Experiencing Shakespeare in Digital Environments


This special issue on Experiencing Shakespeare in Digital Environments explores the new frontiers of textual and performative spaces opened up by digital media in Shakespeare Studies. Against the background of the ongoing scholarly debate, where the outcomes of digital culture and their far-reaching implications have been examined from a variety of perspectives, the volume identifies three main areas of investigation. The articles of the first section illustrate how increasingly interactive and cross-networked digital environments affect our ways of approaching Shakespeare’s textuality. They touch on a variety of topics that are gaining prominence in the debate, ranging from the digital turn in textual transmission and editorial mediation to the newly available tools and methodologies in source studies and Shakespeare pedagogy, with an eye to the specific cognitive, reading and learning abilities of digital natives. The second section investigates the changing notions of performance against the innovative modes of cross-mediality, trans-mediality, and inter-mediality. It dwells on how the remediation of theatre into the digital media circuit has not only problematized the concept of ‘liveness’ as an essential component of the medium itself but has implied the creation of hybrid products and all sorts of paratexts that need to be understood within new models of global and local communication. As the articles included in this section show, Shakespearean performances – whether they are produced and put on in traditional ‘centres’, like the Globe in London, or in the elsewheres of the world – are growingly broadcast through digital channels: they therefore constantly dialogue with each other thus assuming intercultural meanings that challenge established ways of interpreting and criticizing Shakespeare. The third section is concerned with a broad spectrum of ways in which digital technologies impact the performance, adaptation and transmission of Shakespeare’s works. Including discussions of Shakespeare DVDs, internet memes, televisual hacks, Virtual Reality (VR) installations and a live streaming broadcast from a prison, the contributions contemplate how the digital, in its myriad guises, permeates and updates both the production and reception of Shakespearean codes.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v45

Keywords: Shakespeare; digital textual studies; scholarly editing; multimedia archives; intermedial performance; adaptation

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