In “Shakespeare Comes to Indonesia,” Michael Skupin discusses Trisno Sumardjo’s English-to-Indonesian Shakespeare translations from the early 1950s. Sumardjo’s translations—including Hamlet, Pangeran Denmark, and Saudagar Venezia [The Merchant of Venice], both published in 1950—drew from both the original English texts and from Dutch-language translations of Shakespeare’s plays, the latter reflecting the legacy of the Netherlands’ colonization of Indonesia.Footnote 1 For many of Sumardjo’s Indonesian readers in the 1950s, Dutch was “the language of advantage in pre-independence Indonesia,”Footnote 2 its apparent cultural capital dovetailing with Shakespeare’s international reputation as a global literary icon (a status itself steeped in long histories of English cultural, economic and political imperialism). Sumardjo made Shakespeare available in the “local” language (as opposed to the “language of advantage”) but not before filtering the text through the colonial language imposed on that locality. Sumardjo’s Shakespeare translations, then, exemplify many of the complexities of Global Shakespeare: an English-language play is translated into a local language, by way of another language introduced by colonizers. Indonesian translations of Shakespeare grant local populations agency over documents historically imposed on them. Through translation, global audiences make Shakespeare their own, shrugging off imposed languages along with other forms of colonial domination. At the same time, these translations can maintain the whiff of colonial oppression, reifying a system of value that prizes the culture of colonial powers, and crowds out local voices.

Sumardjo’s 1950s translations also speak to the fact that, long before “Global Shakespeare(s)” was a named field, global Shakespeare studies were carried out around the world. Skupin, a teacher of Chinese Culture University in Taipei, published “Shakespeare Comes to Indonesia” in Multicultural Shakespeare: Translation, Appropriation and Performance, a journal devoted to global Shakespeares published by University of Łódź in Poland and De Gruyter, and edited by Kawachi Yoshiko from Kyorin University and Krystyna Kujawińska Courtney from the University of Łódź.Footnote 3 The editors themselves are active scholars in Global Shakespeare studies: Yoshiko has published on the reception of Shakespeare in modern Japan, while Kujawińska Courtney is a leader in the study of the reception of Shakespeare in Poland and has also co-edited The Globalization of Shakespeare in the Nineteenth Century. As this brief introductory example suggests, the translation, research, and publication of Shakespeare is a global affair, leading to collaboration between scholars across continents, past and present. Shakespeare studies have thrived around the world, in the Global North and South, in Anglophone and non-Anglophone countries alike, for decades and in many cases, centuries.

And yet, while the wealth of research produced in different regions such as the Global South is unmistakable, the ability to find and access this scholarship can range wildly depending on one’s region.Footnote 4 Articles might appear in regional journals, institutional bulletins, and society newsletters, each of which might have a publication run of only a few dozen copies. In that case, few scholars outside the immediate area could know what existed or be able to access research from a given location. This speaks to a too-often undervalued fact about scholarly discourse: while publication is undoubtedly important for disseminating research, equally important is retrieval and access. Only once these are in place, regionalized Shakespeare studies can become truly global. The digital turn has made Global Shakespeares more accessible: open-access journals like Multicultural Shakespeare contribute to an academic study of Shakespeare that is truly global in scope.

This chapter contributes to a collection on Shakespeare in the Global South by considering how we find and access scholarship from around the world often without even leaving our homes. Having much of the world at our fingertips beneath our keys, does not, however, mean that we can find or access materials equally. As we demonstrate, online publishing (including open journal systems and open-access publishing), digital databases, repositories, and digital bibliography make Shakespearean research from around the world findable. From the scores of digital resources from particular locales, regions, or countries which aggregate and disseminate Shakespeare research and performance, we discuss the South Asian Review of English; the Shakespeare Society of Eastern India; the journal Shakespeare in Southern Africa; and the KL Shakespeare Players from Kuala Lumpur, together representing a range of approaches, “traditional” and innovative, democratizing and elevating Shakespeare’s global reach. These complement digital resources committed to a pan-regional or pan-Global approach, such as the Asian Shakespeare Intercultural Archive (A|S|I|A), MIT’s Global Shakespeares, Multicultural Shakespeares, Borrowers and Lenders, and the World Shakespeare Bibliography (WSB). Together, these local, global, and glocal digital resources participate in global Shakespeare studies by making international and multilingual criticism, editions, and performances available and searchable.Footnote 5 Digital publication can enable finding scholarship by and about the Global South; it can also enable access for scholars working in the Global South.

