This digital multimedia book is an open educational resource authored by students and faculty at the University of Georgia (UGA) and Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3 (UPVM3). Focus on "Henry V" also serves as the capstone of a three-year collaboration, with the support of the Partner University Fund/French-American Cultural Exchange Foundation (PUF/FACE) between UGA and UPVM3, "Scene-Stealing/Ravir la scène." From 2016-2019 teams of faculty and students from France and the the US visited each other's institutions and worked together on research projects and publications that focused on a single type of "scene" in early modern or Enlightenment drama in English or in French. In 2016 UGA and UPVM3 collaborated on the conference-festival "Balcony Scenes" at UPVM3, which brought together scholars from three continents to talk about the so-called balcony scene in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet; in 2017 UGA and UPVM3 jointly hosted an international conference on "Bedchamber Scenes/Scènes de lit" in Early Modern European Drama at UGA and a work session on "Scenes in the Other’s Language" at UPVM3; in 2018 the UGA and UPVM teams collaborated on a field study trip to Savannah, Georgia, on a series of presentations on bilingual scenes in Shakespeare's Henry V at UGA and on an international conference, "Scenes in the Other's Language." "Scenes in the Other's Language" considered scenes by early modern British and French playwrights that involved communication across two languages, explicitly identified as such within the text, and the stage histories of such scenes. The teams also visited local schools, where we talked about Shakespeare, citizenship, and theatre. Selected peer-reviewed and revised proceedings from this series of gatherings have been or will be published in the open-access, peer-reviewed, online, multimedia journals Arrêt sur scène/Scene Focus or Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation.
From the beginning of the collaboration, however, co-P.I.s Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin (UPVM3) and Sujata Iyengar (UGA) envisioned another publication: one that would fully involve the undergraduate and graduate students who attended or participated in the conferences or who traveled between France and the USA. We decided, first, that an online open-access educational resource with high-level, peer-reviewed essays both by established academics and by graduate students would be the most appropriate vehicle to display students' talent and to make scholarly materials accessible to everyone. Then we selected Shakespeare's Henry V, with its controversial portrayal of English and French history, its ambiguous marriage between the King of England and the Princess of France, its rich cinematic history, and perhaps the best-known bilingual scenes in the Shakespearean canon, as the play on which our digital book would focus.
Thanks to a Learning Technologies Grant (LTG) from the University Systems of Georgia, the resource's student involvement, and its potential contribution to the scholarship of teaching and learning, became even richer. Our LTG funded us to hire and train a team comprising undergraduate, Master's, and PhD students to serve as technical, art, and multimedia editors so that we could bring high standards of design and readability to the online publication format. Beautifully designed books and websites, we believe, are more likely to be used by students and by teachers at all levels. Our technical editors additionally gained extensive experience with the processes of publishing and copy-editing. Finally, our LTG funded us to include rich audio description of the archival maps and historic photographs of performances that we have included, and to make sure that there are clear and correct English subtitles on video excerpts. Future editions of this resource will include even more student-authored contributions, including annotations to the scholarly essays; additional ekphrasis or image description; original student-authored mini-essays on scenes or parts of scenes; and possibly other types of contribution that we can't imagine yet.
In 2019 the UGA team made its final visit to UPVM3 to display and discuss the "beta-version" of this resource to focus groups and to the team members in France. With the publication of the first edition of this resource scheduled for August 31, 2019, the official three-year partnership will come to an end, although the publication itself will remain in use and, we plan and hope, will go through future editions with additional student contributions.
Although this book may be navigated non-sequentially, its essays follow a coherent order. It begins with a brief overview of the textual history of the early printed editions of Henry V (Daniel Yabut's essay), and a survey of selected sources that Shakespeare used to create the play (Mikaela LaFave's essay). Nora Galland's and Charlène Cruxent's pieces take us from these paratexts (Yabut's brief editorial history) and antecedent texts (LaFave) to individual scene-analyses. Cruxent's contribution both builds on the information provided in Yabut's textual survey to argue for the placement of Act 4, Scene 4 (the scene between Pistol and the French Captain, Le Fer) right after King Henry "galvaniz[es] his troops," and stands alone as an intervention that identifies the roles of onomastics (naming), vituperation (cursing), paronomasia (puns) and (mis)translation perform in challenging Henry V's ostensible ideal of a "United" kingdom of Britain. Nora Galland's essay similarly develops concerns surrounding race, ethnicity, and language previously discussed in the book and works as a free-standing discussion of rhetorical figures of abuse (insultatio, execratio, abominatio, invective) in light of critical race theory and postcolonial studies. Janice Valls-Russell's and Florence March's essays shift us from page to stage, with temporal and geographic foci respectively. The former's essay traces a stage history of Shakespeare's play over the past four decades ("From the Falklands War to Brexit," as her title puts it), and identifies an "arc" or range of differently politicized stagings that depend on current events for their power. The latter's article explores the historical dearth of performances of Henry V in France and the ways in which festival performances in Southern France were able to recuperate through imaginative framing what many had considered an irredeemably anti-Gallic play. Valls-Russell's essay additionally focuses on the scenes between Katherine and Henry and the changing portrayal of the princess over the decades, notably the development of feminist or non-traditional or non-binary approaches towards social gender and gendered characters on stage. Philip Gilreath's essay explores the afterlife of Henry V in popular Anglophone culture, from Hollywood blockbuster movies to cult computer games and comic books, while Julia Koslowsky's concentrates on the specific changes that Lawrence Olivier made to the script of the Chorus in his 1944 film of the play. The book concludes with a set of lesson plans tailored for US middle- and high-school classroom use, by Hayden Benson, followed by jointly-authored discussion questions or essay directives for college classrooms (also linked to particular essays within this book). The volume ends with the Folger Digital Editions text of Henry V, both as plain text and as direct links to individual acts and scenes.