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CMRS Director Chris Highley Awarded Scholarly Digital Project Grant

August 25, 2023

CMRS Director Chris Highley Awarded Scholarly Digital Project Grant

Headshot of Chris Highley, a white man with small glasses and short brown hair

Professor Chris Highley of the Department of English and Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies is part of a team of scholars who have been awarded an NEH collaborative Scholarly Digital Project grant worth $249,706.  The grant will support a project called "Shakespeare’s Theaterscape: Mapping London's Theater Districts, 1576-1642."

The project’s goal is to create open-access digital maps of four theater and entertainment districts in Shakespeare’s London.  Each map will recreate a district in unprecedented detail, allowing teachers and researchers to visualize the place of Shakespearean theater in wholly new ways.  The four district maps will be the central components of a website that will also let users see them on a larger map of the entire city.  In addition, users will be able to link from locations on the district maps (a church, street, or tavern, for example) to that location’s underlying sources of evidence (property records, legal documents, and probate records, for example).  In addition to building a database of the district’s physical environment, the project will include a database with the names and details of all known sixteenth and seventeenth-century residents.  A GIS mapping expert will then build a map from this data that, when complete, will allow users to trace relationships among people and places. 

Chris’s first tasks include transcribing and editing many of the source documents which would otherwise be difficult for users to make sense of.  He will also be responsible for writing some of the critical essays that will accompany the maps and that will help users to realize their potential as research and pedagogical tools.   

Chris is collaborating with Professor Paul White (Project Director) (English, Purdue) and Christopher Matusiak (English, Ithaca College).

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