With this essay, we seek to acknowledge the lack of visibility of Shakespeare scholars from the Global South, particularly due to a dearth of citation, and to contribute to its remedy through a citation practice that moves beyond the typical centres of Shakespeare studies.Footnote 6 Shakespeare scholarship, as it currently stands, is dominated by Anglo-America and the well-funded institutions and publishing mechanisms that help make this scholarship visible. The problem of accessibility not only leaves scholars of the Global South invisible to those outside of those regional or linguistic communities, but also raises obstacles to any aspirations of South-South cooperation. Citing scholarship of the Global South can contribute to a positive feedback loop of further citation and increased visibility for scholars who have been historically and undeservedly marginalized within the field.

Digital publishing can offer the promise of democratizing both the production of knowledge and access to that knowledge, yet, as this chapter recognizes, online publishing tends only to reinforce existing power dynamics. We consider challenges that face scholars working in languages other than English, and the difficulties that arise when it comes to considering global Shakespeare journal articles. We conclude by showing how digital resources not only publish research on global Shakespeare; they participate in the act of global Shakespeare studies.

Building on important work on the history of global Shakespeare studies, particularly with regards to scholarship on performance and reception, this chapter focuses on Shakespearean publication in the broad sense of “making public,” as registered in exhibitions, online pedagogical performances, scholarly periodicals in the form of journals and journal articles, and bibliographies. Our broad approach is informed by Alexa Alice Joubin’s argument that we need to transform “global Shakespeares from centerpieces in exotic displays into critical methodologies.”Footnote 7 Focusing on the performance archive, Joubin tackles the “archival silences” in global Shakespeare studies that “place entire avenues of thought beyond our research.”Footnote 8 Drawing on Joubin, this chapter turns to the archive of Shakespeare studies as registered in multilingual journal articles published around the world. Archival silences can be the consequence of redaction or now-lost information, which can be difficult to overcome. But they can also result from lack of access and findability, problems which digital resources can help rectify, yet too often exacerbate.Footnote 9 Some of the most glaring silences in the archive of journal articles about Shakespeare have been work by non-Western and non-Anglophone scholars. Moreover, what scholars from the Global North deem as “silence” or “gaps” can actually be a matter of their failure to recognize or attend to ongoing conversations. Effective research is a matter of learning where to look and how to listen.

We come to this article as two white Anglophone scholars from the Global North. We were invited to write this article based on our editorship of the World Shakespeare Bibliography (Craig is editor, Estill is past editor), a digital resource whose purview includes the goal of making Shakespeare resources from around the world, including the Global South, findable for scholars. When we began this chapter, we were tasked with writing about global Shakespeare, yet, as we demonstrate, “global Shakespeare” is always the study of particulars rooted in different cultures and geographies. As this chapter explores, supporting “global Shakespeare studies” with projects such as the World Shakespeare Bibliography will only be fruitful if we continue to produce, study, and engage with Shakespeare locally, as chapters by Chris Thurman, Amrita Sen, and Souvik Mukherjee demonstrate. We do not presume to speak for the Global South; rather, our chapter considers how we can best listen. As we articulate, improved enumerative bibliography, both on the global scale with the World Shakespeare Bibliography and on local scales, as well as access to publications (both digital projects and journal articles) is one of the ways to amplify previously muted scholarship in order to facilitate a truly global approach to Shakespeare.

