not without mustard :: current projects

Current Projects

Digital Renaissance Editions

Inspired by the Internet Shakespeare Editions, the Digital Renaissance Editions publishes electronic scholarly editions of early English drama, from early Tudor interludes and moralities through to the drama of the commercial London theatres, Civil War, Interregnum, and Restoration periods.

Digital Renaissance EditionsEach edition includes an annotated modern-spelling text, collations of textual variants, critical and textual introductions, as well as photo-facsimiles and transcriptions of early print and manuscript editions and supplementary materials in a range of media. Editions are complemented by a database of digitized performance materials and a collection of freshly commissioned essays on relevant topics. All content is peer-reviewed and entirely open access. I serve as Coordinating Editor of the project.

Beyond Authorship: Computational Studies of Early Modern Drama

With Hugh Craig (University of Newcastle), I am working on a series of corpus-based computational stylistics studies of early modern drama. These studies will be wide-ranging, detailed, and comprehensive, focusing on the patterns and trends that emerge in genre, repertory, and authorial style.

Corpus The project will result in a co-authored book-length study on these topics (proposed to Cambridge University Press), as well as a corpus of richly tagged electronic texts of the plays, made freely available for statistical analysis as part of the Centre for Literary and Linguistic Computing’s Intelligent Archive, and as the basis of electronic scholarly editions prepared for the Digital Renaissance Editions.

Reproducing Renaissance Drama, 1744–2014

Reproducing Renaissance DramaThe ways in which English Renaissance plays are edited and published offers valuable insights into their changing critical reception. This project offers the first detailed study of the editing and publishing of English Renaissance plays since the eighteenth century and its relationship to the formation of the canon, extending existing scholarship that focuses on Shakespeare exclusively. With an innovative combination of quantitative and qualitative methods supplementing fresh insights from archival research, expected outcomes of this project include a monograph, articles, and the development of a comprehensive open-access bibliographical database of editions to enable and encourage further research.

Bibliography of Editions of Early English Drama

The Bibliography of Editions of Early English Drama (or BEEED for short) is an open-access bibliographical database of editions of late medieval, Renaissance, and Restoration drama written, performed, or printed in England. Although it is a descriptive bibliography, the database is designed primarily as a tool enabling quantitative analysis for editorial and publishing history.

Editions DatabaseRecords include more than the standard library catalogue data, such as entries for bibliographical format, type-page width and height, editorial method, and critical apparatus, as well as links to items available online, whether born-digital or digitized surrogates. The database will be free to access and use, and subject to peer review for accuracy. With BEEED, editors may easily compile a list of editions for historical collation, and scholars may map trends in the production of editions over time.

Critical Editions

(1) With Kevin Quarmby (Emory University), I am working on an electronic critical edition of Fair Em, an anonymous Elizabethan romance, for Digital Renaissance Editions. (2) I’m editing contextual materials to supplement Joost Daalder’s editions of The Honest Whore, Part One and Two for Digital Renaissance Editions. These include annotated modern-spelling selections from contemporary ballads, chronicle histories, cony-catching literature, plays, and prose romances, as well as theological treatises, domestic manuals, and topographical descriptions of London and its suburbs. (3) I’m editing selections from Thomas Dekker’s plague pamphlet, The Wonderful Year (1603) for an innovative anthology titled, Stages of Transition: Plays and Texts from the 1603-1604 London Theater Season, under the general editorship of Matteo Pangallo.

The Drama of Domestication

Guinea PigMy future monograph project, tentatively titled The Drama of Domestication, in which I explore how discourses of domestication and animal husbandry intersect with early modern notions of gender, race, religion, and nationhood in the drama of the period. It will incorporate revised versions of previous articles on Jews and dog training in The Merchant of Venice and Catholic/wolfish incivility in The Duchess of Malfi.

© 2011– Brett D. Hirsch