Washington College to Help Bring Renaissance London Into the Twenty-First Century
Location: William Smith Hall
Washington College is partnering with the Map of Early Modern London to help contribute to the map with scholarly research, conducted by Dr. Moncrief’s Renaissance Drama class, on the Rose Theater.
On September 9, Dr. Janelle Jenstad, an associate professor of English at the University of Victoria in Canada, spoke to a crowd gathered to hear about her work bringing Renaissance London into the Twenty-First Century. The project is called the Map of Early Modern London, also known as MoEML. MoEML is a digital and interactive map of London, using a digitalized map of London charted by Ralph Agas in 1561, that shows places of interest in London during the early Renaissance era. Bethany Freeman ’16 said that Jenstad’s lecture was “different than most lectures I’ve been to” and that “I think what she’s doing is really cool…the whole map idea and going into different depths is a really cool idea.”
The website the map is hosted on also serves as an encyclopedia, library, and will soon host pages discussing John Stow’s 1598 A Survey of London. The encyclopedia provides information on early modern London and each point of interest on the map has an encyclopedia article to discuss the location and why it is significant to us today. The library houses primary source texts from Early Modern London.
In addition to speaking here at Washington College, Jenstad has invited Dr. Kathryn Moncrief and her Renaissance Drama class to work with the project. Moncrief’s class has been assigned the Rose Theater, an important playhouse in London and the playhouse featured in John Madden’s 1998 film Shakespeare in Love, to provide information on and create an encyclopedia article for the MoEML website. Amber Yeats ’16 said, “The Rose Theater is such an important part of history. It is such an honor for us to be able to work as a class on this.”
This project gives the students in Dr. Moncrief’s class an excellent opportunity to gain experience in scholarly publishing, an opportunity not often granted to undergraduates. If the students’ work is published on the MoEML website, Washington College will forever be linked to the project. Julia Armstrong ’15 said that she is “definitely excited” that her work may be published. She added, “Since I am a senior, I am thinking of stuff outside of school. This is linking school to the outside, and that’s really cool.” Yeats echoed Armstrong, saying, “WAC allows us so many opportunities to share our ideas and opinions with people, and being a part of this project is just another way for us to share our ideas with people around the world”.
MoEML and Washington College are participating in what is called a “pedagogical partnership,” where MoEML pairs up with professors at different universities, helps provide teaching materials for the class, and in return has the class contribute to the Map of Early Modern London.
The Renaissance Drama class is an English, drama, and gender studies course all in one. It focuses on plays written and performed during the Renaissance era in England by playwrights other than William Shakespeare. The class discusses the plays and how they could reflect the feelings and the moods of Renaissance London, how the plays impacted society, how society impacted the plays, and social issues the plays discuss.
If you would like more information on the Map of Early Modern London, visit mapoflondon.uvic.ca.