Global Shakespeares Before “Global Shakespeares”

A search for “Global Shakespeare*”Footnote 10 in the World Shakespeare Bibliography (WSB) brings up only a few results before the year 2000, including an annotation for a journal article from 1989 that discusses “the global Shakespeare industry,”Footnote 11 the MIT Global Shakespeares site,Footnote 12 and a “Global Shakespeare” book series by International Thomson Publishing launched in 1997.Footnote 13 At the turn of the twenty-first century, however, we see the term “Global Shakespeare” begin to be widely adopted. Of course, Shakespeare studies, translations, and performances existed around the world well before the “global Shakespeare” label or critical approach was used; in other words, the practice of global Shakespeare predates “Global Shakespeare(s)” as a recognized field of study.Footnote 14 Before “global Shakespeare” was a named field, scholars published about Shakespeare in international journals. These journals were often associated with a particular society, university, or region; they might be published in English or regional languages. Just as we have global Shakespeares plural—consider the name of MIT’s Global Shakespeares, an important digital resource—this field has plural histories, rather than a single, unified history, which involves performance, translation, adaptation, reception, tourism, and scholarship.

For instance, in response to a British Council-sponsored Shakespeare exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1980, Ooi Boo Eng’s essay-in-verse, “For ‘The Age of Shakespeare’ Exhibition,” (1981) invokes Shakespeare’s transhistorical and trans-cultural cultural dominance which is at once both impressive and problematic. Anxiety about Shakespeare’s tendency to eclipse others is not unique to the modern Global South: Eng cites the sixteenth-century dramatist Robert Greene’s envious resentment of his contemporary Shakespeare, exemplified by Greene’s memorable insult of Shakespeare as the “upstart crow”; addressing Shakespeare, the poem imagines Greene’s reaction to Shakespeare’s status: “A fit, now, he would throw / to see you, world-wide, an industry, supporting many a professor’s salary.”Footnote 15 As the essay-in-verse suggests, since the sixteenth century Shakespeare’s reputation has not only grown steadily upward but also outward, becoming the centre of a global industry supporting academics and artists, and potentially a symbol of political, economic, and cultural imperialism. As its title indicates, Eng’s essay-in-verse was occasioned by the “Age of Shakespeare” Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur in October 1980, sponsored by the British Council. The event prompts a meditation on Shakespeare and the English language as a celebrated yet ambivalent legacy of a colonial power on the wane:


Verse What’s England coming to these days? With one voice the world says: Gone to seed but for two very English things: English and you, Shakespeare, dramatist without peer (and perhaps the British Council, too).

In this poem, the presence of Shakespeare offers an uneasy reminder of the British colonization of the Malay Peninsula, but also fodder for local populations to appropriate and remake into their own, and which sparks global Shakespeare studies. “For ‘The Age of Shakespeare’ Exhibition” appeared in an early issue of The South Asian Review of English (SARE), a journal devoted to critical conversations “from all of the world,” “on the literatures, languages, and cultures of Southeast, South, and East Asia.” From its outset, SARE has ranged beyond South Asia in terms of subject matter: following its inaugural publication in 1980, early issues included “A Guide to Canadian Fiction”Footnote 16 as well as attention to the literature of New Zealand. Existing solely as an electronic journal from 2016, SARE has digitized all of its early issues, making them available open access and readable from abroad.

