Global Chaucers, our multi-national, multi-lingual, multi-year project, intends to locate, catalog, translate, archive, and analyze non-Anglophone appropriations and translations of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Since its founding in 2012, this project has rapidly changed in response to scholars’ diverse interests and our expanding discoveries. Almost all these changes were prompted and made possible by our online presence (including a blog and Facebook group), and digital media comprises our primary means for gathering information, disseminating our findings, advertising conferences and events, and promoting the resource to other scholars. Because digital media can help disparate people traverse geographical and linguistic barriers, Global Chaucershas been able to exceed its initial intent to create an archive by developing a network of scholars, translators, and students seeking to engage in manifold ways with non-Anglophone reworkings of Chaucerian material from around the world. Reflecting on our project undertakings to date, this discussion presents some of the practical challenges we face and future directions our efforts might take, and we hope this discussion will help serve others who seek to launch group endeavors that traverse academic and nonacademic communities.


Elements of this essay were presented in Global Chaucers blog postings (www.globalchaucers.wordpress.com), a guest posting on the New Chaucer Society website (http://newchaucersociety.org/blog/entry/chaucers-voices), and at the Digital Chaucers roundtable, New Chaucer Society Congress, Reykjavik, Iceland, July 18, 2014. It reflects the input and support of a large cadre of scholars and friends. Candace Barrington is particularly grateful to Ken Klucznik for shouldering an extra burden during the Fall 2014 term and to Mike Shea for knowing when to bring home carry-out for dinner. Jonathan Hsy thanks Alexa Huang and Carol Robinson for provoking new ways of thinking about cultural appropriation and media adaptation. He also thanks the curious and engaged students in his digital humanities graduate seminar in Spring 2015.