Biblical Scholar Dr. Ralph Williams Returns to Lecture at WCU

Dr. Ralph Williams, professor of English at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, will return to WCU for a series of lectures Monday, February 26, through Wednesday, February 28.

Dr. Williams is a well-known speaker with a devoted following at WCU, and students and faculty alike eagerly await his arrival.

“Given my direct knowledge of Dr. Williams’ expertise in biblical studies, I am most eager to have him present to students at Western,” Dr. Mary Warner, assistant professor of English at WCU, said.

Among other areas, Dr. Williams specializes in history of literary theory, Renaissance literature, and biblical studies. He is a consultant for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and has been working directly with the company in London in anticipation of their United States appearance next month. In November 1996, he lectured at the Chicago Humanities Festival, joining Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman) and Edward Albee (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?).

Dr. Williams’ scholarly background in literature and biblical studies makes his lectures interesting as well as informative, and his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company gives him unique insight into Shakespeare’s plays.

“[He] will bring extensive first-hand knowledge to his lectures connected to Shakespeare,” Dr. Warner said.

“Dr. Williams will also be lecturing on literary topics for many general education courses in English, religion/ philosophy and the honors college, making a significant contribution for students from a range of majors,” she added.

His visit is sponsored by the English, Religion and Philosophy, and Communications and Theater Arts departments, as well as the Honors College.

Dr. Williams will give a series of presentations throughout the day on Monday and Tuesday, with an evening lecture on Monday and a final presentation Wednesday. The highlight of his visit is unquestionably Tuesday night’s lecture on biblical women and their methods of allure. Spotlighting some of the Bible’s most notable femmes fatales, this promises to be one of the most popular presentations.

“[It] should appeal to wide audiences, including many of the religious congregations in the area,” Dr. Warner said.

The schedule for Dr. Williams’ visit is as follows:

Monday, February 26

9-9:50 a.m. in CO 301: “One Another’s Hermitage: of Profane and Sacred Love in John Donne’s Lyric Poetry”

10-10:50 a.m. in CO 304: “Have I Not Made Blind Homer Sing for Me?: The Call of Beauty in Dr. Faustus”

12-12:50 p.m. in MK 270: “Perhaps He Does Not Know: The Vedas and Koheleth on the Limits of Knowing”

6:30-8:30 p.m. in Reynolds Hall: “Till He Eased with Being Nothing: Shakespeare’s History Plays and the Restless Mind”

Tuesday, February 27

8-9:15 a.m. in CO 304: “Remember That I Am Beautiful: Of Beauty and the Good Life in Dante”

11-12:15 p.m. in MK 250: “The End of the Argument: Managing Evil in the Book of Job”

12:30-1:45 p.m. in CO 301: “Life Among the Other: The Cases of Joseph, Esther, and Daniel”

3:30-4:45 p.m. in CO 304: “The Tree on the Back and the Tobacco Tin in the Pocket: Toni Morrison’s Beloved”

7:30 p.m. in Coulter Recital Hall: “Biblical Women and the Uses of Allure: Tamar, Judith, Esther, and Salome”

Wednesday, February 28

Time and Place TBA: “Staging History: The Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare’s First History Tetralogy”