A recent issue of SARE features Su Mei Kok’s “‘What’s Past is Prologue’: Postcolonialism, Globalisation, and the Demystification of Shakespeare in Malaysia,” which considers the impact of KL Shakespeare, a Kuala-Lumpur-based theatre troupe, within the context of globalized education. With a motto that “Shakespeare was originally written not to be studied by intellectuals or seen by snobs, but to be performed for the general masses,”Footnote 17 KL Shakespeare’s pedagogical production series “Shakespeare Demystified,” is designed to make Shakespeare accessible to new audiences who might typically be intimidated by Shakespeare’s language. Their stated goal is “to take Shakespeare to every state in Malaysia, and eventually to all countries in Southeast Asia.”Footnote 18 In 2017, KL Shakespeare performed Macbeth across Malaysia and overseas in Manila and Seoul. Their pedagogical outreach extends beyond performance, and indeed beyond the playhouse: In 2021, the KL Shakespeare Players (KLSP) received a British Council “Connecting Through Culture” grant: over a series of workshops on “objects in Shakespeare” the KLSP “will be exploring how to transform these ‘things’ playfully in productions for non-native English-speaking children.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, KL Shakespeare continued to perform and engage their audiences with live interactive online shows, performing 50 online shows in 2020 and continuing into 2021, with a performance of King Lear. KL Shakespeare’s “Shakespeare Demystified,” was originally designed to make English-language Shakespearean performances accessible to audiences across South East Asia; their online ticketed performances in the COVID-19 era make Shakespeare accessible in a different way.Footnote 19

The South Asian Review of English is one of several regional journals which has contributed to the study of Shakespeare in and of the Global South, as part of its wider study of literatures across the globe. Similarly, Theatre International, the annual journal of the Shakespeare Society of Eastern India, publishes Shakespeare criticism amid a broader approach.Footnote 20 Its inaugural volume, titled “East West Perspectives on Theatre” published in 1994, announced Theatre International as “an international Journal-cum-Dramabook” which intends to “cater to the frontierless international community” of scholars and artists through “the constitution of its editorial board, through its intended wide-angle global readership, in its range and scope of subject matter and focus, in its selection of experts and specialist writers.”Footnote 21 Though not devoted to Shakespeare exclusively, Theatre International’s description of its mission is an apt manifesto for Global Shakespeares publication. Aimed at a wide international audience in 1994, the online publication of this journal makes the work still more accessible to a broader audience of Shakespeareans. Again, all this speaks to the importance of access for disseminating Shakespeare scholarship.

SARE and Theatre International respectively embed Shakespeare within their broad approaches to literature and theatre. Regional journals exclusively devoted to Shakespeare also play a crucial role. Shakespeare in Southern Africa is a project of the Shakespeare Society of Southern Africa, and published as part of African Journals Online, which is committed to open access. Although its title suggests a tight focus on Shakespeare in a particular region, its geographical scope is international. They are particularly interested in Shakespeare’s impact in the Global South: inviting contributions discussing the legacy of Shakespeare throughout Africa, with a specific focus on the Shakespearean experience in particular African countries. In addition, the journal “actively seeks to publish articles investigating the impact of Shakespeare in other parts of the world, such as India, the United States, South East Asia and South America.”Footnote 22 Even seemingly regional journals, then, can be committed to and undertake pan-global approaches to Shakespeare. Digitization of decades' worth of the South Asian Review of English, Shakespeare in Southern Africa, and Theatre International of the Shakespeare Society of Eastern India demonstrates the importance of dissemination, often digital, of traditional scholarship in the form of academic journals.

Geographically or regionally focused Shakespeare journals are complemented by the wide coverage of journals like Multicultural Shakespeare and Borrowers and Lenders. Open-access online journals allow for research to be shared more easily across the globe: print-only journals have a limited circulation and paywalled journals might only be available to academics working at universities which can afford to subscribe to them. Subscription budgets for humanities journals and bibliographies vary and each country faces different accessibility problems. Although online journals also have barriers to access, they make information available to anyone with an internet connection.

Multicultural Shakespeare: Translation, Appropriation, and Performance, published by Łódź University Press, is a print and open-access online journal that is devoted to the study of Global Shakespeare. Multicultural Shakespeare solicits contributions from “researchers, especially those from non-English-speaking backgrounds…that contribute to the creation and understanding of Shakespeare as [a] global phenomenon.”Footnote 23 Their recent special issues have included “Shakespeare, Blackface, and Performance: A Global Exploration” (2020), “Shakespeare and Intermedial / Cross-Cultural Contacts” (2019), and “Shakespeare, National Origins, and Nationality” (2016). Multicultural Shakespeare is a model of online Global Shakespeare Studies because of its commitment to publishing diverse academic voices and representing research about “local concerns.”Footnote 24 It is precisely this journal’s emphasis on local interpretations of Shakespeare that contributes to Global Shakespeare, the catch-all name we apply to the polyvocal and multi-focused study of particulars.

