Shakespeare at Rhodes

a colorful mosaic design over a picture of william shakespeare

Thanks to a generous bequest from the late Dr. Iris Annette Pearce, Rhodes enjoys a range of Shakespeare-related resources unique among American liberal arts colleges. The Pearce Shakespeare Endowment was established in 2007 to enrich courses in Shakespeare and support events for the entire campus.

Funds generated by Dr. Pearce’s gift aid Shakespeare studies through lectures by visiting scholars; conferences and symposia; support for research; productions of plays; periods of residence by performing artists; and other innovative programming to enhance Shakespeare at Rhodes and in the greater Memphis community. Key institutional partnerships have helped bring these events to a wide range of audiences.

"The Pearce Endowment provides a wonderful set of resources for Shakespeare studies at Rhodes. The events that it supports both on and off campus bring together world-class scholars and performers to speak to each other and, even more importantly, to students. Because these lectures, symposia, and performances are integrated with ongoing coursework, Rhodes students have the opportunity to think about Shakespeare — and their own work — beyond the boundaries of the classroom." — Andrew Miller, ′11 

February 1-11, 2022

Barret Library Exhibit: “‘What Do I Know?’ Montaigne's Restless Mind”

Barret Library at Rhodes College hosts a student-curated exhibit about the French writer Michel de Montaigne (1533–92), one of Shakespeare’s major influences. Free and open to the public, the exhibit will have an informal closing reception at 4pm (CST) on Friday, February 11.

An innovator in the modern essay form, Montaigne continues to enchant readers across the globe. With idiosyncratic charm, he’s as apt to examine poetic verse as he is to scrutinize his own thumb. Montaigne’s capacious spirit encourages us to “examine everyone’s talent; a peasant, a bricklayer, a passenger: one may learn something from every one of these in their several capacities.”

This exhibit includes rare books dating back to the 1400s, early editions of Montaigne’s works, and other fascinating memorabilia. Rhodes students have selected and arranged Special Collections materials that illustrate how generative Montaigne’s work has remained for centuries of thinkers. Topics explored include Montaigne and women; his interest in indigenous peoples; his engagement with biblical as well as classical sources; and his literary and educational legacy. 

ENG-380 students (Fall 2021) include Brittany Ashley, Lucie Christian, Emma Dove, Harrison Glaze, Tess Herzog, Katie Hopper, Sujung Hwang, Ellen Lemm, Madison McCloud, Diana Miranda, Ben Reynolds, Isabel Rodriguez, Lily Thomas, Emily Ulmer, Patsy Wardlaw, Rory Wilson, and Yifei Zhang.

Special thanks to Mr. William Short, Associate Director of Barret Library and Head of Special Collections, who has been tirelessly devoted to making this exhibit happen.