UA Shakespeare Scholars Enrich UA First Folio Exhibit

Four hundred years after Shakespeare's death, his characters are timeless and familiar, from wide-eyed Miranda to grim Macbeth. But how do we know about Shakespeare's plays in the first place? For many of them, the answer is a single book: the 1623 First Folio. Assembled seven years after his death, the First Folio includes 36 of his plays—18 of which had never been before published.

This year, the Folger Shakespeare Library is sending a First Folio to every state in the country, and the University of Arizona was chosen through a competitive selection process to be the host site for Arizona.

From February 15 through March 15, the community can view this incredible book at the Arizona State Museum and participate in myriad events celebrating this unique occasion.

“The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is delighted to support the First Folio exhibit,” said John Paul Jones III, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “I am also pleased that the Shakespeare scholars in our Department of English can lend their expertise to help create educational and entertaining events surrounding the exhibit.”

The English professors have helped in various ways, from helping curate an exhibit to selecting Shakespeare quotes for Valentine’s Day!

Go to to check out all the fun activities surrounding the First Folio exhibit, including lectures, movie screenings, stage productions, and concerts! Below is a list of events that feature our SBS faculty:

Opening February 8 and running through June 30
“Shakespeare’s Contemporaries and Elizabethan Culture”
Location: Special Collections

This exhibit is a companion to the installation of First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare at the Arizona State Museum. The exhibit will focus on materials in Special Collections that represent the Bard’s contemporaries (Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Lope de Vega). In addition to examining specific plays and other literary works, the exhibit will include historical snapshots—documents that shaped Shakespeare's culture—such as anti-theatrical polemics, scientific discoveries and political activities. It is curated by rare books archivist Roger Myers from Special Collections and English Professor Meg Lota Brown, who has authored numerous books and articles on Shakespeare, Reformation politics, and Renaissance literature.

February 9, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
“Shakespeare’s Women”
Location: Special Collections

This presentation by English Professor Meg Lota Brown examines the social and historical contexts of women’s roles in Shakespeare's England and how the playwright both generates and subverts his culture’s assumptions about gender. Given the extraordinary vitality of Shakespeare’s female characters, it is important to consider their equivocal relation to the state, the family, the church, political economy, and desire. In short, what was their relation to order and disorder?

February 21, 6 p.m.
“Screening of Shakespeare in Love”
Location: Arizona State Museum lawn

Miss out on Valentine's Day? Forget your beloved? Make it up with a free screening of "Shakespeare in Love" on the ASM lawn. Bring blankets and cushions and get the full groundling experience. Food-carts will have hot food and drinks for sale. Snuggle up with Will.

An introduction of the film will be provided by Jennifer Jenkins, an associate professor of English, who is teaching “Shakespeare on Screen” this spring and is an expert in literature, film, and digital archives.

March 2, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
“Hamlet: A Fair Copy of Foul Papers”
Location: Special Collections

What is the second half of that famous quote “To be or not to be…”? That would depend on which publication of Hamlet you’re reading. Frederick Kiefer, a UA Distinguished Professor of English, and ASU Professors Bradly Ryner and Ian Moulton will discuss the respective contributions of the First Quarto, the Second Quarto and the First Folio publications of Hamlet.

Professor Kiefer is an expert in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama and has a deep knowledge on the early "quartos" of Hamlet and how they differ from the version printed in the First Folio.

March 13, 1 p.m.
"The Science of Shakespeare: A New Look at the Playwright's Universe" at the Tucson Festival of Books
Location: Science City -- Main Stage

David Sterling Brown will moderate a discussion between Don Falk and Chris Impey on how the birth of science was reflected in Shakespear's work. Brown, an assistant professor in the Department of English, is an expert on Shakespeare and early modern English literature.:

April 5, 14 and 19, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
“Early Book Lecture Series"
Location: Special Collections

In this 13th year of the annual lecture series, University of Arizona scholars will explore medieval texts held by Special Collections. This year, presentations will be given by German Studies Professor Albrecht Classen (“Albrecht Durer – the Master of the Early Modern Age”), English Professor Frederick Kiefer (“What did the playwrights do when the Shakespearean theaters closed?”) and English Professor Thomas Willard (“The Witches in Macbeth”).


Published Date: 

01/07/2016 - 1:58pm