Professor Gina Hausknecht to give lecture on Shakespeare’s First Folio, the modern view of his works

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or

2016-08-25 10:30:12 - General

Gina Hausknecht
Gina Hausknecht
John William King Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

Gina Hausknecht, the John William King Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at Coe College, will give a lecture on the historical context and impact of Shakespeare's "First Folio." This is the very first collection of his plays and the source of the beloved books of Shakespeare's works we read today. The lecture will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. in Kesler Lecture Hall in Hickok Hall on the Coe campus. It is free and open to the public.

Hausknecht's talk will explore how the "First Folio" laid the groundwork for the Shakespearean canon and how much it has influenced our perceptions of Shakespeare's literary art over the centuries. The lecture is being held in conjunction with an upcoming exhibition of the "First Folio" at the University of Iowa.

In 1623, in the publishing event of the century, Shakespeare's plays were collected in a single volume for the first time. This book, known as the "First Folio," had an immediate and lasting impact on how we think about Shakespeare. Without it, half of his plays (including "Julius Caesar," "Twelfth Night," "Macbeth" and "The Tempest") might not have survived. As four more versions of the book appeared during the 17th century, the list of plays attributed to Shakespeare kept changing. The most frequently quoted claim about the playwright ("He was not of an age, but for all time"), which has profoundly shaped how Shakespeare's work is understood, was first printed in this book. In examining how the canonical Shakespeare was constructed, this talk will reflect on the historical contingencies that produce "Great Books" and literary reputations.

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, the "First Folio" will be on exhibit at the University of Iowa main library as part of a national tour titled, "First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare." The exhibit will be held August 29 through Sept. 25, and it is free and open to the public. Along with the University of Iowa, the exhibit is sponsored by the Folger Shakespeare Library and Coe College.

The national tour of this exhibit is also made possible due to the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor grant,, and the Vinton and Sigrid Cerf Sponsorship.

The lecture is sponsored by the Coe College English Department. For more information, visit or call 319-399-8581.