Digital Scribes Assignment


A “scribe,” in Shakespeare’s time and before, was a professional writer: someone’s whose job it was to copy (by hand) various documents and transactions. Scribes were an important part of the business of the theater. Indeed, it is because of scribes that we have Shakespeare’s plays with us today, for it was their job to take the words of the theater and make them permanent.

In this course, the “digital scribes” will do similar work, recording the proceedings of our lectures and discussions and posting them for all to read. Each group will be responsible for documenting one of our plays. The goal of the collaborative notes assignment is to create a record of the work we do over the course of the semester. I anticipate that you will find these notes useful for your assignments, exam, but also, I hope, for your future study and, perhaps, teaching of Shakespeare.

You will be using a web tool called “Storify” to assemble your notes. This is a resource that allows you to combine narrative, links, and social media to create a visual and textual “story” of an event.

1. In-Class Live Tweets:

At least three of the members of your group will be responsible for tweeting live during class. You will need a laptop or smartphone to do this and can post tweets one of two ways: either by logging in to the GroupTweet page I have created for this course (you should e-mail me to get invited to this page) or simply by mentioning @NPShakespeare in your tweets from your own Twitter account (this is the easiest way).

You can tweet as much as you’d like during class. What you write should be related to the content of our class and provide a summary of key points or ideas that come out in the course of discussion. You can also post questions that come up from our discussion that you would like answered or would like to research further. You should (generally) avoid off topic commentary and posts that are not related to class discussion.

I may use your tweets from class that day at the end of discussion as a way of summarizing our key points or to respond to questions you have raised.

2. Resource for further Study:

In addition to your class notes, you should also, for each class, gather at least two links to outside resources that you think enhances the work we were doing in class that day. This can be anything from a video clip to a scholarly essay or a website. Write a brief description of the site, why you chose it, and how you think it helps our study of the play we are reading or Shakespeare more generally. You can tweet links to these resources, or save them and add them to the final Storify page (see #3 below).

3. Curate a Final Summary using Storify:

After your group has finished live tweeting for all the classes on the play, you will select the best tweets and resources from your work and assemble it in a page on Storify. Give some careful thought to how you want to present the material. My expectation is that the final page will not be a random collection of tweets, but a well-edited and thoughtfully curated assembly of summaries, resources, and notes that brings together our exploration of the play.

Here is an example of a successful project.


You may divide the work for this project in any way you choose, but I expect the work for this project to be shared equally by the members of your group. Please complete the Statement of Collaborative Work once you have finished with your Storify page.

Due Dates: Please send me, via e-mail, a link to your final Storify page within one week of the last day of your play.

//PLEASE NOTE: If you are absent the day you are assigned to take notes, it is very difficult to make up the work. Please make every effort you can to be in class on your assigned days. If there is an emergency and you are unable to come to class, it is your responsibility to talk to me about making up for your missed work.