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Belmont Receives Grant to Develop Online Performance Archive of Local Shakespeare Productions

Drs. Marcia McDonald, Jayme Yeo and Joel Overall, all from the English Department, were awarded a grant from the Folger Shakespeare Library and the National Endowment for the Humanities for “Improving the Undergraduate Teaching of Shakespeare.” This grant will fund the development of an online performance archive of local Shakespeare productions, beginning with this fall’s Nashville Shakespeare Festival production of The Comedy of Errors.

Students in McDonald’s Shakespeare class will conceptualize and gather the raw materials for this archive, students in Overall’s digital literacies class will build and design the digital archive. The Bunch Library will house the archive, representing an initial project for the library to host knowledge bases created by Belmont students and faculty.

Though global Shakespeare productions have long been archived digitally, this project represents one of the early contributions to the study of “local” Shakespeare—the investigation of the way Shakespeare is interpreted by and interprets local cultures and topical issues. This is also a project in “digital humanities,” a rapidly expanding field focusing on the intersection of the traditional humanities with digital media.

Drs. McDonald and Yeo participated in a two-day workshop for grant recipients at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D. C., in June, on Teaching Shakespeare to Undergraduates. Belmont  was chosen as one of 21 grant recipients.

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Dr. Marcia McDonald

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Dr. Joel Overall

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Dr. Jayme Yeo