Monday, 28 November 2011

Blogoshpere 21 November – 27 November

Last week the Early Modern set turned out to be the most productive. This set includes a large number of Shakespeare-posts featuring sources, sonnets, forging Shakespeare and an anti-Stratfordian polemic writing. Besides Shakespeare I also liked three other pieces of news: two databases and a CFP. Though less in number, I’ve found three interesting posts in Digital Humanities too: two posts about sharing (academic blogging and code), while the third one calls attention to a free online course at Stanford University.

Early Modern Studies:

1. Liz Dollimore in her Shakespeare’s Sources series, now “Henry V” wrote about a scene, the battle of wit between Henry and three traitors. She argues that besides Holinshed, it is a contemporary letter by “Dr. William Parry who was executed on the morning of 2nd March 1584 for attempting to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I” that lies in the background of the scene.

2. Sylvia Morris last week wrote about Shakespeare’s The Passionate Pilgrim. What is really fascinating in this post, “The mysterious Passionate Pilgrim and Shakespeare” is that she presents two variants of sonnet 138, one from The Passionate Pilgrim and another from the 1609 Q edition, and claims that the differences between the two reveal something about the poet at work.

3. Stuart Ian Burns reviews Shakespeare's Poems (Arden Shakespeare: Third Revised Edition). Edited by Katherine Duncan-Jones. His conclusion is telling enough to function as an appetiser for the review and the book as well: “Based more closely than usual on the 1609 Quarto (the exclamation mark is back in Sonnet 123, “No! Time though shalt not boast that I do change…”), each is presented with extensive notes on the facing page with a short explanatory note at the top. These compasses prove invaluable for navigating Shakespeare’s fragmentary maps of the human heart, another helping hand for those of us who’ve become lost along the way.”

4. Adam G. Hooks’s post, “Faking Shakespeare (Part 3): Authentic Shakespeare, Authentic Ireland,” presents great examples of 18th-century forgeries of Shakespeare with pictures of the documents.

5. For the sake of commentary and interest I mention a document of the counter-counter attack in the authorship debate. This is a similar work in its intentions to Stanley Wells’ and Paul Edmondson’s Shakespeare Bites Back: Not So Anonymous but as far as quality and force of arguments are concerned it is of lower quality. The document, entitled: Exposing an Industry in Denial: Authorship doubters respond to “60 Minutes with Shakespeare,” despite the similarity responds—as the title makes this clear—to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s “60 Minutes”- project.

6. This is very interesting and useful database: The Diplomatic Correspondence of Thomas Bodley, 1585-1597. It is worth browsing, playing with it. There is a variety of ways defined in advance to search the database.

7. Thanks to Sharon Howard at Early Modern Resources for The Universal Short Title Catalogue (USTC), which is a collective database of all books published in Europe between the invention of printing and the end of the sixteenth century. #emdatabase

8. Last but not least, this is a CFP for a conference and an interesting initiative: “The  3rd International Conference of the European Society for Early Modern Philosophy will be devoted to the following theme: Debates, Polemics and Controversies in Early Modern Philosophy (January 30th to February 2nd, 2013, Université de Grenoble, France). The general objective of the conference is to take an overview of the present historiographical situation regarding the study of controversies and to contribute to a reappraisal of the study of controversies in the history of early modern philosophy.”

Digital Humanities:

1. Ernesto Priego, in his “’I Smell Smoke’: Blogging as an Endangered Species” at HASTAC argues that academic blogging may disappear in the long run, as it is too laborious not to be recognised at all by institutions as a form of academic output.

2. Jeremy Boggs’s blog post “Participating in the Bazaar: Sharing Code in the Digital Humanities” should convince everybody that sharing the source code is the future for Digital Humanities. He makes his case with arguments from his own experience along with more theoretical ones, and thus ends the post claiming: “We should share our code so others can learn from us, and so we can learn from others. More than anything, though, we should share code because it’s academic work, and I think academic work should be shared openly, critiqued, and improved.”

3. This is a pioneering enterprise at Stanford University, i.e. a free online course about “Natural Language Processing.” The course is managed and taught by Chris Manning and Dan Jurafsky, and the class starts January 23rd 2012.

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