March 29, 2016

SIU to celebrate ‘Shakespeare Day’ April 6

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. – “There are more things in the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” 

April 6 is Shakespeare Day at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. One way to celebrate is to attend a short play, based on a scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but in Shakespeare’s style – not necessarily featuring the altered quote above. 

Shakespeare Day is one of a multitude of Shakespeare-related celebrations taking place around the world in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of his death. Shakespeare is one of the most widely read poets and playwrights in the world. His stories of star-crossed teenage lovers, violent political ambition, betrayal by family, abandonment in old age, and love and marriage between unlikely, even unmarriageable people – to hint at just a few of his most famous plays – resonate today, either as he wrote them, or as others have interpreted and retold them. 

At SIU, Shakespeare Day begins at 9:30 a.m. in the John C. Guyon Auditorium of Morris Library with a welcome, coffee and pastries, and ends with a reception and mini-concert of Renaissance music at 3 p.m. with Katharine Reichenberger from the Department of English on piano. 

The event includes two keynote addresses from noted Shakespeare scholars. First up is Mary Ellen Lamb, professor emerita from SIU. Lamb is well-known among Shakespeare and Renaissance literature scholars. She is the author of several books on the subjects, including “The Popular Culture of Shakespeare, Spenser and Jonson.” Lamb was the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Scholar in 2010. She speaks at 10 a.m. 

The other keynote address is at 2 p.m. Curtis Perry, professor of English and Classics at the University of Illinois, will discuss “Shakespeare, Nostalgia, and the Senecan ‘King Lear.’” 

The Shakespearean Harry Potter play is part of an undergraduate Shakespeare symposium. Senior English major Mandi Jourdan (Sandoval) wrote it, and she will talk about translating the J.K. Rowling works into language similar to Shakespeare’s. 

Several other students will also present current academic work:

Caleb Ingram, a senior from Chester majoring in philosophy, will discuss Shakespeare’s philosophy of time in the Sonnets. 

Delia Amos, a senior from Carbondale majoring in cinema and photography, will talk about Shakespeare’s view of gender in “Romeo and Juliet,” “Othello” and “The Two Noble Kinsmen.” 

Kassandra Stuber, a senior from Salem majoring in English, will discuss the play “Measure for Measure.” 

The Department of English presents Shakespeare Day in cooperation with co-sponsors the Department of History and the Department of Languages, Cultures and International Trade.