Daniel L. Wright Memorial: Shakespeare Authorship Studies

Image: Dan Wright at Authorship Studies Conference at Concordia

Daniel L. Wright Memorial: Shakespeare Authorship Studies

The late Daniel L. Wright was the director of the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, where he also served as professor of English from 1991 to 2013. 

Rescuing the Hacked Web Site, Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre (SARC)

Unfortunately, Concordia University closed in 2017, and the web site dedicated to the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre  (SARC) has been hacked by thugs, who have inserted various links to their ugly sites.  I am therefore rescuing Dan Wright’s useful articles from that site by placing Dan’s articles here, so that readers will not have to stumble upon disgusting links to odious sites.

The following message is from the homepage of the SARC site, featuring the welcome and explanation of what the center was about:

Welcome to Concordia University in Portland, Oregon — home of the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre (SARC). The SARC is an academic setting for annual gatherings that unite professors, teachers, students, playwrights, actors, directors and lovers of Shakespeare from all over the world to share research and insights into the Elizabethan world’s most acclaimed poet-playwright.

The primary goals of the SARC:  (1) Determine who the Shakespeare writer was and (2) Explore why he wrote anonymously and pseudonymously.

That web site also offers information regarding the numerous conferences held to discuss that authorship question.  I will place in this space as much as is pertinent regarding that issue in order to rescue that valuable information from the clutches of ignorant hackers.

My Gratitude to Dan Wright

From 1983 to 1991, Dan Wright and I were classmates and colleagues in the English department at Ball State University, where we both completed our PhD degrees; I completed mine in 1987 and Dan finished in 1990.  We both benefited from the excellent guidance of Professor Thomas Thornburg, who directed our dissertations. 

I owe Dan a debt of gratitude for the identification of the kind of interpretation that I engage in.  As we attended Dr. Frances Rippy’s class in research, Dan’s response to one of my presentations offered the term “yogic interpretation,” a term I had not heard or even thought of until he said those words.  From then on, I have understood the kind of commentary, criticism, and other scholarly work I engage is indeed “yogic” in nature.  I employed a “yogic interpretation” in my dissertation, “William Butler Yeats’ Transformations of Eastern Religious Concepts,” and I continue to engage that yogic concept as I comment on the poems of various poets, including Emily Dickinson, Edgar Lee Masters, the Shakespeare sonnets, and others.

Dan and I both had religion in common, even though those religious traditions are from very different perspectives: mine is from the union of original yoga and original Christianity as taught by Paramahansa Yogananda, and Dan’s was from the historical and theological tradition of Christianity as perceived through Lutheranism.  Dan’s religious training included a Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, from which he graduated in 1980. After his ordination in 1980, he entered the Navy and  serves for two years as a Navy Chaplain.  At Ball State during our sojourn to our advanced degrees, one would see Dan walking through in the hallways wearing his cleric collar because he remained an active churchman as he studied for his PhD in the English program.

I also owe Dan a debt of gratitude for alerting me to the issue of the Shakespeare authorship.  During my research for information relating to Shakespeare, I happened upon Dan’s articles at the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre (SARC).  His brilliant analyses and excellent clarity of the issue convinced me that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, is in, indeed, the real “Shakespeare,” or is, at least, the best candidate offered to date.

Unfortunately, I never had the privilege of communicating my appreciation and gratitude to Dan for his fine scholarship.  I would like to have let him know that his label of “yogic interpretation” has served as a bright light for my studies, and being introduced to the Shakespeare authorship controversy has further enhanced my literary studies.  Dan died on October 5, 2018, in Vancouver, Washington, of complications from diabetes.  I wish soul rest for my former illustrious classmate/colleague, whose academic career has offered his many students a fine example in scholarship and the love of learning.

Requiescat in pace, Dan!


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