This chapter from my dissertation represents my earliest fascination with the Elizabeth clown Richard Tarlton and his impact upon English performance, society, and politics during his meteoric shot to fame in the 1580s and long after his death. It provides the footprint for my book project.
This is an essay meant for publication in a volume celebrating the Records of Early English Drama; the volume has not to-date been published, and so I am making this version of the essay available here. My intention is to include an expanded and updated version of the essay in my book project on Richard Tarlton.
Brian Croxall and I are thrilled to announce a call for abstracts for a forthcoming edited volume, Debates in Digital Humanities Pedagogy. The book will appear in the Debates in the Digital Humanities series from the University of Minnesota Press, edited by Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein.
Over the last decade, Digital Humanities (DH) has reinvigorated discussions of pedagogy in the academy. Unconferences on DH pedagogy and blogs about teaching with digital methods in the humanities classroom have led to extensive discussions about approaches to teaching at annual disciplinary conferences. At the same time, conversations and debates about teaching digital humanities—whether to undergraduates, graduate students, or to the faculty themselves—have led to more and more people becoming involved in the field, each of them coming from different subjects bringing their own perspectives and praxes with them to the teaching of DH. We have arrived at a moment when institutions are formally integrating DH into the curriculum and granting degrees; we are creating minors, majors, and even graduate certificates in DH; all of this while many of us are still new to the experience of (teaching) DH. This calls for another round of discussion of DH pedagogy or a discussion of pedagogy in a new key.
These students—and the ways in which we teach them—are a very real expression of what each of us as instructors believes digital humanities to be. As our students and our colleagues continue to ask us “What is digital humanities?” we have the opportunity to answer their questions in terms of how we teach digital humanities.
Read more at the full CFP here, including the deadline to submit abstracts.
Jakacki, Diane Katherine, and University of Waterloo. Department of English Language and Literature. “‘Covetous to Parley with so Sweet a Frontis-Peece’ : Illustration in Early Modern English Play-Texts.” University of Waterloo, University of Waterloo, 2010.
Abstract: This dissertation studies visual artifacts associated with early modern theatre and book culture, and through them examines acts of communication in the marketplace. These artifacts, illustrated play-text title pages from the period 1600 to 1660, provide scholars with an opportunity to better understand the discursive power of theatre and subjects associated with drama in seventeenth-century London. This work offers a set of case studies that demonstrate how title page imagery and its circulation can contribute to our understanding of contemporary theatre culture, and addresses questions of intention, production and distribution. As well, it offers insights into early modern modes of constructing visualization. These artifacts served not only as visual reminders or interpretations of the dramatic works they represented, but were also used as powerful marketing tools that enhanced the cultural capital of the plays throughout London. The title pages were used as posters, tacked to the walls of the booksellers’ shops; the woodcuts were also repurposed, and incorporated into other popular publications such as broadside ballads, which retold the plots of the plays in musical form and were sold on city street corners. These connections raise questions about early modern forms of marketing used by publishers, and challenge the widely accepted belief that images held little value in the society and in the culture of print of the period. In addition, the distribution of these illustrations challenges the widespread conviction that early modern English culture was iconophobic, and suggests that seventeenth-century English society embraced rather than spurned visual media. Methodologically, this study is built on the foundations laid by scholars of English theatre and print culture. Within those fields, however, it has been customary to view these title page illustrations as inferior forms of representation, especially in comparison to their continental counterparts. By using tools from visual rhetoric to expand on how and what these images communicate, I am able to show the important functions they performed, and the distinct and playful way they represent complex relationships between stage and page, audience and performance, reading and spectating. These readings, in turn, enrich our historical understanding of the cultures of print and theatre, and build upon our knowledge of the interactions between these rich and important fields. Each chapter explores theoretical and contextual questions that pertain to some aspect of each illustration, as well as examining whether individual illustrations can inform us further about early modern theatrical performance practices. The introduction surveys the relevant field and introduces the theoretical resources that will be used in the subsequent chapters. Chapter Two examines the 1633 edition of Arden of Faversham and the question of whether the action in the illustration pertains to the play or to a broadside ballad that appeared in the same year. The third chapter provides a theoretical analysis of the performance of violence in the woodcut for The Spanish Tragedy, and how emphatic elements in the image may demonstrate the influence of theatrical performance upon the artist. Chapter Four explores the relationship between the title page of Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay and the concept of celebrity in relation to the Tarltonesque clown character who dominates the action of the image. Chapter Five considers the problematic relationship between theatre, politics and satire in the competing engraved title pages for A Game at Chess. The conclusion draws together the findings, and points to other aspects of early modern print and theatre cultures to which they pertain.