Experts on Shakespeare and digital humanities

April 23, 2016 is the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.

UVic is a leader in the fields of Shakespearean study, Renaissance literature and digital humanities. Its English language and literatures programs are ranked in the top 200 in the world by the QS Subject Rankings. The following UVic experts are available, in addition to Michael Best of UVic’s Internet Shakespeare Editions (ISE), for comment to media this month.

Erin E. Kelly (Dept. of English) is an expert, among her other research interests, in performance theory and theatre history, as well as on the early printed book and manuscript history. She is also an associate editor for the journal Early Theatre and is currently preparing a new edition of Taming of the Shrew for UVic’s Internet Shakespeare Editions (ISE) ( Kelly previously co-curated a major exhibit of all four 17th-century folios (including the famous First Folio), Shakespeare’s “Big Books” in 2013.

Ray Siemens (Dept. of English) is the Canada Research Chair in Humanities Computing and an expert in digital humanities. His research interests include early Tudor poetry, Renaissance literature and the history of the book. As Canada Research Chair, he examines new computing tools for data-harvesting, textual content analysis, document encoding application and conversion, and communication processes. Siemens has taught courses on Shakespeare and also directs the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL) which includes the Devonshire Manuscript project; the Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) project; and the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DSHI) in June. More on digital humanities

Richard van Oort (Dept. of English) is a Shakespearean expert who is also interested in evolutionary anthropology, in particular, the human need for literature, art and religion. He describes Shakespeare as “the thinking person’s Game of Thrones.” Van Oort's forthcoming book, Shakespeare's Big Men: Tragedy and the Problem of Resentment, examines five of the tragedies — Coriolanus, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello and Macbeth — in the context of the problem of resentment in human society.

Telka Duxbury (Dept. of English) is an MA candidate who will defend her thesis on April 21 as the first graduate student from the department to curate an exhibit in UVic Libraries Special Collections as a master’s project. Duxbury graduated from UVic with a BA in 2012 and joined the MA program one week later; she has also worked as a research assistant for the ISE and a research assistant for her thesis supervisor Janelle Jenstad, also project director of the Google-style, multi-layered Map of Early Modern London ( at UVic.

The curated display in the special collections reading room (in the Mearns Centre – McPherson Library, through May 31) is in celebration of Pacific Opera Victoria’s staging of Benjamin Britten’s operatic adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and is a sampling of performance and textual history from the play with a special focus on its musical moments.


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Media contacts

Tara Sharpe (University Communications + Marketing) at 250-721-6248

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Keywords: shakespeare, digital humanities

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