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Abstract

Professional scholars and students of Early Modern Theatre use the Internet on an almost daily basis, but this essay may be the first time that such sites have been reviewed for a journal in the field. ‘”Go sound the ocean, and cast your nets”: Surfing the Net for Early Modern Theatre,’ while certainly not exhaustive, surveys the ways in which we use (or abuse) Internet resources, in the process discussing: major gateway sites, including introductory sites for students as well as sites for professional scholars; online text sites, databases and e-journals; and the ways in which the Web has and will continue to affect our pedagogy. The essay reviews the ease with which various sites may be used, the effectiveness of the production values, the accuracy and usefulness of the information provided by each site, and the audiences for whom each site seems intended. As helpful as the new technologies have become in the university classroom, they are also seriously affecting our pedagogy; the easy availability of downloadable articles, Internet searches and extensive online databases has led to an epidemic of plagiarism, forcing faculty to view the Internet with critical eyes.

Author Biography

Suzanne Westfall is Professor of English and Theatre at Lafayette College in Easton, PA. Besides directing theatre productions, she teaches courses in acting, dramaturgy, and dramatic literature. Her scholarly and artistic work ranges from early modern theatre to contemporary performance art. Her 1991 publication Patrons and Performance: Early Tudor Household Theatre led to an interest in patronage and pre-Shakespearean theatre, which has resulted in several articles on household theatre in collections such as Blackwell's A Companion to English Renaissance Drama, The Cambridge History of British Theatre, Lancastrian Shakespeare: Region, Religion, Patronage and Performance, and The New History of Early Modern Drama in Honor of David Bevington. This year Cambridge University Press published a collection of essays called Shakespeare and Theatrical Patronage in Early Modern England, which she edited with Paul Whitfield White. At present she is at work on a production of Bertholt Brecht's Mother Courage, a court calendar of Edward VI, and an edition of plays by Obie-winning performance artist Ping Chong.

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