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  • From the Editor

I write here to bid two farewells—the first on behalf of all of us at Shakespeare Quarterly to our brilliant colleague Barbara A. Mowat who died on 24 November 2017; the second from me to the readers of SQ whom I have been delighted to serve (with a hiatus during the tenure of David Schalkwyk) since taking over as Editor in 1997.

Barbara came to the Folger Shakespeare Library in 1985 to head the Folger's academic programs and to serve as Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly. She was an exemplary leader in both positions, and under her stewardship SQ achieved the preeminence in Shakespeare studies that it continues to hold today. A glance into the SQ archives reveals a bevy of essays she patiently coached into being from first submission through revision and on to publication that have become classics—original, often groundbreaking essays in textual scholarship, theater history, feminism, pedagogy, and other Shakespeare subspecialties in our rich field of scholarly endeavor. The painstaking editorial process for which SQ is known and the high standards to which we hold our journal are the direct result of Barbara's brilliance and rigorous judgment.

Thanks perhaps to her early training as a mathematician, she had an unerring ability to spot logical holes or flaws in an argument and the necessary patience to work with authors on fixing them. She valued concision in style and understood the excitement of archival investigation, recognizing that publishing a Shakespeare journal under the auspices of a research library with the world's largest Shakespeare collection gave us a unique advantage. Although her greatest single accomplishment, clearly, was partnering with Paul Werstine to edit the magnificent Folger Shakespeare Library editions, that editorial work proved a great benefit to SQ too, since her ever-increasing authority as a textual scholar attracted submissions on Shakespeare's texts to SQ and enabled us to evaluate such submissions with confidence. The sum of her many gifts as a scholar and as a remarkably warm and generous personality makes her an irreplaceable colleague, but she has left behind a tradition of excellence as Editor that everyone involved with the work of SQ can cherish and hope to emulate.

The second farewell—as I wrote at the beginning—involves me. With the Spring Issue (2018), I will change positions on the masthead from Editor to [End Page 317] Consulting Editor, happily turning the leadership of SQ over to Jeremy Lopez of the University of Toronto. I have not tired of the process of reading and responding to every manuscript submitted to the journal or of working with authors on perfecting their manuscripts. I still enjoy turning to accepted essays with pencil in hand. I recognize that being the Editor of a journal devoted to Shakespeare has given me an unparalleled view—somehow bird's eye and worm's eye both—of a field always on the move. Each day as Editor of SQ has taught me something that I did not know or that I would not have found out on my own about the plays and poems and historical period that I, like the readers of SQ, love so deeply. I am tremendously grateful to the authors for their interest in SQ, to the members of the SQ Editorial Board, and to the many peer reviewers who have generously and anonymously served the mission of SQ to publish the best work in our field.

It felt evident to me, however, that the moment had arrived for a new editorial perspective and that it was time for a member of a younger scholarly generation to take over as Editor. I am thrilled that Jeremy Lopez—whose scholarly work on the early modern canon I much admire for its range and daring—has agreed to take the helm at SQ, ably assisted by Jessica Frazier who continues as Managing Editor and Jennifer Wood who continues as Editorial Associate. I will assume the post of Consulting Editor—as Barbara was before me—working alongside Ted Leinwand to support Jeremy in final decision-making.

Being the Editor of SQ at a time of great challenge to humanistic scholarship generally and to academic journals...


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pp. 317-319
Launched on MUSE
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