Tag Archives: Ren Draya

Oxfordian edition of Othello available from Llumina

Author Richard F. Whalen sends word that the Oxfordian edition of Shakespeare’s Othello edited by Whalen and Ren Draya, PhD is now available from Llumina Press. About his work on this Othello, Whalen said:

The cumulative effect of the clear correspondences between Othello and Oxford’s documented life experience is really extraordinary. There’s no better way to get a deep understanding of a Shakespeare play than to have to read everything written about it and then organize commentary on it. It was a great adventure working with Ren on this edition.

Ren Draya said, “We look forward to hearing responses from readers and hope that our Oxfordian Othello opens new avenues of investigation.” Draya has allowed SOS News Online to publish her remarks on editing Othello that she originally delivered as part of her presentation,“The Dramatist’s Knowledge of Music as Shown in Othello” at the Shakespeare Fellowship and Shakespeare Oxford Society 2009 joint annual conference in Houston, Texas: please see “Editing Othello” by Ren Draya.

Announcing Publication of the First Oxfordian Edition of Othello

The first Oxfordian edition of Othello, edited by Ren Draya, professor of British and American literature at Blackburn College, and Richard F. Whalen, co-general editor of the Oxfordian Shakespeare Series, has been released by the publisher, Horatio Editions – Llumina Press.

Informed by the view that the seventeenth Earl of Oxford wrote the Shakespeare plays, this edition of Othello has drawn on the extensive research and writings of Oxfordians and Stratfordians to describe the many correspondences between the play and the life of Oxford. Several of the most significant correspondences will be new to many Oxfordians.

In the introduction to the play and generous line notes, the editors examine how the play reflects the dramatist’s knowledge of the aristocracy, court life, the military, music, the Italian language, and the government and topography of Venice and Cyprus. A major influence on the play was commedia dell’arte, at its height in Venice when Oxford was there but unknown in England; another strong influence was Oxford’s concern for his reputation and abhorrence of the specter of cuckoldry.

In the appendix are articles on the significance of the music in Othello by Draya, on the dramatist’s unusual knowledge of the port of Famagusta on Cyprus by Whalen, and on Stratfordian scholars’ recognition of the dramatist’s in-depth knowledge of military command.

The general editors of the Oxfordian Shakespeare Series, published by Horatio Editions—Llumina Press, are Whalen and Daniel L. Wright of Concordia University in Portland, Oregon. The first in the series was Macbeth, edited by Whalen.

Forthcoming in the series, and their editors, are Antony and Cleopatra, Michael Delahoyde of Washington State University; Hamlet, Jack Shuttleworth, English department chair (ret.), U.S. Air Force Academy; The Tempest, Roger Stritmatter of Coppin State University, with Lynne Kositsky; Henry the Fifth, Kathy R. Binns-Dray, Lee University; King John, Daniel L. Wright, Concordia University, Portland, Oregon; Love’s Labor’s Lost, Felicia Londre, University of Missouri-Kansas City; and Much Ado About Nothing, Anne Pluto, Leslie University.

The Oxfordian Othello is $18.95 from Llumina Press at 866-229-9244 or order online from Llumina:
Oxfordian Shakespeare Series: Macbeth by Richard F. Whalen
Oxfordian Shakespeare Series: Othello by Richard F. Whalen and Ren Dreya

Editing Othello by Ren Draya

This essay on preparing an Oxfordian edition of Othello was first presented by Ren Draya, PhD, as part of a talk entitled “The Dramatist’s Knowledge of Music as Shown in Othello” at the Shakespeare Fellowship and Shakespeare Oxford Society 2009 joint annual conference in Houston, Texas.

Editing Othello
by Ren Draya, PhD

So, this business of editing Othello — well, I survived!  And the book is available from Llumina Press. How did it all start? Richard Whalen, a most persuasive and tenacious Oxfordian, asked me in the cafeteria of Concordia University in April 2005 if I’d be willing to tackle the project. Bedazzled by his Irish charm, I agreed. I had no idea it would stretch into a more than four-year-long endeavor.

Initially, I re-read the play, looked through all my files, and started collecting various editions of Othello. Editing an entire play involves three components:  working on the play text, writing an introductory essay, and preparing line notes.

Getting a copy of the play text on my computer simply meant a download from MOBY on June 9, 2005, which was done by the computer whiz at Blackburn College. Most of the work for this project was done in my very pleasant office at Blackburn College. As you might guess, teaching full-time or being committed to any full-time job, does not fit in well to a mammoth task such as editing a Shakespeare play. About 90-percent of my work was done during holiday times, occasional weekends, and the long summer breaks.