As their title suggests, Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation, from the University of Georgia in the United States, another open-access online Shakespeare journal, focuses on adaptations and appropriation. This area of focus actively invites scholars working on Global Shakespeare, as many articles about Global Shakespeare focus on translation, adaptation, and international performance. For instance, in their 2015 Fall/Winter issue, Borrowers and Lenders published articles such as Giselle Rampaul’s “Shakespeare, Empire, and the Trinidad Calypso,” Delia Ungureanu’s “Translating Autobiography into Fiction: Chiasmus and the Play of the Authorial Mind in Hamlet and Pale Fire,” and Rosa M. Garcia-Periago’s “English Shakespeares in Indian Cinema: 36 Chowringhee Lane and The Last Lear.Footnote 25 These articles show a range of approaches to global Shakespeare, both with their regional focus (Trinidad, Russia, and India) and methodological approaches (music history, comparative literature, and film studies). Adaptation studies have been a longstanding mainstay of Global Shakespeare; Borrowers and Lenders publishes some of the most interesting and provocative adaptation studies in the field.

One challenge facing all journals (regional or global) is making their online content findable by scholars, not only to read, but crucially, to cite. Citation entails a range of intellectual and economic benefits—aiding the circulation of new knowledge in the field and increasing a scholar’s opportunities for collaboration and professional promotion. Scholars from the Global South are cited less often: enhancing access to and citation of scholarship by researchers of the Global South, therefore, is necessary to remedy longstanding disparities within the field.

Simply putting a journal online, however, does not make it more findable or cited, particularly when it comes to popular search topics like Shakespeare and Hamlet. The challenge of finding and engaging with research on Shakespeare is compounded by the fact that it does not feature only in journals devoted entirely to the study of Shakespeare: it also regularly appears in journals about literature, history, theatre, and beyond. Articles on Shakespeare also occasionally pop up in less-expected places, such as journals about graphic novels or medicine. Non-Shakespearean journals, too, can be limited to regional circulation or circulation within a particular language group. Sometimes these articles are less likely to be read and cited by Shakespearean scholars, who already have a long list of Shakespeare and early modern studies journals with which to keep up: Shakespeare Quarterly, Shakespeare Bulletin, Shakespeare Survey, English Literary Renaissancethe list goes on. It is no wonder, then, that content published in The Lancet and Current Archaeology (both of which include multiple articles about Shakespeare), as well as other journals from non-literary fields can be overlooked by Shakespeareans. Scholars in the Global North might also overlook Shakespeare journals from outside their region. The Indian Journal of English Studies has been publishing for over 60 years, a history comparable to Shakespeare Quarterly, but despite its longevity, the journal is less-cited than Shakespeare Quarterly, likely partly due to its scope and geographical affiliation.

As all this suggests, disseminating Global Shakespeares happens across media, around the world: theatrically, digitally, and in print. Exhibitions and performances spark essays-in-verse and journal articles, which themselves become the subject of other essays, such as this one. The widespread publication of articles about Shakespeare in journals with broader purviews around the globe is precisely why bibliographies and other aggregators exist: so scholars can locate materials even (especially!) when it appears in publications that are not on their radar. The foundational and important role of enumerative bibliography in Shakespeare studies, as in other fields, is to make materials findable by researchers. Finding materials is often the first step to access.

