[open-humanities] Open Shakespeare Paper

James Harriman-Smith open-shakespeare at okfn.org
Fri Mar 9 15:34:12 UTC 2012

Hi all,

I've just finished a short draft proposal for an article on Open
Shakespeare. I intend to submit it to an upcoming Shakespeare Yearbook
issue on digital Shakespeares, and it can be no longer than 200 words.
Any feedback would be very welcome. (particularly, @Jonathan - do you
have any tips for getting this kind of article accepted?)

***The Evolution of Shakespeare Texts Online: Readers and Users***

In 1999, Darcy Dinucci announced the “first glimmerings of Web
2.0”.[1] Now, at a time when the internet is more  than ever what Tim
Berners-Lee called the “Read/Write Web”, this paper asks how this
broad shift in conceptions of the online medium has effected the
presentation of Shakespeare’s texts in particular.[2]

An analysis of four websites – Project Gutenberg (1971), the Internet
Shakespeare Editions (ISE, 1999), Open Source Shakespeare (2003),  and
Open Shakespeare (2007)– will form the backbone of my discussion.[3]
To Project Gutenberg’s public domain texts, Open Source Shakespeare
adds a concordance and other means with which the user can manipulate
the work; like Gutenberg, the ISE project provides texts, but goes
further with the addition of reputable, peer-reviewed annotations;
like the ISE, Open Shakespeare also includes annotations, but these
can be contributed by anyone, identifiably or anonymously.

In each case, and with relation to questions of copyright, textual
reliability, service usability, trustworthiness and more, I intend to
show the limits and advantages of these online editions of
Shakespeare. Beyond this, I will ask to what extent visitors to these
websites are best characterised as users or readers; in other words,
to what extent does the activity of reading still structure such
online experience of Shakespeare’s texts?

The original call for contributions here:

Have a good weekend,


James Harriman-Smith
Open Literature Working Group Coordinator
Open Knowledge Foundation
Skype: james.harriman.smith

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