¶ Dear readers:
¶ The last way I typically describe my scholarship is as economic history. It feels like a confession, a thing that someone who studies literature, including Shakespeare, shouldn’t be interested in. It is, however, perhaps the most true statement of the kinds of work I do, often counting large groups of data sets, considering the parameters and variables, and taking into account elements that would have affected the purchasing decisions made by sixteenth-century playgoers.
¶ Ultimately, I find this very rewarding work because it tells me something about what priorities early moderns held when it came to memory, creativity, and novelty. It also challenges my assumptions about why people go/went to theatre, what experience they are/were hoping to have, et cetera. In order to do this kind of work, I am increasingly in need of better graphing and mapping tools to visualize the data for others and to draw inferences. About midway through the summer, in advance of a conference paper, I appealed to Facebook for recommendations beyond what MS Excel could deliver. Here are those responses.