There is a thing in literature, theme X.

I’m very happy that several students in my “World Drama” class chose to write about The Merchant of Venice in their latest paper. Almost as many also write about Nine. And several chose to write about both. The assignment asked students to make an intertextual argument — that is, I asked them to write an argument that draws on two different literary works. I got a lot of Paragraph 1:…

Some fairy tales may be 6000 years old

Fairy tales are transmitted through language, and the shoots and branches of the Indo-European language tree are well-defined, so the scientists could trace a tale’s history back up the tree—and thus back in time. If both Slavic languages and Celtic languages had a version of Jack and the Beanstalk (and the analysis revealed they might), for example, chances are the story can be traced back to the “last common ancestor.”…

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Winners Chosen in Annual Shakespeare Monologue and Scene Contest

Michael Henninger took this wonderful photo of Carolyn and the boy she tied with, CAPA’s Logan Schiller. Both had been in the same coaching session with Ken Bolden Saturday morning. (Thank you, Ken!) Pittsburgh Public Theater’s 23rd annual Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest that began Feb. 6 with more than 1,000 student participants culminated Monday night, when winners were crowned after the Showcase of Finalists. In the Monologue competition, there…

York Corpus Christi Play Simulator Screencast (PSim 2.1; D.G. Jerz)

Another digital artifact lives. The York Corpus Christi Pageant Simulator was my first serious accomplishment in digital humanities. After I learned all the medieval drama content from a class with Andrea Johnston at the University of Toronto, I made the computer program as part of a humanities computing course with Willard McCarthy in 1994, and published a poster paper and an updated version over the next few years. This simulation…