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Digital Research and Scholarship - General
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Updates and discussions on issue of interest to the group with notifications and occasional announcements on funding opportunities, new tools and resources, and other items that may be of interest. Group members are encouraged to post. General posts are made monthly with occasional posts highlighting member projects and other events of interest. Suggestions and contributions welcome.


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Fall Updates

Posted By Sarah Bay-Cheng, York University, Thursday, October 11, 2018

Greetings and welcome to new members!


A quick reminder that our shared libraries can be accessed through (Search for ASTR-Digital Research and Scholarship among the groups and request to be added.)


Of particular interest there is a new page from group member Eric Colleary, the Cline Curator of Theatre & Performing Arts at the Harry Ransom Center. Eric has generously created a webpage detailing Digital Collections in Performing Arts. I’ve added this page to our “Online Resources” library and it merits extended consideration. It’s a great resource and a generous contribution to the field. Thanks, Eric!


Over the summer, this group presented the ATHE-ASTR Excellence in Digital Scholarship Award to Wendy Arons and her collaborators — Natalya Baldyga of Tufts University, Michael Chemers of the University of California at Santa Cruz and independent scholar Sara Figal—for their project “Lessing’s: Hamburg Dramaturgy: A New and Complete Translation.” The project launched as a MediaCommons site and is forthcoming in a print edition from Routledge. It was funded by a grant from from the National Endowments for the Humanities (NEH) Scholarly Editions & Translations Program. Congrats to the team!


I hope to more regularly post updates here over the coming academic year, but note that teaching, research, and duties as chair often derail my attempts. Thanks for your continued presence and participation and do feel free to post your own updates, posts, and other information as desired. The group is shared equally with all members, so feel free to post away. 


I hope to connect with you again at ASTR in San Diego. In the meantime, happy fall!


Digitally yours,

Sarah Bay-Cheng

Tags:  archives  award  digital collections in performing arts 

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Return of the DRS blog and summer updates

Posted By Sarah Bay-Cheng, York University, Thursday, July 5, 2018

Greetings and welcome to new members!

I must apologize for the lack of posts during the 2017-18 academic year. I regret that my offline obligations greatly interfered with my online maintenance of this group and its blog. However, note that despite my failings, our members have continued to increase and more cites have been added to the shared zotero libraries. (These can be accessed through Search for ASTR-Digital Research and Scholarship among the groups and request to be added.)

In other news, we will again present the ATHE-ASTR Excellence in Digital Scholarship Award at the upcoming ATHE Conference, Theatres of Revolution in Boston, MA from August 1-5. If you’re planning to attend, there are several panels and papers related to the intersection of things both digital and theatrical. I hope to see many of you there. In other news, please see this digital humanities post-doc opportunity from Kate Elswit:

Kate Elswit (RCSSD) and Harmony Bench (OSU) are seeking a Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Research Assistant to work on Dunham’s Data, a 3-year AHRC-funded research project on performance and mobility. The work can be carried out from London or remotely. For more information:

Expect communications for the rest of the summer to be rather slow, but once the academic year begins, I expect to be able to blog more frequently, approximately 1-2 times per month with news, updates, and project highlights in digital research and scholarship in theatre and performance studies. In the meantime, happy summer, all!

Digitally yours,

Sarah Bay-Cheng

Tags:  ATHE  conference  postdoc  update 

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News, ASTR 2017, & Publications

Posted By Sarah Bay-Cheng, York University, Saturday, May 20, 2017


Greetings! Welcome to new members of the Digital Research and Scholarship (DRS) member group for ASTR. I'm pleased to share that our current membership is now over 100 members. If you’re new to the group, be sure to check out past posts for information about our shared zotero libraries, tools, resources, and other information related to digital research and scholarship in theatre and performance studies.

ASTR 2017: cfp deadline - June 1, 2017

By now, most of you will have seen the cfp for ASTR 2017: Extra/Ordinary Bodies: Interrogating the Performance and Aesthetics of “Difference” November 16-19, 2017. However, if you’re still looking for working group options, there are a few related to digital methods in performance.

The DRS member group has a presentation & workshop session on digital privacy and protection, co-convened by myself and Kalle Westerling (CUNY-Grad Center) entitled, “Digital Defense for Artists, Scholars, and Activists.”

