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
October 19, 2023, 5:00 pm CST
“What is Shakespeare’s First Folio—and Why Should I Care?”
Pearce Shakespeare Endowment Lecture by Emma Smith, Professor at the University of Oxford and best-selling author of “This is Shakespeare” and “Portable Magic: A History of Books and Their Readers.”
(Blount Auditorium, Buckman Hall, Rhodes College)
2023 marks 400 years since the publication of the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, the book now revered as the First Folio. This talk introduces what’s significant about this book, and what copies can tell us about the way it was put together, and the uses to which it has been put over the last four centuries. From printers’ errors to cat pawprints, and from children’s drawings to commonplacing, First Folios give us a ringside seat to view the changing status of Shakespeare, and the ways in which its cultural, literary, and economic value have become intertwined.
Dr. Smith’s talk is one of many events celebrating Rhodes College’s 175th anniversary