Session Proposal: A digital scholarly edition of The Beggar’s Opera

Interested in helping us think through crucial design issues in a DH project that brings together literature, theater, music, and history, among other disciplines? We’re looking to pilot a site on The Beggar’s Opera (1728), among the most influential, enduring, raucous, and fun eighteenth-century English texts and the inspiration for The Threepenny Opera and adaptations by Vaclav Havel, Wole Soyinka, Dario Fo, and others. Yet despite its ubiquity and importance and despite its congeniality to a digital environment where its blend of text, music, and image might properly be brought to life, there is no site that comes close to realizing the potential of The Beggar’s Opera to inform and stimulate students and scholars. Our proposed site aims to fill this gap by giving students and others a readable scholarly edition that links to clips of music and dramatic performance, to essays that illuminate the contexts of the play, and to a range of tools that track its remarkable influence. We also hope it will serve as a proof-of-concept for others looking to do DH projects in musical theater, from The Marriage of Figaro to Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

At this point, we have: access to the editions we need, an Omeka and a WordPress site, an excellent advisory board, TEI and MEI-encoding for most of the scene we’ll use for the pilot, drafts of some of the contextual essays, and a range of other objects. But we need help thinking through some key matters of design and process that we’ll present at our session. We hope to see you there!

Proposed by: Steve Newman, @SteveNewman70

Categories: Unconference Sessions | Tags: , |