In addition to the explicit DRS focus, there are a range of sessions exploring aspects of performance and technology intersections, including:

Performing Extra/Ordinary Bodies of Data and Surveillance

Playing the Extra/Ordinary: Video Games and Difference

From the Curious to the Quantum: Bodies at the Intersection of Science and Performance

From the list of working group sessions, it promises to be an exciting conference in Atlanta. I’m looking forward to it!

New Readings

Over the past few months, I’ve posted new related readings to our zotero library, but a few merit particular attention. Books and articles specifically related to the intersection of theatre and performances studies continue to appear fairly consistently, but it’s encouraging to see the broad range of work that has emerged over the last few years. Since January 2017, I’ve noted the following titles of interest:

• Meyrick, Julian, and Katie Cavanagh. “An Unfinished Conversation: Play Texts, Digital Projection, and Dramaturgy – Arts and Humanities as Higher Education.” Arts and Humanities as Higher Education: Special Issue. N.p., Dec. 2016. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

• Bishop, Claire. “Against Art History.” Text. Franklin Humanities Institute. N.p., 9 Mar. 2017. Web. 1 Apr. 2017.

• Leeker, Martina, Imanuel Schipper, and Timon Beyes. Performing the Digital: Performativity and Performance Studies in Digital Cultures. transcript Verlag, 2017. Print.

• Ioannides, Marinos, Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann, and George Papagiannakis. Mixed Reality and Gamification for Cultural Heritage. Springer International Publishing, 2017. Print.

• Thomas, David, Simon Fowler, and Valerie Johnson. The Silence of the Archive. Facet Publishing, 2017. Print.

• Matzner, Tobias. “The Human Is Dead–long Live the Algorithm!” Theory, Culture & Society n. pag. Google Scholar. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

• Fee, Samuel B., Amanda M. Holland-Minkley, and Thomas E. Lombardi. “Re-Envisioning Computing Across Disciplines.” New Directions for Computing Education. Ed. Samuel B. Fee, Amanda M. Holland-Minkley, and Thomas E. Lombardi. Springer International Publishing, 2017. 1–11. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.

• Lombardi, Thomas E. “Macroanalysis in the Arts and Sciences.” New Directions for Computing Education. Ed. Samuel B. Fee, Amanda M. Holland-Minkley, and Thomas E. Lombardi. Springer International Publishing, 2017. 87–100. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.

• LeBlanc, Mark D. “Bringing Computational Thinking to the Digital Humanities: Introducing Students to Explorations of Digitized Texts.” J. Comput. Sci. Coll. 32.6 (2017): 10–10. Print.

• Farman, Jason, ed. Foundations of Mobile Media Studies: Essential Texts on the Formation of a Field. Routledge, 2016. Print.

Among these, Claire Bishop’s critique of digital art history is a welcome examination of larger implications for digital art history with some applications and parallels to performance. Leeker, Schipper, and Beyes’ edited collection is the newest examination of digital technologies (prominently mobile tech) in performance and dramaturgy. Following Leeker, et alia’s emphasis on mobile performance, Jason Farman’s newest edited collection, Foundations of Mobile Media Studies was recently published by Routledge. (So new, I’m still waiting for my copy.) Finally, the The Routledge Companion to Digital Humanities in Theatre and Performance, edited by Nic Leonhardt is due in November this year.

Upcoming: Member Projects

Before going on a blog hiatus for the summer, I’ll be offering one more blog post on a round-up of interesting member projects this year. That post will come in mid-June before summer research travel and writing begins in earnest. Until then, happy end of term to those on semester and upcoming happy ends for our colleagues on the quarter system.

Warm summer wishes to all.

Digitally yours,

Sarah Bay-Cheng

Tags:  ASTR Atlanta  news  publications 

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March News and Member Project Highlight

Posted By Sarah Bay-Cheng, York University, Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Greetings! Welcome to new members of the Digital Research and Scholarship (DRS) member group for ASTR. Our current membership is now at 97 members. (Woot!) If you’re new to the group, be sure to check out past posts for information about our shared zotero libraries, tools, resources, and other information related to digital research and scholarship in theatre and performance studies.



