Thy Rights & Responsibilities

    1. You have the right to a safe and supportive space for discussing Shakespeare and pandemics.

We do not tolerate harassment, hate speech, trolling, or anything less than civil discourse between users of this website. The website moderators approve every annotation before it can be published and viewable to the public, and reserve the right to delete any annotations that violate our Community Policies, and/or ban any users who continue to violate our website standards. If you see any annotation, comment, or community interaction that you feel is abusive or makes others uncomfortable or unsafe, please report it to us here.

    2. You have the right to a space that is accessible, user-friendly, and inclusive.

We have endeavored to ensure that this website is as inclusive and accessible to others as possible. We collect no identifying data aside from your username, geographic location, and, if you’re a student at one of our partner universities, institutional affiliation, and make no categorizations based on age, race, gender, or sexuality. This website was built in Drupal CMS, which has a community commitment to accessibility. The text on this website is machine-readable and responds well to the Zoom function on most web browsers, all in sans-serif for readers with dyslexia, and designed in a color scheme friendly to color-blindness (dark font on light backgrounds or vice versa). For ease of website moderation with our small team, the plays on this website are in English; however, we recognize and welcome non-native English speakers to engage with these texts, and do not censor, penalize, or edit annotations for spelling or grammatical errors.

We encourage you to share any thoughts or suggestions you have about improving inclusion and accessibility on this website, as well as report any issues you have in using the website here.

    3. You have the right to know how your data is stored and used.

Pandemic Shakespeare stores all Annotation data in a local SQL database. The data will be backed up on a weekly basis by the site administrator and Annotation data can be deleted at any time with a reasonable request. If your data is used at any point in the future for research or publication, we will make every attempt to contact you via the email address you registered to this site, but we cannot guarantee that we will reach you.

    4. You have the right to know which text you’re reading.

This site uses the Folger Shakespeare Library’s digital editions of The Winter’s Tale and King Lear, edited by Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine and made available for public reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported license. Changes made to the texts include deletion of images, extra spaces between lines, as well as line numbers for every line (we use line numbers for every five lines, instead). All of these modifications were made to make the plays both easier to read for our project as well as to allow them to display on our Drupal site. You can find more information about the Folger Library’s editorial stance here.

    5. You have the right to reuse, adapt, and redistribute content on this website (including your own).

All annotations, comments, images, videos, audio, and other content created on the site are put under the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license immediately on publication. The CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license license states that

    - content can be shared, adapted, redistributed, and reused non-commercially
    - as long the author is attributed (username and link to and
    - as long as the reused content carries the same CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license

This licensing was chosen to encourage creative reuse and frequent citation of the conversation around Pandemic Shakespeare, while protecting users from seeing their content reused for someone else's commercial gain. If you don’t feel comfortable with someone else sharing, adapting, reusing, or redistributing your content in a non-commercial setting, don’t post it.

You, as the creator of your content, retain the right to use other additional licenses on it; for example, you may add an additional license that allows people who pay you to use your content for commercial purposes. Read more about additional licensing here.

User Responsibilities

    1. Be generous with other users, whether they be new or seasoned readers of Shakespeare.

    We welcome all readers of every background to engage with these texts. We feel that there are no “dumb” questions, we foster no shame for being new to the texts, and we enforce no penalties for misspellings, capitalization or punctuation errors, and so on. This is not a space for reinforcing intellectual hierarchies via the performance and demonstration of expertise, but rather a space to find connections and common ground in our experiences of the global pandemic.

    2. Be polite in any disagreements.

    These texts contain issues, practices, biases, and beliefs which are unequivocally controversial; should disagreement between annotations (inevitably) occur, focus on discussing the interpretation of the text and not the user who made it. We do not tolerate harassment, hate speech, trolling, or anything less than civil discourse between users of this website. If you see any annotation, comment, or community interaction that you feel is abusive or makes others uncomfortable or unsafe, please report it to us here.

    3. Understand your personal boundaries as a reader and annotator.

    The plays on this website deal implicitly and explicitly with occurrences of racism, sexism, class privilege, ableism, ageism, suicide, murder, and violence against women and non-normative identities. This website is in no way an endorsement of these practices, but we hope that Pandemic Shakespeare can function as a space for creative, critical thinking and active interrogation, challenging, and destabilization of harmful preconceived notions.

    We moderate all annotations for inappropriate, vulgar, and abusive behavior (more information on that process here), but please keep in mind that you are engaging in an online, public conversation with texts that are controversial and sometimes triggering. Just as you have the right to safe, civil, inclusive discourse, you also have the right not to engage with any portion of the texts which are uncomfortable, triggering, or otherwise detrimental to your mental health. You can find more information and resources for support here.

This page adapted and reused from the “Community Policies” page by Amanda Visconti at under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license.

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