The Capitol & the quill
UNCG humanities scholars thrive at the Folger Institute
There’s a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Washington, D.C., within two blocks of the Capitol Building, the Supreme Court, and the Library of Congress.
It’s the Folger Shakespeare Library, and for the last five years, it’s the place where UNCG faculty and graduate students have examined everything from British literature to stage combat to religious mysticism as members of the Folger Institute Consortium.
The library is home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and half a million rare Renaissance books, manuscripts, artifacts, and works of art. It also houses a Renaissance-style theater reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Globe.
“Our faculty and graduate students participate as members of an international community of scholars at the highest level of achievement,” explains Dr. Christopher Hodgkins, UNCG professor of Renaissance literature.
UNCG is one of only 44 Folger Institute Consortium member universities, which also include Harvard, Yale, and Duke.
Since UNCG was invited to join five years ago, 12 program applications have been accepted — an acceptance rate consistently higher than the consortium average. Eight have been from graduate students.
“One of the marvelous things about almost all the Folger programs is that admissions are made without regard to faculty or student rank,” Hodgkins says. “What’s of interest are the ideas and expertise that you can bring to the table.”
The Folger collections and Institute offer access to a unique range of interdisciplinary research spanning the humanities and fine arts, with programing varying from weekend symposia to year-long seminars.
Students are equal partners in projects with many of the world’s greatest humanities scholars, providing an incomparable career launching pad.
“It’s a delightful experience,” Hodgkins says, adding that the work has allowed him and other participants to widen their scholarly associations.
“It makes the humanities fully human. At the end of the day, everyone leaves the Folger as colleagues and often as friends.”
Learn more at http://folger.edu/folger-institute
Photo by Julie Ainsworth, provided by Folger Shakespeare Library