ASTR 2017’s call for Working Sessions participant proposal will be open in early April. Stay tuned for announcements of working sessions related to DRS.


General information and updates on Digital Humanities is available through Digital Humanities Now. See the site for announcements, events, and tools.


For those interested in digital humanities in your area, be sure to check in with the THATCamp list of upcoming camps in your area. THATCamps (The Humanities and Technology Camp) are spontaneous, collaborative sessions that bring technologists and humanities scholars together. Look for upcoming THATCamps in Syracuse, NY (April 7) and Gainesville, FL (April 21). THATCamp Shakespeare is scheduled for April 5 in Athens, Georgia.


Member Project Highlight: HemiPress Gesture

Every month, this blog features a project working at the intersection of digital technologies and theatre and performance studies. Courtesy of Digital Research and Scholarship member Marcos Steuernagel, this month highlights a new digital publishing series, Gesture from HemiPress.

According to its overview, “Gesture—the new Tome series from HemiPress—publishes short, evocative digital works that combine multimedia and writing to make an original critical intervention in the fields of performance and politics.” It’s a deceptively simple objective that has yielded impressive results to far.


The series uses Tome, a relatively new digital publishing platform that integrates interactive maps, chat, images, videos, and other digital objects within critical writing. I haven’t used Tome, but it is built on Wordpress, so it’s likely to be relatively intuitive and looks similar to Scalar, the platform that Hemi previously used. Indeed, a closer look suggests that Tome has been cultivated by and for the Hemispheric Institute, so the integration is likely to be excellent and the available features lend themselves well to the unique features of Hemi, such as multi-lingual publishing and academic formatting.


There are currently three exemplary projects featured on the site: “[({})] Transborder Immigrant Tool,” featuring essays, soundscapes, and videos from Electronic Disturbance Theatre 2.0/b.a.n.g. Lab project; “Villa Grimaldi,” Diana Taylor’s digital book on visits to the Chilean torture site, with embedded images, video, and audio; and Peter Kulchyski’s “Six Gestures” on the Inuit community in Pangnirtung, Nunavut, Baffin Island, Canada. All three are richly layered works with rich, visual images and a nice balance of text, image, and video. Some of the projects are jointly authored and the platform lends itself to collaborative projects. Elsewhere on the Tome site, descriptions note the use of the platform for collaborative work in classes.


The three current publications highlight an exciting range of media integrations and publishing opportunities, so one can see how a range of diverse projects might fit within its framework. HemiPress is currently inviting artists, scholars, and activists to submit projects to Gesture. As with other Hemi projects, this initiative is trilingual, so submissions may be made in English, Spanish, and/or Portuguese.


Although it’s a new initiative, Gesture builds on the extensive work of the Hemispheric Institute, so is likely to be an enduring platform for publishing and I look forward to its future projects. Congrats to all the folks at Hemispheric Institute and HemiPress for an exciting contribution to digital publishing in performance.


That's all for this month, but I will post again with DRS-related working sessions for ASTR 2017. Until then, I remain,


digitally yours,

Sarah Bay-Cheng

Tags:  digital books  digital publishing  Hemispheric Institute  member projects  news 

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February News & Updates

Posted By Sarah Bay-Cheng, York University, Sunday, February 5, 2017


Greetings! Welcome to new members of the Digital Research and Scholarship member group for ASTR. If you’re new to the group, be sure to check out past posts for information about our shared zotero libraries, tools, resources, and other information related to digital research and scholarship in theatre and performance studies. 


Award for Excellence in Digital Scholarship - deadline extended to February 15

The submission deadline for the ATH-ASTR Award for Excellence in Digital Scholarship has been extended to February 15, 2017. Details for nomination and submission are available on the ATHE and ASTR websites. The award is presented in alternating years at either the ATHE or ASTR conference. For 2017, the award will be presented at the ASTR conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Please feel free to contact me with any questions (


Theatre Journal Special Issue on “Theatre, the Digital, and the Analysis and Documentation of Performance”

The most recent issue of Theatre Journal focused on theatre and digital methodologies is now available in hard copy. Congrats to all of the DRS members who contributed material to the issue and to editor Joanne Tompkins. The online version (with color images!) is available here. 


