Remember: when reckoning with “pandemics,” we are not limited only to literal interpretations: racism, misogyny, misinformation, police brutality, healthcare discrimination, systemic inequality, and the oppression, silencing, and exclusion of non-normative identities are all “viruses” in their own right, the roots of which are difficult to fully eradicate in the psyche even if we successfully implement much-needed policy changes on the outside.
As is the transmission route of COVID-19, we are often surrounded by unseen carriers of these biases, even within ourselves, and may transmit them unknowingly in our thoughts, words, and actions without proactive steps to eradicate and unlearn them. Additionally, Shakespeare himself, a global phenomenon carried by colonialism, should also be put under the spotlight as a “viral” figure, even as we find resonances of our own experiences in his work. Shakespeare, a cultural monolith often co-opted to lend authority to verbal, written, and political agendas, for good or for ill, can and should be questioned, interrogated, and challenged, and we invite you to do so here.
In light of these truths, and in recognition that Shakespeare, as a cultural monolith, often brings his own barrier of entry, we have sought 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 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 Positive User Rights and Community Policies, and/or ban any users who continue to violate our website standards. More information about our moderation process can be found here.
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 or in interactions with other members of the community here.