April 23 marked the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. This anniversary provided Johanna Fisher, adjunct professor in the English Department, and her Shakespeare class (ENG 323) the opportunity to connect the academic study of the plays, service learning and research to share the words of the bard with the Canisius community, as well as the greater Buffalo community.
The anniversary showcased how various departments on campus can cooperatively support student-centered learning. As part of the requirements for the Shakespeare course, students work in groups and select their favorite plays, acts and scenes for a reading/performance in the Bouwhuis Library. The library staff affectionately dubbed this “Random Acts of Shakespeare.”
Not only did students make directorial decisions as well as scenery and artistic decisions about costuming and props, they also researched the various flowers and plants that are present in the plays. Students then helped design plaques for the Shakespeare Garden in Buffalo. The Shakespeare Garden Association will be planting flowers that were researched by the students. The plaques will be donated to the Shakespeare Garden this week after being displayed in the library.
Many thanks to the library staff and Mark Hodin, PhD, chair of the English department, in helping to make this event possible and for supporting the students in this opportunity to bring Shakespeare out of the classroom.
Submitted by: Sara Morris, PhD, associate vice president, academic affairs