IFTR/FIRT Working Group in Digital Humanities in Theatre 

The deadline for presentation proposals to the IFTR Digital Humanities Group has now just passed (January 31); however, if you’re attending IFTR in Brazil this year (10-14 July), you may be interested in attending the presentations of the group. You can contact conveners Nic Leonhardt: & Franklin J. Hildy: with questions. 


ASTR Working Group Proposal submitted

Kalle Westerling and I have submitted a proposal for the 2017 ASTR conference in support of Digital Research and Scholarship. If the proposal is approved, we will be soliciting submissions. We’ve proposed the previously used format of simultaneous presentations (i.e., an electronic, interactive poster session) for group projects. We’ve also proposed a particular focus on digital data management, privacy, and security. Stay tuned for more details. 


The Theatre Times - digital theatre news

If you haven’t had a chance to check out this new website and theatre new aggregator, The Theater Times is an excellent new resource for contemporary theatre and performance from global perspectives. Built with a network of regional and topical editors from around the globe, The Theatre Times offers the and exceptional range of theatre and performance criticism. It’s regularly updated with new material and demonstrates the potential of performance criticism in digital formats. The site was covered at length on the last episode of On TAP: Theatre and Performance Studies Podcast and I highly recommend checking out the site either online or through its accompanying app.  


Of particular interest among the recent posts, is Marie-Heleen Coetzee’s review essay, Synaesthetics”: Gopala Davies’ Explorations In Intermediality.” Focused on South African Indian actor and director Gopala Davies’ production of Les Cenci: A Story About Artaud, Coetzee describes the interplay of stage and screen space in Davies’ aesthetic. Elsewhere, a search for “digital” yields an impressive overview of material ranging from video games to virtual reality performances to reviews of recent scholarship. 


Rereading the site, I was reminded of the National New Play Network New Play Exchange. The site’s mission statement describes its function as “a cloud-based script database, enhanced with a robust search-and-filter mechanism, crowd-sourced recommendations of plays, and the connectivity of a social networking site. The NPX lets writers share scripts and helps theaters discover and evaluate them in a more streamlined, targeted way than ever before. It's a neutral platform built for the common good of the entire new play sector—writers, producers, and everyone in between who enjoys new work—and its goal is ambitious: to revolutionize the way playwrights and theaters connect field-wide.” 




That’s all the news for this month, but I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with a feature on a DRS Member project or publication. If you’d like your work featured in this section, of if I've overlooked important info to share with this group, please send a message with relevant links to me at


In the meantime I remain,

Digitally yours,


Sarah Bay-Cheng

Tags:  awards  conferences  news  scripts  shows 

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January updates and featured project

Posted By Sarah Bay-Cheng, York University, Friday, January 13, 2017

Happy New Year!


Welcome to new members and thanks to those who have been updating the shared zotero libraries with additional citations and references. More information about the group libraries, including how to join zotero, is available in past DRS blog posts and on our zotero group page. Among recent additions to the library are the Theatre Journal 68.3 and 68.4. These special issues focused on “Digital ‘Issues’: Rethinking Media in/and/as Performance” (September 2016) and more recently on “Theatre, the Digital, and the Analysis and Documentation of Performance” (December 2016). Although I’m not an unbiased voice (I have an article in the most recent issue), these two issues very effectively foreground the impact of digital methods and issues in theatre and performance studies. There’s a lot here to read and teach. References with links have been downloaded into the shared library for the Bibliography on Theatre & Performance.


It’s also nearing the deadline for proposal submissions to ASTR 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia: “Extra/Ordinary Bodies: Interrogating the Performance and Aesthetics of “Difference.” Kalle Westerling and I have begun developing a proposal for the Digital Methods working group focused on digital self-defense for artists and activists, but we welcome additional thoughts, suggestions, and ideas from all group members. The deadline for the working session is coming up quickly (February 1), so please contact me soon ( if you’d like to make a suggestion to the proposal. Otherwise, we’ll be keeping you posted on future deadlines for participation if the working session is accepted. 


