I am thrilled to announce that the special issue of Shakespeare Quarterly that I guest edited on Shakespeare and Performance is now finally in print! That issue went through an open peer review at MediaCommons, and I will be writing something more about that process and experience.
But for now, I want to share that there’s some really wonderful, smart, and interesting stuff in the issue and I hope you’ll take a look at it; the issue includes pieces by W.B. Worthen, Ramona Wray, Zeno Ackermann, Mark Thornton Burnett, Daniel L. Keegan, and Todd A. Borlik. Abstracts are online at the Folger and the articles and abstracts
will soon (tomorrow!) be are now up at Project Muse for those who have access.
Even more thrillingly, I want to share with you one section to which I have the author’s rights, “Rethinking Academic Reviewing: A Conversation with Michael Dobson, Peter Holland, Katherine Rowe, Christian Billing, and Carolyn Sale.” You can find it linked in this post and in the sidebar on the right.
And, just because I can, here’s my brief introduction to the issue, which I hope will convince you to go check the whole thing out!
Copyright © 2011 Folger Shakespeare Library. This article first appeared in Shakespeare Quarterly, Volume 62, Issue 3, September 2011, pages 307-8.
This special issue of Shakespeare Quarterly presents a wide range of writing on Shakespeare and performance. They look back to early modern understandings of Henry VIII and forward to the growing genre of performances of Shakespeare in prison. They range geographically in interest from South America to Northern Ireland and from Germany to Japan, and they examine performances mediated by print, stage practice, filmic techniques, and modern closed-circuit video surveillance. They consider the ongoing debate about the relationship between literariness and performativity, propose a shift away from hauntings to prophecies, and argue that the act of performance and the recording of performance in our written work shape both our understanding of early modern drama and the relationships we forge with other scholars and communities.
In calling for papers for this special issue we hoped to gauge the present state of the field and announce our intent to make SQ a home for a wider range of writings on Shakespeare and performance. The breadth of responses to that call confirms the continued growth and transformation of the study of performance and its centrality to the larger world of Shakespeare scholarship. This vitality is further reflected in the depth and intensity of conversation in the comments on our open peer review of submissions.
We are eager to expand beyond the boundaries of what we formerly referred to as “Shakespeare Performed.” This issue’s “Rethinking Academic Reviewing” signals our desire to rethink the subject and practice of reviewing, while the issue as a whole represents other forms of engagement with the issue of Shakespeare and performance that might suggest patterns for future contributions.
A note about the process of putting this issue together: as is now SQ practice, we issued an open call for papers for this special issue. In response to the CFP, we received about twenty-five submissions. Of those we selected the strongest six pieces to put up for an open peer review, held online at MediaCommons. There each piece was commented on by a group of self-selected peer reviewers over a period of six weeks. At the end of the review period, authors revised their essays and resubmitted them to SQ. We are publishing four of those pieces here, along with two other essays that came in to SQ outside of the call for papers and that went through SQ’s usual double-blind review process. We are extremely grateful to Kathleen Fitzpatrick and MediaCommons for being our partners in this. We also want to thank the authors who participated in this open review, which might have felt at times like an overly exposed one. Finally, we wish to acknowledge publicly the readers who took the time to participate and comment in this evaluation. The work of reviewers is often invisible, but in this case, the open nature of the review means that we can thank them by name: Andrew Bonnell, Alex Huang, Anita Hagerman, Carolyn Sale, Thomas Cartelli, Chris Fahrenthold, Christian Billing, Daniel Keegan, Jami Rogers, J.B. Cook, James C. Bulman, Jeremy Lopez, John Gillies, Karl Steel, Katherine Rowe, Linda Charnes, Matt Kozusko, Michael Dobson, Pascale Aebischer, Paul Menzer, Peter Kirwan, Peter Holland, Lois Potter, Romana Wray, Robert Tierney, Todd Borlik, Tom Magill, W. B. Worthen, and Zeno Ackermann.[i]
[i] The essays and comments from the open review are archived at MediaCommons and are able to be viewed at http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/mcpress/shakespearequarterlyperformance/. One essay has been taken down since the open review at the author’s behest.