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. I serve as Coordinating Editor of the project.
The project is dedicated to expanding the range of early English drama available for study, teaching, and performance, by making peer-reviewed scholarly editions of plays by Shakespeare's predecessors, contemporaries, and successors, freely available online.
Corpus Approaches to 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.
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
The 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 (funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award) include a monograph, articles, an international symposium with published proceedings, and the development of a comprehensive open-access bibliographical database of editions to enable and encourage further research (see BEEED below).
Bibliography of Editions of Early English Drama
Born of my frustration with existing bibliographies to chart the production of critical editions of early English drama, the Bibliography of Editions of Early English Drama (or BEEED for short) is a searchable database of editions of late medieval, Renaissance, and Restoration drama written, performed, or printed in England.
Entries are searchable and browseable by play title, playwright(s), editor(s), editorial series, type of edition (whether critical old- or modern-spelling, facsimile, or performance script), publisher (or institution in the case of dissertations), and publication date.
Entries will also include links where items are available online, whether born-digital or facsimile. The database will be free to access and use, and subject to peer review for accuracy. Scholars will be able to register for administrative privileges, allowing for the creation of new entries. With BEEED, editors may easily compile a bibliography of historical editions for collation, while scholars may map trends in the production of critical editions over time.
With Kevin Quarmby (Emory University), I am working on an electronic critical edition of this Elizabethan dramatic romance-comedy for Digital Renaissance Editions. The edition will offer facsimile images and diplomatic transcriptions of early textual witnesses, a modern-spelling text with annotations, collations of textual variants and historical editions, and critical and textual introductions. It will incorporate rich multimedia content, including video footage of the entire play in performance. The edition will also incorporate research undertaken with Hugh Craig (University of Newcastle) on the contested authorship of the play.
Dekker and Jonson
With David McInnis (University of Melbourne), I'm editing selections from Thomas Dekker's pamphlet, The Wonderful Year (1603), as well as Entertainments for James I authored by Ben Jonson and Thomas Dekker (1604), 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 collection proposes a new paradigm for collecting plays, taking a single season and selecting nine representative plays out of that one year, all from a range of different playhouses and companies and in several different genres, with selections from non-dramatic texts to provide additional historical and cultural context.
Dr Brett D. Hirsch
Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (M208) / University of Western Australia / 35 Stirling Hwy / Crawley WA 6009 / Australia