Project Highlight: Kate Elswit’s Moving Bodies, Moving Culture


It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to feature a group member project on the DRS blog, so I’m very pleased to highlight Kate Elswit’s research project “Moving Bodies, Moving Culture” ( Kate is currently Reader in Theatre and Performance at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London and the author of Watching Weimar Dance (Oxford University Press, 2014)  and the forthcoming Theatre & Dance (Theatre& series, Palgrave Macmillan). Kate and Harmony Bench discuss the project among other topics in their article for the most recent issue of Theatre Journal: “Mapping Movement on the Move: Dance Touring and Digital Methods” (December 2016). 


“Moving Bodies, Moving Culture” uses visualizations to explore the 1941 South American tour of American Ballet Caravan. As a piece of digital historiography, it’s an effective presentation of the paths the company took from the perspective of the dancers themselves, highlighting where the dancers came from, languages, and paths to and from New York. For example, Elswit creates maps from William Dollar’s “410-page account of American Ballet Caravan’s South American tour, entitled “Old Granny Spreads Goodwill” with the goal of reconsidering the history of the company tour from the perspective of its dancers. As she writes about the future goals for the project, “one of my questions all along has been how a document like this silly manuscript [Dollar’s] might help us to skew representations of the world as a whole, in order to depict it from the traveler’s perspectives.” It’s a project still in development but with a lot of potential. I found the dynamic online maps engaging and I can see how further developments of these trajectories could be very useful in establishing not only physical movement, but also social and cultural exchanges. As Bench and Elswit write in their recent article, such projects join a small but group of studies using “network analysis in order to situate historical and contemporary performance events and their global circulation within larger economic and cultural systems” (580).


It was also striking to see again reference to the database and the map as the key tools in performance analysis. It reminded me of Lev Manovich, whose The Language of New Media (2001) highlighted the importance of the database, and the many “mapping” projects that the digital humanities have inspired. Kate Elswit’s dynamic network analysis provides an important resource as well as a model for historical reenactments on a large scale. I encourage you to follow her blog and I look forward to her project’s future directions. I am particularly intrigued by her suggestion that historical representations can be “warped” according to the perceptions of the dancers themselves.


With the new term already started for many and looming for others, please feel free to share teaching resources, tools, or other success (and failure) reports via this blog and the other pages on the Digital Research and Scholarship site. You can always add favorite tools and online resources to our Tool Shop and you can post links to your own projects in the Projects page.

Good luck to everyone for the coming term and warmest wishes for the new year. I look forward to seeing you at festivals and conferences this year.


In the meantime, I will remain,

Digitally yours,

Sarah Bay-Cheng


Tags:  ASTR 2017  dance history  dance studies  data visualizations  digital humanities  digital performance  publications  Theatre Journal 

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December News & Working Group Proposal for ASTR 2017

Posted By Sarah Bay-Cheng, York University, Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Greetings and happy end of 2016!

Welcome to all new members and thanks to ongoing group members who have posted to the various pages here and contributed to the Zotero libraries. If you’re new to the group, please take a moment to review past blog posts for information related to the group, including resources, guides, and opportunities to share your work. I like to feature projects by group members monthly, so if you have a digitally informed project you would like to share, please contact me at

Working Group @ ASTR 2017 - cfp due Feb. 1, 2017

The call for proposals to ASTR 2017 is now available. “Extra/Ordinary Bodies: Interrogating the Performance and Aesthetics of “Difference” is scheduled for November 16-19 in Atlanta, Georgia. It has been a couple of years since the DRS had a formal digital methods working group at ASTR, so it seems productive to propose a broadly inclusive working group session on digital research methods and scholarly practices related to digital technology in theatre and performance studies.

To this end, Kalle Westerling and I are planning to propose a session on “Digital Self-Defense for Artists and Activists.” This session would invite contributions on effective strategies and techniques for integrating digital technologies into a variety of artistic, scholarly, and activist practices. This session could include demonstrations, discussions, as well as shared practical advice on how best to protect and share research data, protect the privacy of participants and audiences in interactive work, and facilitate greater collaborations using safe and secure resources online. Examples from current research and teaching projects would be encouraged as well as position papers, shared information, and strategies for integrating digital methods safely into theatre and performance work. We will be crafting the proposal soon, so please feel free to contact me directly with suggestions or post proposals to the group forum. I’ve started a new topic in the General Discussion for ASTR 2017.

