Digital Hermeneutics and Cross Platform Research: Walking to the Theatre in Shakespeare’s London


Access: all are welcome
Admission: free
Booking: registration is not required but is advisable to ensure your place

By exploring the cross-platform interoperability of new or relatively new digital projects in development, this talk will present a street view of theatre routes that London playgoers walked before and during the Shakespearean period. It will examine the physical environs experienced while ambling to the theatres inside and outside the city and also probe into another crucial walk, the stroll through the St Paul’s precinct.

The nave of St Paul’s, then called Paul’s Walk, and the bookshops of Paul’s Cross churchyard instantiated, by a type of cultural accident, a general centre for hearing the news and, for readers, the gateway to remaining au courant. Walking and browsing in this area was something of a prerequisite for playgoers and, for playwrights, a locale where one could hear what was on the buzz and also a reservoir from which to cull material for successful plays.

There have been a number of recent and fines studies connecting London city life with the early modern theatre. This talk will examine how digital initiatives may advance this field by offering more insights into theatre going and into how plays were fashioned for then current audiences by Shakespeare and other playwrights.


Thomas Dabbs is a professor of English at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, where he has taught Shakespeare and the English Bible since 2003. Prior to this Dabbs taught at Hiroshima University. He is the author of Reforming Marlowe: the Nineteenth-Century Canonization of a Renaissance Dramatist and Genesis in Japan: The Bible beyond Christianity. His recent research and publication focuses on the St Paul’s cathedral precinct in early modern London and the impact of this area on Shakespearean drama. He is a native of the state of South Carolina in the USA.


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