algorithms, digital cultures, Europe, flags, integration, migration, news, popular culture, race, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare, tags, Verona, YouTube
This chapter explores several iterations of Romeo and Juliet in (European)
digital cultures. Europe is placed in brackets here to capture how, in a digital context, boundaries may and may not apply, but also to complicate critical de- bate surrounding European Shakespeares. To what extent might we encounter
a distinctly European Romeo and Juliet in digital cultures? Our field must think critically about the kind of European narratives, mythographies and values that are mobilised through Shakespeares in Europe. Travel and surfing are deployed as metaphors in order to track Europe’s Romeo and Juliets, with the resulting findings in the digital Wunderkabinett regarded as a function of both human selection and algorithmically determined search. While the focus is primarily on YouTube, what emerges is a deep sense of Romeo and Juliet’s convergence with popular culture, news stories and contemporary discourse about integration within Europe. In digital cultures, the chapter suggests, Romeo and Juliet is a metalanguage for conflict, boundaries and difference.