News & Updates

A reminder to stay tuned for the forthcoming call for nominations to the ATHE-ASTR Excellence in Digital Scholarship award. This award is presented in alternating years at ATHE and ASTR. In 2017, it is scheduled for ASTR. The call for submissions and nominations will go out soon in the new year, so plan to self-nominate or propose a worthy project for consideration.

A few other items worth reporting. First, is the recent publication of the Theatre Journal special issue on “Digital ‘Issues’: Rethinking Media in/and/as Performance” (68.3 Sept. 2016). Edited by Jennifer Parker-Starbuck, the issue features a number of essays relevant this group. The next special issue, forthcoming sometime this month (December 2016) is focused specifically on digital methods in theatre and performance research.

In addition to these special issues, there are an increasing number of journals dedicated to digital research and scholarship. The International Journal for Performance Arts and Digital Media is currently seeking new contributors and proposals for guest-edited special issues. Starting with the Volume 13, Maria Chatzichristodoulou will be editing the journal and submissions are welcomed at any time. Details for submission are at:

Also of note are several related conferences, including the International Society for Intermedial Studies (May 18-20, 2017) in Montreal and the Association for the Arts of the Present (ASAP), October 26-28, 2017 at UC Berkeley. The cfp for ISIS has past, but the conference is open to non-participants and frequently features a range of sessions focused on contemporary performance and theatre theory. The ASAP deadline is March 17, 2017; cfp: ASAP also has a related journal: Just a year old, the journal serves as an interesting cross-section of contemporary-oriented work across disciplines in the arts and humanities.

My apologies, but given the timing of this post late in the month, the highlight on DRS group member Kate Elswit’s “Moving Bodies, Moving Cultures” project has been moved to January. Check back for more on this after the new year.

Finally, a brief note wishing you all a peaceful end to 2016 and a happy beginning to 2017.

Digitally yours,

Sarah Bay-Cheng

Tags:  cfp  conference  news 

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Digital Research and Scholarship News and Updates - Nov. 2016

Posted By Sarah Bay-Cheng, York University, Monday, November 21, 2016



Welcome to those of you who have recently joined the ASTR member group for Digital Research and Scholarship (DRS). If you’re new to the group, be sure to read previous posts regarding our shared Zotero libraries as well as references to other resources on the site. To access Zoetero, first register for a free Zotero account  at, and search for ASTR-Digital Research and Scholarship in Zotero Groups ( And while you’re looking at Zotero, be sure to check out the library of DH syllabi in the Digital Humanities Education shared library (


We’re now a couple of weeks post-ASTR meeting. If you weren’t able to attend, you can review many of the sessions, particularly plenaries and panels via the twitter archive. Search #astr16 for the complete archive or select you favorite ASTR tweeter from @kallewesterling ’s list of ASTR tweeters: If you’re interested in the searchable archive, see here. And while we’re on the subject of tweeting, Harry Watkins (of the Harry Watkins Diary Project) is now on twitter @Watkinsdiary.


Now that ASTR 2016 has concluded, it’s time to start thinking about ASTR 2017 in Atlanta, GA: Extra/Ordinary Bodies: Interrogating the Performance and Aesthetics of “Difference” (Nov. 16-19). It’s been a few years, since this group has hosted a digital methods session and project demonstration. Perhaps If you’re interested in co-organizing such a session, feel free to post suggestions in the blog or DM me with suggestions and requests.


Also, remember that the ATHE-ASTR Award for Excellence in Digital Scholarship will start requesting nominations and submission in early 2017. The inaugural recipient was Erin Mee for her born-digital essay, “Hearing the Music of the Hemispheres.” (More on that project in previous post.) The upcoming deadline for submissions will be sometime in February. The award is presented alternately at ATHE and ASTR. In 2017, the award will be presented at ASTR. I will post submission details when available, but these will also be posted on the and websites.


