Profs. Sara Coodin (Classics and Letters) and Su Fang Ng (English) have been granted a Presidential Dream Course for Spring 2017. "Searching for Hamlet" explores the continuing relevance of Shakespeare's most canonical and beloved of works over its 400-year-long history. The course examines the diverse, often contradictoary ways Hamlet has been read, performed, and interpreted, within and without the Western tradition, from its European adaptations over the centuries to its global reworkings.

Prof. Jennifer Saltzstein (Musicology) has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship to complete work on her second book, Medieval Learning and Vernacular Music: The Songs of the Cleric-Trouvères. Prof. Saltzstein also is one of five OU scholars to receive a grant from the newly established OU Humanities Forum, in support of a project called "Reinventing the Springtime Topos in the Vernacular Motet: Pastoral Imagery in New Urban Contexts."



CMRS Newsletters


Yearlong “Global Shakespeare Festival” will explore the Bard's continuing relevance and impact

Following up on the CMRS's highly successful role in the First Folio exhibit and events at Sam Noble Museum last January, the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 1616 will continue throughout the new academic year, in a program designed to emphasize the multiplicity and wide relevance of modern Shakespearean performance.

In each semester of AY 2016-17, the CMRS's "Global Shakespeare Festival" will present three events: a film of a Shakespeare play, in the original English; a film of a Shakespeare play, in a foreign language (with English captions); and a live performance featuring Drama students and professors exploring scenes from these and other plays. Each event will include discussion with the audience, led by professors and students.

All events will take place in Meacham Auditorium (Oklahoma Memorial Union, 900 Asp Ave.) from 6:30 to 9:30 pm, and will be open without charge to university members and the public.

FALL 2016
Sept. 15: Richard Loncraine/Ian McKellen, Richard III (1995, English); with after-film discussion
Oct. 20: Akira Kurosawa, Throne of Blood (1957, Japanese version of Macbeth); with after-film discussion
     including Prof. Man Fung Yip (Film and Media Studies)
Nov. 17: Drama professors and students performing/discussing scenes

Feb. 16: Ralph Fiennes, Coriolanus (2011, English); with after-film discussion
March 23: Sulayman al-Bassam, Al-Hamlet Summit (2004, Arabic); with after-film discussion including Prof.
      Mohammad Al Masri (International Area Studies / Modern Languages)
April 20: Drama professors and students performing/discussing scenes

Organizers: Profs. Joyce Coleman (CMRS and English), Su Fang Ng (English), Sara Coodin (Classics & Letters), and Alissa Mortimer and Tom Orr (Helmerich School of Drama). Funding has been generously provided by the College of Arts & Sciences, the Helmerich School of Drama, and the Departments of English and of Classics & Letters.

Medieval Fair / CMRS Lecture Series, 2016-17

Here’s a run-down of the speakers and topics scheduled for AY 2016-17’s Medieval Fair / CMRS Lecture Series.
     All talks take place from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.

Sept. 9: Susan Havens Caldwell (Visual Arts, emerita) and Eugene Enrico (Musicology), "King Alfonso X of
     Spain and His Songs to the Virgin Mary: Las Cantigas de Santa María"
Oct. 7: Alfred G. Striz (Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, emeritus): "Fortifications and Siege Warfare in the
     Middle Ages" (Norman Public Library, 225 N. Webster)
Nov. 4: Theresa A. Vaughan (UCO Dept. of Humanities & Philosophy), "Medieval Meals: Food, Drink, and
     Gender" (Norman Public Library, 225 N. Webster)
Dec. 2: Joseph M. Sullivan (Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics), "Walking the Camino de Santiago in
     2015 and 2016, through a Professional Medievalist's Eyes" (Norman Public Library West)
Feb. 3: Emily Graham (OSU Dept. of History), "How St. Francis and the Franciscans Changed the Medieval World"
     (location TBA)
March 3: Margaret Gaida (History of Science), "Astrology from Damascus to Rome, 950-1520" (location TBA)
April 7: Carsten Schapkow (History), "Was Baruch Spinoza the First Modern Jew? (location TBA)

August 2015–August 2016: “Galileo’s World” at OU

OU Libraries’ Special Collections is calling it “an exhibition without walls – 20 exhibits, 7 locations, 3 campuses.” It offers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view in one setting a complete set of first editions of Galileo’s printed works published during his lifetime. This includes the four first editions of Galileo’s works with annotations in his own handwriting that are owned by OU: Compasso (1606); Difesa (1607); Sidereus nuncius (Venice, 1610); and Dialogo (Florence, 1632).
     For suggestions about how to use the exhibits in your teaching, contact JoAnn Palmeri (research coordinator, History of Science Collections; 325-2741,

