Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Textual Debates and Editorial Practice

A Folger Spring Semester Seminar directed by Margaret Jane Kidnie

Editorial studies achieved an unexpected celebrity in the late 1980s and 1990s, while occasioning sometimes heated polemical debate. While the scholarly quarrels have recently become more nuanced, there remains uncertainty about the principles of editorial practice. How are editors adapting their methodologies in face of the so-called theory wars, and how might they continue to evolve? How, if at all, are editions designed for use in the classroom, study, and theatre changing? This seminar is designed to engage practitioners new to the field as well as experienced editors who would like to explore current issues at more length. Participants will draw on their own works-in-progress among other examples to investigate the process of preparing an edition for publication, from interpreting manuscripts to establishing substantive editions to making decisions about emendation, lineation, and commentary. Using this practical aspect as a foundation for discussion, participants will explore new possibilities for editorial practice and the larger conceptual issues they raise. Topics will include authors and authority; print evidence of lost manuscript sources; changing canonical boundaries; editing conventions and modern publishing constraints; and editing and theatre as related forms of modern (and always adaptive?) production.

Director: Margaret Jane Kidnie, Professor of English at the University of Western Ontario, is the author of Shakespeare and the Problem of Adaptation (2009). She has edited Philip Stubbes: The Anatomie of Abuses (2002) and Ben Jonson: The Devil is an Ass and Other Plays (2000); her edition of The Humorous Magistrate, an early seventeenth-century manuscript drama, is forthcoming with the Malone Society. She is the co-editor of Textual Performances: The Modern Reproduction of Shakespeare's Drama (2004), and has written widely on editorial practice, particularly in relation to issues of performance. She is currently working on an edition of A Woman Killed with Kindness.

Schedule: Thursdays, 1 -- 4:30 p.m., 28 January through 15 April 2010, except 25 February and 1 April.

Apply: 4 September 2009 for admission (and grants-in-aid for Folger Institute affiliates); 4 January 2010 for admission only.

Application information may be found on the Folger Institute's website: Please forward any questions to


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