Hank Dobin presented and demonstrated Semper Varia, the Elizabeth timeline, at the Sixteenth Century Society Conference in New Orleans, October 16-19, 2014. As part of a larger cohort of digital humanists, and more specifically a panelist in a session on Digital Humanities Pedagogy, Dobin described the development of the timeline tool and the winter 2014 course, Representations of Elizabeth, in which the timeline was first deployed and tested. Even with an audience of digital humanists, the timeline–and the pedagogy of the course–intrigued and enthused listeners. Several gathered afterwards to ask questions and to copy the URL in order to play with the timeline themselves. Clearly, in the arena of digitizing time, the timeline we have developed at W&L remains a cutting-edge tool for both collecting and displaying information. Although other tools, such as Palladio now being developed at Stanford, hold great promise, nothing currently matches the functionality and quality of the Elizabeth and Essex timelines.
Hank Dobin has joked, that like a little kid with a hammer for which everything now requires hammering, he now thinks that everything he does requires a timeline.
Having proven itself so well in the winter 2014 course, Representations of Elizabeth, the digital timeline is now being put to use in a new course on Shakespeare on film, called Celluloid Shakespeare. In this seminar for advanced English majors, students are each presenting several oral reports — about additional Shakespeare-adapted or inspired films we will not have the chance to study together, about important classic films, and about milestones in film history. After each report, the student will complete a timeline entry. By the end of the term, we will have a useful and fun Timeline of Shakespeare on film with well over 50 entries complete with music, movie stills, video clips, links to scholarship, and more. It will be made available to the public and will continue to grow with additional postings as the course is offered again in the future. A link to the Celluloid Shakespeare Timeline will be made available at the end of the fall term.