Currently running exhibits (details accessible here):
    Until Aug. 31, 2016, Bizzell Memorial Library
         "Controversy over the Comets," 5th floor Special Collections
         "The Galileo Affair," 5th floor Special Collections
         "Galileo and China," 5th floor Special Collections
         "Galileo, Engineer," 5th floor Special Collections
         "Music of the Spheres," 5th floor Special Collections
         "A New Physics," 5th floor Special Collections
         "Galileo and the Quest for Other Worlds," Main Floor
         "Galileo Today," Main Floor
    Until Aug. 31, 2016, National Weather Center
          "Copernicus and Meteorology"
          "Galileo and Experimentation"
          "Galileo and Kepler"
          "Galileo and Space Science"
          "Oklahomans and Aerospace"
          "Science on a Sphere"
    Until Aug. 31, 2016, Sam Noble Museum of Natural History
           "Through the Eyes of the Lynx: Galileo and Microscope"

First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare

The First Folio leaves Norman after a very successful run

The traveling exhibit, “First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare,” left Norman on January 30 after a very successful run. A team of CMRS members and other colleagues initiated the proposal to bring the First Folio to OU, and organized six events to entertain and inform the public about this extraordinary book.
The launch and Family Day on January 16 brought in almost 1,400 people to enjoy Dean Kelly Damphousse's welcome to the First Folio; David Anderson's explanation of the book's history; a discussion and demonstration of stage-fighting by Kenneth Hodges, Whitney Whitaker, Matt Ellis, and Luke Eddy; and the Drama Department's production of The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet--along with a variety of family activities in the Great Hall.
    Other events included a Members' Reception, with a talk on "Shakespeare and Love" by Amrita Sen and a wonderful performance by Tom Houston Orr and Alissa Mortimer of three different Shakespearean love scenes. Kenneth Hodges and Alissa Mortimer led a well-attended Teachers' Workshop; Hodges, Jim Yoch, Sara Coodin, and Amrita Sen participated in a panel discussion of "Living Shakespeare"; and, closing out the series, Sara Coodin gave a Medieval Fair talk on the character of Shylock. The slideshow above gives a sample of some of the action.
    OU acquired the honor of hosting this exhibit due to the desire of its sponsors--the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Cincinnati Museum Center, and the American Library Association--to honor the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death by touring the exhibit to all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Generous funding to support the events has been supplied by the Oklahoma Humanities Council and OU's College of Arts & Sciences, English Department, and Department of Classics & Letters.


There was extensive media coverage, including the OETA interviews featured in the slideshow above. Some sites:
    Susan Stamberg's report on NPR, mentioning Norman as the First Folio exhibit's first host and touring the Folger Library's vaults, here.
    The Oklahoma Gazette
    OETA (starts about 20 minutes in)


For the benefit of other hosts of the First Folio exhibit who might want to copy our designs for promotional items, here are jpgs showing the designs: T-shirt, sticky note, and scrambler. Feel free to use/adapt any of our ideas. For pdfs of the design, or a copy of the First Folio title page turned into black on white (with the type reinforced to print clearly), email 



And for the benefit of fellow FF hosts, teachers, parents, and kids who might want to use our coloring pages, here they are, posted as jpgs and linked (below) as Word documents. They are all copyright-free.

Lady Macbeth

Macbeth meets the Weird Sisters
Helena pursuing Demetrius




The Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies at the University of Oklahoma promotes the study of the period in Western history that saw the development of such major components of modern life as parliamentary democracy, the nation-state, English and other modern languages, printing, Islam, global exploration, heliocentric astronomy, romantic love--and the universities in which we research and teach all these subjects.Some thirty-five faculty at OU contribute to the study of these and many other facets of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
     Our newly revived Medieval & Renaissance Studies minor allows students to pursue an interdisciplinary study of literature, language, history, history of science, art, architecture, and religion, supported by visits to OU's Special Collections.
     By supporting our faculty and students, sponsoring brown-bag talks, and cosponsoring a free public lecture series with the Medieval Fair of Norman, OU’s Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies seeks to enrich the intellectual environment for medievalists and early modernists on campus and across the region. Other opportunities are in the works. Come join us!
     OU's CMRS was founded by Keith Busby, then of the university's Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics Department. Prof. Busby was succeeded by Luis Cortest, of the same department. Since 2013 the director has been Joyce Coleman (, Bambas Professor of Medieval English Literature & Culture, English Department.