being satisfying, it gives us a blank canvas on which to try new approaches.

Non-Shakespearean Drama and Performance: critical implications

Seminar Leaders: Sarah Werner (Folger Shakespeare Library) and Pascale Aebischer (Exeter, UK)

Brief description:
Shakespeare’s contemporaries have begun to compete with him for dominance in theaters, films, editions, and the study of Renaissance drama. This seminar explores how studying non-Shakespearean productions affects Renaissance performance studies, cultural studies, and editorial practices. What impact do such performances have on our understanding of Renaissance dramaturgies—including Shakespeare’s? Papers are also welcome that consider issues of methodology and terminology that arise in these studies. The aim is to explore new critical directions beyond a focus solely on Shakespeare.

Further description:
This proposal arises out of recent responses to the expansion of the canon of Renaissance drama in present-day performance. The methodologies and approaches established in Shakespearean performance studies do not unproblematically map onto the study of performances of plays by other early modern dramatists. The upsurge in performances of these plays and the performance traditions that are emerging prompt the need for a reassessment of our critical approaches to the performance of Renaissance drama. This involves a re-situation of Shakespearean performance in the context of performances of plays by his contemporaries, of present-day drama and of ‘the Renaissance period’ in plays and films. Books by Roberta Barker (2007) and Kim Solga (2009) and essay collections by Sarah Werner (2010), Greg Colón Semenza (2010), Mark Thornton Burnett and Adrian Streete (forthcoming, 2011) and Kathryn Prince and Pascale Aebischer (forthcoming, 2011-12) are beginning to explore the changing landscape of Renaissance drama in performance and to reassess performance studies and cultural studies methodologies in the light of this. Our objective is to take stock of these critical developments and explore new directions in performance studies that reach out beyond Shakespeare, giving us a fuller understanding of the impact of present-day performance on the study of Renaissance drama.

Our seminar reaches out to graduate students, junior and senior scholars, inviting them to join us in reflecting on the impact of performance and of thinking in terms of performance on their critical practices, whether in the fields of performance studies and cultural studies or as editors and readers of Renaissance drama. Specifically, we will ask contributors to address the following questions:

  • How does the study of performances of plays by Shakespeare’s contemporaries, precursors and successors impact on our understanding of Renaissance drama and dramaturgies?
  • Conversely, how does the study of plays by Renaissance dramatists other than Shakespeare change our understanding of what performance is and how it works?
  • What methodological and terminological issues arise from a focus on Shakespeare’s contemporaries in performance?
  • How does embedding Shakespeare’s plays in a wider dramatic context (Renaissance and present-day) contribute to our understanding of the role of Renaissance drama in present-day performance?
  • How can awareness of actual or potential performance impact on editorial and reading practices?

Academic biographies of seminar leaders:
Sarah Werner is Undergraduate Program Director at the Folger Shakespeare Library and Associate Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly. She is the editor of New Directions in Renaissance Drama and Performance Studies (2010) and author of Shakespeare and Feminist Performance: Ideology on Stage (2001). She is currently guest editing a special issue of Shakespeare Quarterly on Shakespeare and performance and is textual editor of The Taming of the Shrew for the 3rd edition of the Norton Shakespeare. She has been a member of SAA since 1994, and has been to every conference since then except for the 1996 world conference. She has directed two SAA seminars, “Editing Performance Decisions / Performing Editorial Decisions” (1998) and “The State of Performance Criticism: Where Are We Today and Where Are We Headed” (2001); co-directed one workshop, “Editing for Performance” (2004); and has been an invited respondent for seminars in 2007 and 2009. She was also a presenter at a paper session on performance practices in 1995.

Pascale Aebischer is Senior Lecturer in Renaissance Studies at the University of Exeter, UK. She is co-editor, with Kathryn Prince, of Performing Early Modern Drama Today (CUP, 2011-12) and is guest editing an issue of Shakespeare Bulletin dedicated to films of plays by Marlowe, Jonson, Middleton, Webster and Ford (Winter 2011). She is also writing a book, Beyond Shakespeare: Screening Early Modern Drama, which reflects on the often tense relationship between the Shakespeare industry and independent film adaptations of early modern drama. Pascale Aebischer is the co-editor of Remaking Shakespeare (2003) and author of Shakespeare’s Violated Bodies (2004) and Jacobean Drama (2010). In 2010, she was an invited speaker in Francesca T. Royster’s SAA seminar on ‘Shakespeare’s Female Icons’. With Roberta Barker and Kathryn Prince, she is co-chairing a session on ‘Counter-Shakespeares’ at the World Shakespeare Congress in Prague in 2011.