In that first summer, 2005, I spent a week at the British Library, happily requesting and reading dozens of articles and books on the play. (This was July 2005 – just two weeks before the bus and tube attacks blocks from my hotel.)

I wrote the first draft of the introduction in August 2005 and sent it off to Richard Whalen and Dan Wright. Richard became the main communicator — except that we discovered my Macintosh wasn’t always on speaking terms with his PC.  There were initial difficulties with the computers not communicating effectively (or at all) with each other. Because there was no common word-processing program, line numbers did not match up. With help from my students and professional technical advice, the problems were eventually resolved. I also received help from the college library staff, who sent for all sorts of material via inter-library loan from JStor.

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Six new BC editors

Brief Chronicles General Editor Roger Stritmatter reported this news about the publicaton:

Editors of the Shakespeare Fellowship’s new online peer reviewed scholarly journal of authorship studies, Brief Chronicles, are pleased to announce that six new distinguished scholars have joined the journal’s team of editorial consultants, which now numbers twelve in all.
The new members include a Research Professor in Economics from the University of Hertfordshire, a specialist in historical codicology and textual dating from Harvard University, a former editor of the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals with an established expertise in 19th century anonymous publication, a Professor of Shakespearean studies from Blackburn College, and a widely published Professor of theater history from the University of Missouri. The sixth new member of the board is a pioneer in the use of biometric linguistics to establish authorship of disputed documents, a regular legal consultant in forensic linguistics, and a nationally recognized expert on the Daubert Standard.

The six new members are:
Geoffrey M. Hodgson, PhD, a Research Professor in Economics at the University of Hertfordshire in England. He is an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences in the UK and the author or over 12 books and over 100 articles in academic journals.

Donald Ostrowski, PhD, a Research Advisor in the Social Sciences and a Lecturer at Harvard University’s Extension School, where he teaches World History and survey courses, including the plays of Shakespeare. Although his research focuses primarily on early Slavic history, he has an extensive publication record in comparative history and methodology. He has expertise in codicology, text dating and attribution, and textual criticism.

Mike Hyde, PhD in English from Tufts University, an MA from Tufts, and a BA in English with high honors from Harvard College. While completing a dissertation on Shelley, he also took many courses in Renaissance and Shakespeare studies. At Harvard he studied with Harry Levin’s Shakespeare course group, and at Tufts with Sylvan Barnet.
Hyde served as the sub-editor for Walter Houghton on The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals (from 1974-1980), a massive five volume compilation of more than thirty leading British-Scottish-Irish magazines published between 1800-1900. In that capacity he conducted extensive research on anonymity as well as the use of pseudonyms, initials, pen names, and other authorial disguises. He successfully identified Mary Shelley as the anonymous author of dozens of magazine articles, including one in New Monthly Magazine(1829) titled “Byron and Shelley on the Character of Hamlet.”

Ren Draya, PhD, a Professor of British & American Literature at Blackburn College, a small liberal arts school in central Illinois, where she teaches, among other courses, Shakespeare, Craft of Writing, and Twentieth-Century British Literature. Ren received her doctorate in dramatic literature from the University of Colorado, working under J.H. Crouch, founder of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Her B.A. in English is from Tufts University, where she studied under Sylvan Barnet, editor of the Signet Shakespeare series.

Felicia Hardison Londré is Curators’ Professor of Theatre at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Honorary Co-Founder of Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. She was the founding secretary of the Shakespeare Theatre Association of America. She was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre at the Kennedy Center in 1999 and elected to the National Theatre Conference in 2001.

Carole E Chaski, PhD, the President of ALIAS Technology LLC, Executive Director of theInstitute for Lingustic Evidence, the first non-profit research organization devoted to linguistic evidence, and the Executive Director of the Marylee Chaski Charitable Corporation, a private foundation supporting the life cycle of literacy through grants and scholarships. Dr. Chaski earned her A.B. magna cum laude in English and Ancient Greek from Bryn Mawr College (1975), M.Ed. in Psychology of Reading from the University of Delaware (1981), and M.A. and Ph.D. in Linguistics from Brown University (1987).
Dr Chaski developed –and continues to develop– ALIAS: Automated Linguistic Identification and Assessment System in order to provide objective measurements for statistical analysis. In 1995 she won a three year Visiting Research Fellowship at the US Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice, Office of Science and Technology, Investigative and Forensic Sciences Division, where she began the validation testing which has become an increasingly important aspect of forensic sciences since the Daubert ruling. Dr Chaski has served as an expert witness in Federal and State Courts in the United States, in Canada and in The Hague.

– For further information, please contact Brief Chronicles General Editor, Dr. Roger Stritmatter, at rstritmatter-at-coppin.edu