Earlier this year, Shakespeare Quarterly took an important step and launched a brand-new website to showcase content from the journal as well as innovative Shakesperean scholarship outside the traditional print product.
Journal editor Gail Kern Paster, also Director Emerita of the Folger Shakespeare Library, answered a few questions about the launch of the site, which coincided with a special issue focused on new media and Shakespeare.
Douglas Lanier, professor of English at the University of New Hampshire, served a guest editor for the issue, titled #Bard. He joined us for a podcast about the issue and the direction of Shakesperean scholarship and new media.
How exciting is the launch of the new digital space?
GKP: All of us at SQ are really excited to be launching this new digital space. We recognize that there are many ways to reach out to our audience and to grow it. We want our readers to have a bird’s eye view of our current and upcoming content and access to one full-text essay from the current issue. And we also want our readers to have access another form of writing about Shakespeare in the form of informal, web-only essays from prominent Shakespeareans on invited topics.
What kinds of difficult decisions have to take place to marry a traditional peer-reviewed journal and a nimble digital space?
GKP: What we found difficult in planning the space was finding the right look and functionality for it, but we persevered through several iterations and are very pleased with the look and feel of the result. We hope our readers are equally pleased.
How important was it to have an issue taking on the issue of digital media come out the same time the site launched?
GKP: We thought it was important to link the publication of the Winter 2016 issue # Bard, guest-edited by Douglas Lanier, and the launch of the new space, with its opportunities for video and other kinds of new media to be posted along with the new site.