Digital Projects, Bibliographies, and Databases: Global Shakespeares in the Digital Age

Digital projects are at the vanguard of disseminating Global Shakespeare, where the dynamism of the digital enables multilingual, multimedia options that render material accessible to a wide global audience. In the Asian Shakespeare Intercultural Archive (A|S|I|A), users can search in English, Mandarin, Japanese, and Korean across the site’s video recordings of Shakespeare productions in Asia, accompanied by the original script and translations in a text window. The Taiwan Shakespeare Database, founded by Bi-qi Beatrice Lei, is an open-access online database of Shakespearean productions in Taiwan, offering streamed videos of performance and information about performances, interviews, reviews, and more, in Cantonese, Mandarin, Minnan, Henan dialect, and English. Performances are a pillar of Shakespeare scholarship, and the foundation of theatre history, performance studies, and film studies, among others. Providing access to information about performances beyond theatres in the Global North (especially the United Kingdom and North America), in multiple languages, ensures Shakespeare performers and other production personnel from around the world can become a part of Global Shakespeare studies.

Like digital projects, specialized bibliographies—those that focus on the study of Shakespeare in a given region—play an important role in making global scholarship findable. In the first issue of Shakespeare in Southern Africa, the Department of Librarianship at Rhodes University (South Africa) provided “A Shakespeare bibliography of periodical publications in South Africa in 1985 and 1986”; this bibliography continued for decades. Another such list created around the same time, by Rosa Maria Martínez Ascaso, catalogued the articles on Shakespeare held in the Biblioteca de Catalunya in Barcelona: rather than listing the publications that appeared in a particular region, instead, it let scholars know about the Shakespearean articles they could access if they visited a given location.Footnote 26 Other notable regional bibliographies include Takashi Sasaki’s annual Shakespeare News from Japan and monograph A Bibliography of Shakespeare Studies in Japan (Heisei Period) as well as Ángel-Luis Pujante and Juan F. Cerdá’s Shakespeare in Spain: An Annotated Bilingual Bibliography.Footnote 27 Local or national bibliographies highlight the importance of Shakespeare reception and scholarship in a given region, which promotes this important scholarship and can make it findable and accessible to a global audience. When these bibliographies are available online, they disseminate their work even more widely.Footnote 28

Other finding aids can take narrower focuses such as Bernice W. Kliman’s Hamletworks, which focuses entirely on Hamlet. Hamletworks publishes original scholarly articles, with an entire section of the site devoted to “Global Hamlet,”Footnote 29 reprinting essays such as Ruri Li’s “Hamlet in China: Translation, Interpretation, and Performance.” Hamletworks offers features beyond journal articles, including a Hamlet Concordance of multiple early texts and digitizations of full-text books such as Shakespeare: Rare Print Collection (1900). One of the site’s most valuable contributions is that it has digitized the entire print run of Hamlet Studies, a journal that ran from 1979 to 2003. Hamletworks is both an open-access publisher and an archive: it centralizes a number of resources about Hamlet and helps make previously published print-only articles findable and accessible online.

Contrasting regional bibliographies and specialist finding aids, the World Shakespeare Bibliography (WSB), the premier bibliography of Shakespeare studies, takes a global approach to Shakespeare studies. The WSB offers annotations of articles, books, dissertations, professional productions, and digital projects about Shakespeare from 1960–present (as well as listing reviews for these). Despite its broad coverage, the existence of the WSB does not negate the need for regionally focused bibliographies, though they will, of course, overlap. Specialized bibliographies often have different coverage from pan-Global ones. Pujante and Cerdá’s, for instance, extends back to 1764—almost two hundred years more than the WSB, whose ambit begins in 1960. Specialist bibliographies might cover Master’s theses, university productions, or newspaper articles, which are not included in the WSB.Footnote 30 Most importantly, these regional bibliographies show the longstanding importance of global Shakespeare studies by focusing on the local. While a scholar can do a language-limited search in the WSB, we do not yet have the functionality of searching by publication place; we cannot differentiate Portuguese publications and productions in Brazil from those in, say, Portugal, the Azores, or Mozambique. Regional bibliographies are needed to open up further (local) research in global Shakespeare studies.

