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Thursday, September 28, 2023


Taming the Bard, Jefferson

A packed Honors College Commons welcomed visiting scholar Michael Zuckert on Friday for a lecture on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” Zuckert spoke as part of the Ross M. Lence Master Teacher Residency. | Paris Jomadiao/The Daily Cougar

A lecture on Friday emphasized the political, ethical, social and economic aspects of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” that affect society today.

The Ross M. Lence Master Teacher Residency at UH invited political scientist Michael Zuckert for the two-day event last Thursday and Friday in the Rockwell Pavilion.

“It was an opportunity for students to hear an international scholar bring an interdisciplinary approach that brings together Renaissance literature … with political theory,” Libby Ingrassia, communications director in the Honors College, said.

“Students got the chance to hear a nationally-known expert take on a play by one of the best-known writers in the English literature canon,” Ingrassia said. “For political science, English and history majors, it’s a chance for professional development.”

Zuckert led a symposium on Jefferson’s moral philosophy Thursday night.

“The colloquium on Jefferson’s moral philosophy used Jefferson’s works to engage phronesis students in a discussion of the intersection of morality and philosophy,” Beth Borck, director of development at the Honors College, said.

As both a political scientist and a teacher, Zuckert holds an international reputation as a scholar.

“We are excited to engage an interdisciplinary thinker in the tradition of Professor Lence,” Ingrassia said. “Zuckert considered a range of thinkers and topics in his lectures, including civil rights amendments to the Constitution, the Constitutional Convention and the Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest,’ as well as the roots of Jefferson’s moral philosophy.”

Education major Wendy Alatorre got a new perspective on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” after attending the lecture.

“I didn’t realize how much Shakespeare’s literature was associated with modern politics,” Alatorre said. “I definitely understood the literature a lot better after listening to him. He was very articulate.”

Zuckert is currently working on his latest book titled “Completing the Constitution: The Post-Civil War Amendments.”

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