Public Shakespeares and New Media: Critical Approaches

deadline for submissions: 
November 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Devori Kimbro, Michael Noschka, Geoff Way
contact email: 

Public Shakespeares and New Media: Critical Approaches (Working Title)

Over the first two decades of the twenty-first century, new technologies have been part of an explosion concomitant with interest in and creation of public humanities. As in many other fields, Shakespeare studies has seen an accompanying increase in public-facing research, scholarship, and projects. A preponderance of social media outlets, video production and sharing applications, and increased access to these tools have yielded a wealth of information and insight previously only available to experts in the field or those studying within it. This has facilitated an explosion of interest in and creation of “public humanities” - including more public-facing research and projects in Shakespeare studies. Yet even with the proliferation of various public Shakespeares, Shakespeare studies has yet to fully turn a critical lens on such projects and consider their impact. How is Shakespeare being used in these various projects, and what Shakespeares do users encounter with and through them? What audiences are envisioned for these public Shakespeares, and how do they overlap or depart from Shakespearean audiences of the past? What politics around access, equity, and inclusion are shaping such projects? For many institutions, Shakespeare is an integral and lasting part of the curriculum, so how does the turn toward and acceptance of public-facing humanities work conducted through “new media” alter the playing field in the academy when it comes to issues of research, productivity, and public engagement as a measure of effectiveness? Or, is this proliferation simply an example of a sort of democratization of access and education within Shakespeare studies?

We are currently seeking chapters (max. 5,000 words) for an edited volume that uses theoretical and critical approaches to address the connection between public “Shakespeares” and new media. The collection asks how new media (websites, blogs, podcast, social media, video games, VR, etc.) facilitates/complicates/augments how the public connects to Shakespeare in myriad incarnations, and how in turn Shakespeareans connect to those publics. Chapters may theorize new approaches for blending new media with Shakespeare for public consumption, may critically examine extant public-facing Shakespeare-related humanities new media, or a combination of both. The goal of the collection is to provide a cache of work that examines the connection between forms of new media, Shakespeare, and the public consuming that media. Ideally, this collection will provide a useful resource for public-facing humanities scholars, both within and outside of the academy, to consider the praxis of public-facing humanities work increasingly defined by how new media is and/or can be used to engage public audiences on matters of Shakespeare and his works.

How to submit your proposal:

Please submit a 300-word abstract, a 100-word biography, and a CV to Dr. Devori Kimbro ( by November 30th, 2020