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2022 | Book

Digital Shakespeares from the Global South


About this book

Digital Shakespeares from the Global South re-directs current conversations on digital appropriations of Shakespeare away from its Anglo-American bias. The individual essays examine digital Shakespeares from South Africa, India, and Latin America, addressing questions of accessibility and the digital divide. This book will be of interest to students and academics working on Shakespeare, adaptation studies, digital humanities, and media studies.

Included in this volume, the chapter on “Finding and Accessing Shakespeare Scholarship in the Global South: Digital Research and Bibliography” by Heidi Craig and Laura Estill is available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License via

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction: Experiencing Digital Shakespeares in the Global South
This introductory chapter interrogates what the Global South signifies as a geo-political and economic space, and how that effects the way we understand Shakespeare adaptations in the digital age. Teaching, learning, and adaptations of Shakespeare have a long history in the Global South, usually mediated through colonial experiences. In recent years with the expansion of the digital marketplace in the Global South, Shakespeare has also made the digital leap. At the same time, not everyone has equal access to digital tools, disparities that have become even more urgent during the Covid-19 pandemic. To speak of digital Shakespeares in the Global South is to address questions of digital divide. Insufficient bandwidth and access to digital equipment, all factor into how digital Shakespeares are experienced in classrooms and homes.
Amrita Sen

Open Access

Chapter 2. Finding and Accessing Shakespeare Scholarship in the Global South: Digital Research and Bibliography
There was a time when articles about Shakespeare were published around the globe, but few knew where to find them all. Shakespeare studies thrived in non-Anglophone countries in the Global South: articles appeared in regional journals, institutional bulletins, and society newsletters, each of which might have a publication run of only a few dozen copies. This chapter traces the move from regionalized Shakespeare publication to truly global publication. It considers how online publishing (including open journal systems and open-access publishing), institutional repositories, and digital bibliography make research from around the Globe findable. This chapter examines how the World Shakespeare Bibliography participates in global Shakespeare studies by making multilingual criticism, editions, and performances searchable.
Heidi Craig, Laura Estill
Chapter 3. From ‘English Never Loved Us’ to JAM at the Windybrow: Covid-Era Digital Shakespeares in/from South Africa
This essay considers the ways in which various digital initiatives and campaigns employed Shakespeare in South Africa as Covid-19 took its toll on the country. In some cases, Shakespearean invocations, allusions and appropriations were opportunistic and incidental: from the Pendoring advertising awards’ ‘English Never Loved Us’ campaign to a curious citation from Julius Caesar in defence of corrupt politicians in the African National Congress. In other cases, performer-oriented initiatives like #lockdownshakespeare or the Market Theatre’s ‘Chilling with the Bard’ series promoted a more popular and accessible form of Shakespeare. The overall result was a circulation of bitesize Shakespeare—a fragmentation that may have lacked coherence but provided a valuable counterpoint to the ‘worthy’, weighty Shakespeare that most South Africans associate primarily with educational curricula.
Chris Thurman
Chapter 4. Practicing Digital Shakespeare in Latin America: Case Studies from Argentina and Brazil
This chapter looks at two distinct but connected websites—Fundación Shakespeare Argentina and the “Shakespeare in Brazil” section of the MIT Global Shakespeares—that are aimed at making globally accessible the performances and textual translations from Latin America. This chapter argues that these websites open up new possibilities of community building through their curatorial strategies and social outreach. They not only act as repositories of actual performances, but also function as archives of communal memories. Through bi-lingual records of social media exchanges and transcriptions of performances, they open up new possibilities of accessing and reading Latin American Shakespeares. This chapter interrogates the global relevance of these websites by taking into consideration the often overlooked history of Shakespeare transmission in Latin America.
Amrita Sen
Chapter 5. Teaching Shakespeare in the Indian (Google) Classroom: The Digital Promise and the Digital Divide
Mukherjee’s chapter attempts to view the nascent online Shakespeare teaching in India within the context of the centuries-old traditions of Shakespeare pedagogy in the country. In doing so, he traces a connect with the colonial pedagogy and its post-independence forms with the current online avatar, especially from post-Covid times. While addressing the more commonly advertised narrative of technological promise, this chapter also points out how, as in the early days of the East India Company, Shakespeare still belongs to an elite, only one that is larger in number—even with greater connectivity and global reach, access remains limited and is a matter of privilege as is especially evident from the digital divide in India in post-Covid times.
Souvik Mukherjee
Chapter 6. Shakespeare as a Digital Nomad: An Afterword
The rise of global Shakespeare as an industry and cultural practice—the incorporation of Shakespearean performance in cultural diplomacy and in the cultural marketplace—is aided by digital tools of dissemination and digital forms of artistic expression. Shakespeare has evolved from a cultural nomad in the past centuries—a body of works with no permanent artistic home base—to a digital nomad in the twenty-first century—an artist whose livelihood depends on commissions online and who works from any number of physical locations. The digital sphere is now the most important habitation for global Shakespeare, especially in the era of the pandemic of Covid-19. A nomad may not have a place to call home, but they can also lay claim to any cultural location.
Alexa Alice Joubin
Digital Shakespeares from the Global South
Amrita Sen
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