Finally, here in the US it has been a turbulent few weeks post election with emotions running high. In other news from Capitol Hill, Congress has recently passed the Library of Congress Sound Recording and Film Preservation Programs Reauthorization Act of 2016 (S. 2893). Focused on radio and cinema among other media, this legislation extends the national efforts to preserve audio-visual history and has expanded the board of directors who can propose items for preservation. More on the legislation is available here. Since much of theatre’s history is recorded in film and radio, this is a great preservation for theatre history as well.


That’s all for now. In a few weeks, I’ll have another update on an ASTR member DRS project. If you’d like your work highlighted here, either email me ( or post the details of your project on the DRS Projects page. Next month, I’ll be highlighting Kate Elswit’s "Moving Bodies, Moving Culture” and the recent special issue of Theatre Journal: Digital “Issues”: Rethinking Media in/and/as Performance.


Digitally yours,

Sarah Bay-Cheng


Tags:  astr16  astr17  awards  member projects  news 

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DRS: ASTR and Member Project

Posted By Sarah Bay-Cheng, York University, Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Greetings! And welcome to new group members. If you’re just joining the group, take a look at past blog posts for information about online resources, shared Zotero libraries, and past highlights of group member projects.

With ASTR and its “Trans-“ theme fast approaching, many of us will look forward to a busy time in Minneapolis later this week. For those who cannot attend, or who cannot be at all of the relevant sessions (and, really, who can?), there will be several members tweeting throughout the conference. Details are on page 3 of the full conference schedule, which is available online.

Member Projects

Every month, the blog highlights a new digital project by a DRS group member. This month, I draw your attention to Erin Mee’s online essay “Hearing the Music of the Hemispheres.” Published by TDR (TDR: The Drama Review 57:3 (T219) Fall 2013) on the Scalar platform, Mee’s essay examines the collaborative project, Music of the Hemispheres, which translates the brain scans of performance artists into sounds and music.

Mee’s focus here is on the changing dynamics of spectatorship in such a context and how these changes create new dimensions within performance scholarship. As she writes, “Analyses of spectatorship in theatre and performance studies have largely drawn from reception and reader-response theories in literary and cultural studies. But performance is a multimedia and multidisciplinary genre requiring multiple cognitive strategies for making meaning.” Engaging these aspects of performance scholarship, Mee’s essay seeks to engage the project through multiple pathways and venues to explore an alternative form of performance analysis. In her analysis, Mee draws together research on portraiture, sonifcation, neuroscience, and contemporary performance scholarship, among others.

With media elements intrinsic to her argument, the Scalar platform is an ideal venue for Mee’s work. The reader/viewer can listen to the music from the brain scans, scroll though images, and follow hyperlink definitions embedded within the text. The essay is riddled with music clips, haunting the text as you read. Exploring the website, one is confronted with the same realization as Mee when she reflects on Aaron Einbond’s performance of Alvin Lucier’s [Hartford] Memory Space (1970): that this work “is at once music, the perception of music, and a musical rendering of a group of musicians' neural responses to a particular soundscape. Both pieces are also portraits of the player. And both are performed performance modes of analyzing spectatorship.” Its a mode of scholarship as participation that holds promise not only for Mee’s project in the reception of sonifications, but in other interactive genre, such as immersive performance, gaming, and other user-driven performances. All in all, it’s a compelling example of scholarship that integrates its argument and evidence within an interactive platform that both replicates the experience of the original work and highlights the significance of Mee’s questions. I’m delighted that she received the inaugural Award for Excellence in Digital Scholarship.

As a reminder, this award is granted annually by ATHE and ASTR. In early 2017, a call for nominations and self-nominations will be sent via the ASTR and ATHE listservs, this blog, and other outlets. Please consider nominating your or a colleague’s project for this award.

In the meantime, enjoy the upcoming ASTR (either on site or via the abundant social media). I hope to meet soon in person.

Until then, I remain,

Digitally yours,
Sarah Bay-Cheng

Tags:  ASTR Minneapolis  conference  member projects  Scalar  twitter 

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Digital Research and Scholarship News and Updates

Posted By Sarah Bay-Cheng, York University, Sunday, October 16, 2016


Welcome especially to new group members. If you’re new to the Digital Research and Scholarship member group, you may be interested in the resources of the group including the Group Pages, which include a Digital Resources Guide, a listing of Member Projects, Tool Shop, Information on Copyright, and our shared Zotero Libraries for digital methods in theatre and performance research. Links to all these can be found our group home page under Group Pages. These pages are generally updated a few times a month and members can add to them at any time. I encourage you to post information about your own projects or other items of interest to the group. All pages are open and unrestricted.

