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Shakespearean scholar visits Oxford campus

OXFORD - Oxford College students and area residents will get a special treat from across the Atlantic Ocean this week.

Oxford University lecturer and Shakespearian scholar Tiffany Stern will visit the school as part of the college's Pierce Institute for Leadership and Community Engagement's Visiting Scholars Program.

"We are especially pleased to be able to have our students encounter and learn from a scholar of her stature," said David Gowler, Pierce professor of religion. "Having this opportunity to interact with scholars from the 'other' Oxford is an important component of Oxford College's distinctive liberal arts intensive educational experience."

This is the fifth visit participants in the Pierce program have made to Oxford. Other visitors included ministers, art historians and ethics professors from Oxford University.

During Stern's time at the college, she will serve as guest lecturer at both Oxford College and Emory University in Atlanta and conduct a class at the Atlanta Shakespeare Company's New American Shakespeare Tavern in Midtown Atlanta.

"I love talking to students," Stern said, adding that she often speaks to students around the United States and at annual conferences. "And I'm really intrigued about the comparison between this Oxford and the English Oxford."

She said she especially hopes to serve as a motivation for young women seeking to become literary scholars, which is typically a male-dominated field.

Stern said she plans to discuss during her classes different aspects of performance during William Shakespeare's time and other eras. She wants to portray Shakespeare as a real and practical person, not as a "bookish, literary figure" to which they can't relate.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday at Tarbutton Performing Arts Center at Oxford College, Stern also will speak about a variety of things in regard to Shakespeare, such as rehearsing for Shakespearian plays and understanding parts in his plays.

The event is free and open to the public. Stern said her speech could appeal to anyone interested in literature.

"Everyone can understand and relate to (the speech), even if they haven't read a great deal of or any Shakespeare," she said.

During her time in the metro Atlanta area, she plans to embrace all things Southern.

"This is my first time in Georgia," she said, adding that she visits the U.S. from time to time during annual literary conferences and other special events. "I already had my first ever grits and biscuits with gravy ... but I'm really interested in seeing the beautiful scenery like the azaleas and see where (Emory) University began."

Tarbutton Performing Arts Center is located at 100 Hamill St. in Oxford. Parking is available in several nearby lots.

More information about Stern and her visit is available at www.oxford.emory.edu.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.

SideBar: If you go

· What: Performing Shakespeare, featuring a lecture by Tiffany Stern

· When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

· Where: Tarbutton Performing Arts Center at Oxford College, 100 Hamill St., Oxford

· Cost: Free

· More Information: www.oxford.emory.edu