The WSB, however, plays an important role in making global Shakespeare scholarship findable. Scholars who use the WSB can choose to limit their search by language, selecting one or more languages. Language-limited searches allow comparatists to find translations and adaptations, while also enabling broader, quantitative analysis. A language-limited search could be used to find scholarship, translations, or performances in a particular language on Shakespeare. Although it indexes and annotates materials in all languages (including, for instance, translations of Shakespeare into Mauritian Creole and Bikol, an indigenous language of the PhilippinesFootnote 31), the interface of WSB is currently only in English. WSB offers a brief English-language annotation for the material it covers, while also noting the presence of abstracts in other languages in its source material.

Online journals seek to make their material available by making it findable and accessible. Many online journal articles can be found through simple Google searches or through more specialized searches in Google scholar.Footnote 32 More and more Shakespeareans are choosing to publish in open-access venues; others are choosing to self-archive their work to make it findable, accessible, and to prevent digital loss. Shakespeareans looking to self-archive their journal articles (in order to preserve and promote their work) can choose to deposit their published materials in an institutional repository or Humanities Commons CORE (Commons Open Repository Exchange).Footnote 33 Humanities Commons offers scholars the ability to tag their work with appropriate subjects, such as “Shakespeare” and “LLC Shakespeare” (related to the Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Shakespeare group from the Modern Language Association). The WSB also aggregates performances (theatrical, cinematic, and digital, the latter increasingly important following the COVID-19 pandemic), along with scholarship, something that traditional bibliographies do not include as a matter of course.

Because a distinguishing feature of the categories of “Global North” and “Global South” is economic development, money underlies manifold issues of global Shakespeare studies, whether in terms of access to journals, personal and institutional costs of journal subscriptions, memberships, and access to bibliographies. Even for the high-quality, peer-reviewed, open-access publications discussed (such as Borrowers and Lenders, Shakespeare Seminar Online, or The Journal for Early Modern Studies) there are costs associated with online publication and maintenance, which can be paid by universities, societies, or presses. Some specialist bibliographies such as the MLAIB and the WSB are paywalled and available only to those who have a personal subscription or access through their library. One way the World Shakespeare Bibliography works to limit the gap in access is by offering free access to the WSB and Shakespeare Quarterly to the international correspondents who report on local Shakespeare study and performance.Footnote 34 Scholars who contribute to the WSB, then, are not only credited for their contributions on the site, but also reap the benefits of accessing both the database and one of the flagship journals in the field. Furthermore, the WSB links directly to open-access journal articles from their WSB entry, which can help scholars without robust institutional subscriptions find full-text resources where possible.

The goal of enumerative bibliographies is to make scholarship findable; as such, the future of bibliography is digital. In Shakespeare studies, the future of enumerative bibliography will need to look to smaller, specialized bibliographies as well as to large projects such as the WSB. When it comes to looking at regional scholarship, local experts are pivotal. Curated reading lists by specialists can also play a role in making scholarship findable. Shakespeare studies is a broad field that spans multiple disciplines and includes many different specialities: as Shakespeareans, we need bibliographies that include a diversity of voices and items so that we can better research, that is, listen and learn.


With the advent of the digital era, Global Shakespeare studies became more than the study of Shakespeare’s impact around the world. Global Shakespeares now include the international publication of works by and about Shakespeare as well as the study of that publication, as this chapter demonstrates. Digital publication and aggregation play a key role in publishing and disseminating scholarship and performance from the Global South, from scholars, and artists who have been historically underrepresented. To carry out research that accounts for the breadth and depth of Shakespeare studies across the world, scholars must move beyond publications from their own areas, regions, countries, continents, and hemispheres, to find emerging perspectives in new venues and locales they might have previously overlooked. This means reconsidering the nature of our discipline, decentring the traditional geographical loci of our field, and looking towards new approaches to Shakespeare and embracing global voices. Digital publication, to varying degrees and in multiple forms, plays a crucial role in the creation and perpetuation of Shakespeare studies in the Global South. The turn to digital informs not just how we publish our journal articles, nor simply the kind of evidence we have and on which we base our claims, but also expands the space and population of the field of Shakespeare studies.