A. Description

SHAKSPER: The Global Electronic Shakespeare Conference


SHAKSPER, now in its thirtieth year of serving the academic community, is an edited and moderated, international, e-mail distribution list for discussion among Shakespearean scholars, researchers, instructors, students, and anyone sharing their academic interests and concerns. In addition to regular mailings to members, anyone can use the Internet to access the archive and other SHAKSPER materials from the SHAKSPER web site <>. SHAKSPER strives to emphasize the scholarly by providing the opportunity for the formal exchange of ideas through queries and responses regarding literary, critical, textual, theoretical, and performative topics and issues. The list’s more than 1,100 members have joined from sixty-seven countries.  These members include prominent Shakespearean textual scholars and bibliographers, editors and critics, as well as university, college, and community-college professors, high-school teachers, undergraduate and graduate students, actors, theatre professionals, authors, poets, playwrights, librarians, computer scientists, lawyers, doctors, retirees, and other interested participants.

Announcements of conferences, of calls for papers, of seminars, of lectures, of symposia, of job openings, of the publication of books, of the availability of online and print articles, of Internet databases and resources, of journal contents, of festivals, and of academic programs of study are a regular features as are reviews of scholarly books, of past and present theatrical productions, and of Shakespeare and Shakespeare-inspired films – in addition to “popular” culture references to Shakespeare or his works. SHAKSPER also provides occasion for spontaneous informal discussion, eavesdropping, peer review, and a sense of belonging to a worldwide scholarly community.

For readers’ convenience, these messages are lightly edited and grouped in separate digests according to topic. Significant questions and comments from actors, directors, or any member of list are welcome. Nevertheless, the Editor only posts contributions that he believes are of interest to the academic Shakespearean community. The source of the post is not the issue; the issue is its relevance to the broad scope of academic interests in Shakespeare studies. For more information about this policy, see < back-with-an-important-change>. Submissions that are clearly irresponsible, offensive, or apart from SHAKSPER’s purpose, including those concerning the so-called “Authorship Question,” are ignored.

The SHAKSPER web site has a number of special features, including Cook’s Tour of Internet Resources for Students and Scholars of the Early Modern Period; periodic Roundtable discussions, concentrating on significant topics derived from issues of current interest in the discipline; and the SHAKSPER Book Reviews (SBReviews), reviews overseen by a Moderator and the SHAKSPER Book Review Panel (SBRPanel) that selects the books for review and the peers to review them, and then vets these reviews prior to their distribution as regular digests, which are then archived on the SHAKSPER web site.  In addition to the archive of past discussions, the SHAKSPER web site includes “A Selected Guide to Shakespeare on the Internet,” an international directory of Shakespearean institutions, organizations, libraries, and journals; a bibliography of poems, novels, plays, and films inspired by Shakespeare and his works, and much more. 

In early 2011, Hardy Cook, the SHAKSPER editor, accepted the invitation of the multi-talented Ron Severdia to design and host the new SHAKSPER web site. Ron is an actor <>, the founder of, the creator of the best Shakespeare iPhone/iPod/iPad app, the co-author of the O'Reilly publication Using Joomla: Building Powerful and Efficient Web Sites, the accomplished, award-winning web designer, and creative director of  Kontent Design.

Although SHAKSPER is an academic e-mail distribution list, there are no academic qualifications for or restrictions on membership to SHAKSPER; anyone interested in English Literature, the Renaissance, or drama is welcome to join. SHAKSPER is not open to automatic subscription. To receive further instructions on how to become a member of SHAKSPER go to How to Subscribe to SHAKSPER at this site or send an e-mail message to the Editor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Cook, Hardy M.  "Behind the Scenes with SHAKSPER: The Global Electronic Shakespeare Conference."  College Literature 36, no. 1 (2009): 105-20. Available at  pdf Behind the Scenes with SHAKSPER .

---.  “Shakespeare on the Internet. ” Shakespeare in the Media: From the Globe Theatre to the World Wide Web. Second Edition.Eds. Stefani Brusberg-Kiermeier and Jörg Helbig. Berlin; Bern; Bruxelles; New York; Oxford; Wien: Peter Lang, 2009. (Second Edition online icon Shakespeare on the Internet (331.27 kB)).

---.  “SHAKSPER: An Academic Discussion List.”Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation. 2.2. Winter/Fall 2006.  <> Available at  pdf SHAKSPER Academic List


B. How to Subscribe to SHAKSPER

Technically, SHAKSPER is a web-based "list" using Joomla. Hardy M. Cook, the list editor, can be reached at <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> .

SHAKSPER is NOT open to automatic subscription.

If you wish to join, please send a brief autobiography (under 500 words) to the editor <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>. Please be sure to include your full name, a biographical sketch, and an outline of your current interests and research topics. The biographical note is NOT part of an adjudication process; instead, it is an expression of your interest and is a part of a database to which only the editor has access.

For your convenience, you may use the form found at the How to Sign Up link.


C. Some Essays about SHAKSPER by the Editor (Click on Essay to read)

      1. College English Essay: pdf Behind the Scenes with SHAKSPER
      2. Borrowers and Lenders Essay: pdf SHAKSPER Academic List

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Make a Gift to SHAKSPER

Consider making a gift to support SHAKSPER.