To mark his 19 years as Editor of Shakespeare Survey before stepping down this autumn, Peter Holland has looked back across all the volumes he has edited and chosen one article from each. Below he talks about the collection and his time as Editor. All articles from the collection are freely available here.

For more than seventy years the annual Shakespeare Survey, published throughout its life by Cambridge University Press, has been the UK’s leading Shakespeare journal and, with the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Shakespeare Quarterly, always identified as the world’s two most respected journals in the field. Across its long life it has had only four Editors: Allardyce Nicoll, Kenneth Muir, Stanley Wells – and me. Now, after 19 volumes (the last currently in press), I thought it about time I handed on the baton and Emma Smith is taking over the job.

From its inception Survey has had two unique characteristics: the first is that every volume has had a theme, with the bulk of the articles in the annual firmly fitting that title; the second is that, in alternate years, the theme is also that of the International Shakespeare Conference held at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon. Both the conference and the Institute were founded by Allardyce Nicoll, hence the link to Survey.

Everyone in academe knows journals are vital to their work but, unless they have actually done it, very few have any idea of the work involved in being a journal editor. Some journals have large staffs to help; others, like Survey, operate with more modest teams. I have benefited from the help of the members of the Advisory Board, from my wonderful graduate assistants at the Shakespeare Institute and the University of Notre Dame, and, above all, from the extraordinary knowledge of Sarah Stanton who, across my entire tenure, has been the Press’s editor responsible for the journal. Looking back over the years, I realize how much my own work has benefited from having to read submissions across the entire, ever-expanding field of Shakespeare studies, giving me a broader vision of what is going on than the preoccupations of my own areas of special interest could ever have permitted. I have learned so much from so many brilliant, exhilarating and deeply scholarly articles, the hundreds we have published and the many hundreds more that we were unable to accept.

For this collection I looked back across all the volumes I have edited and chose one article from each. I could have happily chosen many more, of course, but space was limited. I wanted to pick pieces that reflected something of the range of the many sub-fields within Shakespeare studies – especially the areas that have been of especial note for Survey: global Shakespeare and Shakespeare in performance. All are ones that have stuck in my memory, many are ones I frequently go back to and encourage (i.e. require) my students to read. Some are by well-known scholars, some by people who have become well-known in the years since Survey first published their work. They add up to a small bouquet of our work, a selection of articles that are just as fresh, as intriguing and as enjoyable as they were when they first reached print in the pages of Survey. They remind me that, for all the weeks of hard labour that each volume has meant for me, it has been a joy and a privilege to have been Survey’s fourth editor.

Peter Holland
University of Notre Dame
June 2018

Access all the papers in Peter’s collection here.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *