Department of English

The English Department Participates in Explore UT

Mon, March 9, 2009

On March 7, 2009, the English Department took part in the University's annual Explore UT event.  At Explore UT, visitors were encouraged to unravel scientific mysteries, unleash creative energies and uncover the realms of discovery that are a part of everyday life at The University of Texas at Austin.




English Dept. students depict the Mad Hatter tea party. 

The Mad Hatter Tea Party
The English Department participated by organizing several events.   Professor Jerome Bump and his students held a Mad Hatter tea party, acting out the scene from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.  For more pictures and video of this event, please visit the Mad Hatter Tea Party!


Jane Eyre: From Page to Screen
This session introduced people to film techniques and a famous--if not infamous--scene from Charlotte Bronte's novel. Participants sketched shots (camera angles, lighting) that "visualized" the scene.  Their shots were compared with the film adaptations of the same scene.


Shakespeare at Wiedale outreach in Calhoun Courtyard Shakespeare at Winedale Outreach
Participants discovered the fun of bringing Shakespeare's words and characters to life. A section of one of Shakespeare's plays was explored from the inside out using methods developed over 40 years of work and play in the innovative Shakespeare at Winedale program.

The Oldest English
The roots of the English language go back 14 centuries to poems like "Beowulf" and "The Seafarer," whose haunting words and rhythms strike our modern ears with ferocity, shock, delight, and a ghostly familiarity. Explore UT participants got to hear what William the Conqueror heard.

The Knights Templar
Just who were the Knights Templar? What was their story? What happened to them? Why do they continue to fascinate us to this day? Participants joined Medieval Studies faculty and students to delve into the history behind the conspiracies and discover the men, events and Order behind the myth.

Discovering the Medieval Book
The creation of books in the Middle Ages was tedious, expensive and required the talents of skilled craftsmen.  The presentation examined the process and discussed the lives of the people who read medieval books and how these treasures are preserved.

Prof. Susan Heinzelman as Lady Catherine

Jane Austen
A dramatic reading from a scene of Pride and Prejudice by professors Janine Barchas and Susan Heinzelman, along with English student KC Hysmith, who participated in last summer's Jane Austen on Location class in the Oxford Summer Program.  The reading was followed by a mini-lecture (with slides) on the biography of Jane Austen, particularly her productive years in the village of Chawton.

Printing Press Demonstration
Participants were introduced to composing and printing from type on a hand printing press.  Using a cast-iron Washington press built in the 1870s, each participant was able to print a broadside as it would have been done in Texas around 1900.

Spirit of Shakespeare
The Spirit of Shakespeare Players performed scenes from Shakespeare's plays, including King Lear.

Literary Marriages from Hell
Participants joined English Professor Betsy Berry as she discussed some of literature's most infamous couplings.

Slam Poetry Workshop
Participants got their creative juices flowing with a slam poetry workshop.

State Fare: An Irreverent Guide to Texas Movies
Texas has a long and interesting history as a site for films, film making and myth making in films.  This talk, based on Professor Don Graham's recent book, provided a visual history of the Lone Star State in cinematic images dating from 1911 to 2008.

Everything You Wanted to Know about Medieval Arms and Armor
This lecture was a fast-paced journey through the Middle Ages and the early modern period. It covered the design and form of weapons and armor, their use, training in the art of defense and social ramifications of the views of the period on personal combat.

How to Be A Wizard
Modern wizards like Harry Potter are at the end of a long line of wizards in literature and film, beginning with Merlin.  This session was for anyone who wanted to learn more about the powers of wizards.

To see more photos from the English Department events during Explore UT, please visit our photo gallery!



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