Discussion List

The Sidney-Spenser Discussion List


The Sidney-Spenser Discussion List seeks to facilitate discussion and research among students of the works of Sir Philip Sidney and Edmund Spenser. Postings to the list generally concern topics such as textual interpretation, relevant historiography, Sidney's and Spenser's biographies, and the writings of contemporary poets. The list is also occasionally used for the announcement of conferences and conference sessions, notification of forthcoming publications, and dissemination of other information likely to be of value to students and scholars of Sidney or Spenser. Anyone with a serious interest in either poet and their writings is warmly welcome to join the list and to participate in the discussion.

It should be stressed that the list is not intended as a resource for university students looking for paper ideas, though of course serious requests for guidance or specialist information are always welcomed.


The Sidney-Spenser Discussion List is currently hosted by JISCmail, providers of electronic discussion list services to Higher Education institutions in the United Kingdom. JISCmail hosts a web interface for list members; the URL for the Sidney-Spenser Discussion List is http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/archives/sidney-spenser.html.

If you would like to join the list, you can do so by sending an email to the list manager, Andrew Zurcher. Please include your name, preferred email address, and (if you like) a short (under 250 words) biography. New members will be announced to the list at periodic intervals, and biographies will be included if available.

New members to the list are automatically supplied with a full introduction to the list, including a set of commands for posting to the list, suspending membership (e.g. over a sabbatical or holiday), and leaving the list. Guidelines for list usage are also included in this introduction. Please keep this initial welcoming email, as it may prove useful to you later.

Some of the most common commands for using the list include the following:

  • To post to the list, send a message to sidney-spenser@jiscmail.ac.uk. This message will be distributed to all list members, including the sender. Only members can post to the list.

  • To suspend membership in the list (i.e. to avoid getting list messages for a time), send a message to jiscmail@jiscmail.ac.uk, including in the body of the message the words 'set sidney-spenser nomail'. To resume your membership, send a message to jiscmail@jiscmail.ac.uk with the text (again, in the body of the message, not the subject header) 'set sidney-spenser mail'.

  • To leave the list, send a message to jiscmail@jiscmail.ac.uk, including in the body of the message the text 'leave sidney-spenser'. Alternatively, contact the list manager.

  • To receive a full list of list members, send a message to jiscmail@jiscmail.ac.uk, including in the body of the message the text 'review sidney-spenser'. Please note that only list members can execute this command, and can do so only from the email address registered with JISCmail.

  • To receive your list mail in digest form, send a message to jiscmail@jiscmail.ac.uk, including in the body of the message the text 'set sidney-spenser digest'. To stop receiving digests, send a message with the text 'set sidney-spenser nodigest'.

Please note that, when sending commands to JISCmail, you should either a) disable or erase any signature file at the foot of your message, or b) add a dash (--) on a separate line below the command in the text of your message; if you do not do one or the other, the LISTSERV software may not recognize your command. Further questions concerning any other procedure should be directed to the list manager.

Some important features of the Sidney-Spenser Discussion List include the following:

  • The list is CLOSED: only list members can post to the list.

  • The list is PRIVATE: only list members can review the current membership (via email).

  • The list is ARCHIVED: an archive of past messages to the list can be accessed via the JISCmail web site (see below).

  • The list is UNMODERATED: messages sent to the list are not moderated by the listowner.

List Etiquette

The Sidney-Spenser Discussion List is well known for its generous sense of community. Though academic debates occasionally occur, the community of list members has generally maintained a very open and courteous atmosphere for the exchange of ideas and information. Should a disturbance to the list arise, either through ad hominem attacks or serial infringement of list principles or etiquette, the list managers reserve the right to address list members individually about the problem or, in serious cases, to remove them from the list.

Because this list is closed (only list members may post to the list, and the email addresses of members are not available to the public), it is anticipated that members will not receive spam or junk mail from outside sources. If this should ever take place, the list managers will take all possible steps to close the leak.

List members are asked to conform to the JISCmail Acceptable Use policy, available to read at http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/docs/policy.htm.


The archives of the Spenser Discussion list since February 1st, 2000, and of the Sidney-Spenser Discussion List are available from JISCmail at http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/archives/sidney-spenser.html.

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