This month (October), only one blog posts will be coming mid-month. See early November for a post about the DRS essay, "Hearing the Music of the Hemispheres" by Erin Mee, winner of the inaugural ATHE - ASTR Award for Excellence in Digital Scholarship. In the future, regular news and updates is usually posted at the beginning of the month, and a member project highlighted in mid-month. Please feel free to suggest projects to highlight or send me your own work if you would like this included. I generally update the Zotero libraries a couple of times per week and DRS members can update them at any time.

Zotero Library

As a reminder, the Zotero Library a closed group, so you will need to request to become a member but if you’re a Zotero user, feel free to join and take advantages of the shared collections online: Right now, there are four collections: General Bibliography on the digital humanities; Theatre and Performance Bibliography; Online Resources (sources and sites with useful guides, explanations, etc.); Tool Shop (specific tools and programs for use in digital research and scholarship). Any item in the shared library can be copied to your own library and collections. If you’re not familiar with Zotero, there’s a very helpful overview at Setting up all of your citations in Zotero isn’t difficult, but it can take some time to get started. That said, I’ve found it to be the most useful citation management system and it integrates with Firefox, Chrome, MS Word, and Open Office. If you prefer another browser, Zotero is also available as a stand-alone desktop application.


One area that I’d like to improve for this group is a listing of upcoming events of interest listed under Calendar. If you have an event scheduled that you’d like to announce, please let me know by sending me an email ( or by posting it to this blog. I will note upcoming events of interest in the Calendar and may highlight these in the monthly blog posts as well.  

ASTR Scholar Projects

Also, as a reminder, every month we feature a new member project from an ASTR scholar working at the intersection of digital methods and theatre and performance studies. Past projects have included digital book editions, website companions for print publications, online resources, and research collectives. If you’re new to the group, I encourage you to look through past posts to read about some of the amazing work that our colleagues have been doing in the digital humanities and theatre.

Stay tuned for a member highlight on the forthcoming project highlight of Erin Mee’s digital article “Hearing the Music of the Hemispheres.” Mee’s essay won the inaugural ATHE-ASTR Award for Excellence in Digital Scholarship for 2016.  


The ASTR annual conference is now less than a month away with several sessions and presentation that intersect the interest of this group. Specific dates and times for sessions will be posted in the calendar, but the following sessions are likely to be of particular interest:

"Transfusions and Transductions: Science and Performance as Imperceptibly Permeable Disciplines"
"Transmedia Fan Culture: Performance Across Platforms and its Audiences"
"Theatre and Transmedia"
"Transmedia Fan Culture: Performers Across Platforms and Their Audiences"
"Video Games and Gaming: Towards a Transmedial Analysis"

Digital methods have often featured prominently in the Theatre Library Association sessions at the conference. This year is no different. This session, “Trans(in)formation: Theatre Library Association Plenary” includes:

“Translating the Stage: Digital Theatricality in Live Broadcast Theatre”
“Transitioning to Big Data: Theatre Studies in the 21st Century”
There is also a career session that is likely to be of interest: “Beyond the Journal: Social Media, Blogs, and Podcasts.”

I’m one of the organizers and seminarians for the “Theatre and Transmedia” working group and I look forward to attending many, if not all of these sessions. I hope to see many of you at the conference and to hear your ideas about how we can make this group most useful to interested scholars and students. It has been a few years since this group presented its own session at ASTR, so we may want to plan a special session for the 2017 conference, Nov. 16-19 in Atlanta, GA.

In the meantime, feel free to update this group’s pages and online libraries, copy useful texts from our Zotero collections, or send me suggestions for resources or events that would make this group most useful to you. I look forward to meeting and discussing this with you soon.

I remain,

digitally yours,

Sarah Bay-Cheng

Tags:  ASTR Minneapolis  news  zotero 

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