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IPFW College of Arts and Sciences publishes first journal devoted to Christopher Marlowe

July 2011

Nearly 420 years after the death of playwright and poet Christopher Marlowe (1564-93), a venue for scholarly essays on his work -- Marlowe Studies: An Annual -- is being published for the first time. Editing the publication is world-renowned Shakespearean scholar M.L. Stapleton, the Chapman Distinguished Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW).

M.L. Stapleton

M.L. Stapleton

Stapleton said the compilation of essays is an idea whose time has come. "Marlowe is the author of seven known plays, some translations, and two frequently anthologized poems, 'Hero and Leander' and 'Come Live with Me and Be My Love,'" Stapleton said. "Though this is a relatively small body of work, it has garnered a great deal of recent interest in early modern studies."

Marlowe Studies: An Annual contains cutting-edge scholarly essays on the man who was born the same year as Shakespeare but died at the age of 29, just as he was reaching his prime.

The first issue features essays on Marlowe's most popular play, Doctor Faustus (the tragedy about the professor who sells his soul to the devil), the Reformation and the political dimensions of later publications of the text in 17th-century England; an extensive bibliography of works devoted to Marlowe published between 2000 and 2009; an analysis of the author's use of prose in his plays; two essays devoted to the burgeoning field of theater history and Marlowe's plays; and a work of important scholarship that constitutes a significant bibliographical discovery -- the date of the publication of a Marlowe play that had been hitherto unknown, as the title page of the text has no date.

"The scholar is an expert on paper, and how it was manufactured in 16-century England. This kind of thing is very exciting to scholars, like correctly attributing a painting to Michelangelo, or discovering that a fossil is much older than you thought it was," Stapleton said.

Contributing to the inaugural issue are 12 scholars from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. After Stapleton and associate editor Sarah K. Scott, a professor in early modern studies at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Md., accept, submit for peer review and finalize the content, Cathleen M. Carosella and Kendra Morris take over.

"My assistant and I copy edit it to ensure that all aspects are clear for our readership," Carosella said. "Beyond merely editing text, we check every citation and quotation and format the piece." The two also prepare images and tables submitted for inclusion and set the articles into the publication template. Carosella and Morris are the managing editor and editorial assistant, respectively, for IPFW's journal, Clio: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History. They have also built a website devoted to Marlowe Studies, marlowestudies.org.

The annual is currently only be available in hard copy. Once the issue is published and registered with the Library of Congress, Carosella will begin negotiations to have the annual included on ". . . academic and other aggregated databases, such as those available through EBSCO and Thomson." Stapleton said he'd like to think the annual will be accessible to ". . . any literate person in our community, but our target audience is certainly academic, specifically those who specialize in early modern studies, for example Shakespeare, Milton and Spenser, and, of course, those who love Marlowe."

For more information on Marlowe Studies: An Annual, contact Stapleton at 260-481-6772 or stapletm@ipfw.edu. Subscription rates are available at http://marlowestudies.org/.