My name is Madison Herin and I am a first-year student at Emory University. This blog is part of my English 210 Shakespeare’s Globe class, which is aimed at analyzing some of Shakespeare’s texts, including The Tempest, Taking of the Shrew, The History of King Lear, Richard II, and Titus Andronicus. This blog acts as an online portal to share content I have created about these plays as well as become a database for my scholarly work for this course. This course integrates my website as a tool to help me work through difficult concepts and problems found in Shakespeare’s texts. Some of the problems the class uncovered in Shakespeare are: the complex textual history (including opposing viewpoints and evidence) of many of the plays, the difficult synthesis between stage productions and the text, the multifaceted combination of nature and civilization, among other things (note to self: include other options). Some of these problems uncovered were hard to deal with in the context of Shakespeare’s words fighting with meaning. Some of the content we used to help the class reflect and integrate new concepts with Shakespeare’s texts include Berensmeyer’s Media Ecology interpretation, Haraway’s Encounters with Companion Species, Alaimo’s Trans-corporeality at Sea, and Cohen’s Principles of Elements. These essays allowed us to look at Shakespeare’s text with new meaning otherwise previously unseen. (Give examples of how we used them)
Writing webtexts in different formats allows me to further my writing skills because it makes me think about how writing itself changes based on the platform or format used; it can either be longer (paper), shorter (blog), content-driven (digital edition) or presentation-driven (infographic/powerpoint). I now know how to shape my written information based on how it will be presented to my audience. For example, if I was speaking to a well-informed researcher, I might use a information dense platform such as a paper or digital edition page to get across important content that the reader could fully understand. On the other hand, if I knew my content was to be read by a someone new to Shakespeare or with little prior experience with analysis of Shakspeare, then I would utilize a different format to put out information, such as a blog or infographic. Writing in multiple formats has given me skills such as tailoring analysis to a specific format (which I had never previously done), as well as connecting large concepts, such as language use in Shakespeare and eco-criticism, where I previously would have thought the concepts were not able to be connected. Many of the posts I have made connect conceptually when I am able to see them on the same platform, where otherwise they may not have been able to be seen. (add in portion about how writing in different modes allows for addressing certain Shakespeare problems, explain why).
As the internet becomes a larger resource for different types of content, knowing how to create and use a website (including how to customize it to my needs) is a helpful tool in future endeavors, such as further academic progress/research and any business-based information I want other people to have. Because I am thinking about going into the STEM field (medicine or medical research), many of the problems I have addressed in this course may seem irrelevant to this future. In reality, many of the problems I have faced dealing with Shakespeare, including analysis of text and integration of different theses to prove a point are in fact very relevant. For example, while I would not be analyzing a text of Shakspeare in a field regarding medicine, I could be analyzing a medical text, research paper, or even a spoken comment. By being able to pick out hard details and facts and synthesis an argument around those facts, I will be able to make a proper argument or rebuttal with certainty. No matter the topic, analysis skills are helpful in dealing with critical research and even day-to-day matter (think about arguing with another doctor about the best medical treatment to use). As well, many times analysis or decisions cannot be made solely on a singular idea. Sometimes, one must branch out to other conepts or theses (sometimes ones that don’t necessarily seem to be directly related to the topic), learn to analyze them, and incorporate them into a different argument. If you stick within the boundaries or concepts you know, no new or innovative ideas will occur. By incorporating outside opinions, no matter which field- Shakespeare or medical research- there can be a greater synthesis of ideas and greater innovation. This course has taught me when and how to utilize outside theses to argue new ideas. (answer about how Shakespeare helps solve contemporary problems and imagine new futures)
Things I want to change about my blog:
- The theme- I either have to spend more time customizing features I want or change themes with more customization options, because as of right now my blog seems very sparse and unappealing
- The tag cloud- This is probably theme related, but the tag cloud is very cumbersome and (also) unattractive; it detracts from the main content in the middle of the page
- The blog page- It seems a bit overwhelming, as it is just a continuous, long scroll of blog posts. There is no break-up of the content and it could be better laid out
- Change the featured header of my blog- I originally picked the sea as my header picture because it related to the eco-criticism concept we touched upon in the class, but I find it less relevant to my website than if I use a picture relating directly to Shakespeare
- Add extra pictures to my blogs (and possibly the front page with a sliding header); especially non-historical pictures. As of right now I have lots of paintings and historical pictures depicting Shakespeare scenes, but it might be more relatable to the audience if I include modern images that relate to my concepts I have written about
Questions I have:
- If I have more than one issue with my blog right now, is it better to switch themes or continue to tinker with my current one?
- How can I change my blog page in order to break up content/organize it better?