Welcome Back for Spring 2012!

It has been great to see everyone over the last few days as we trickle in from the winter break. There are smiles, hugs, and some hilarious stories being shared across campus. Welcome back.

For some, this is the final semester before a long-awaited graduation. For others, spring 2012 marks the end of an exhausting but rewarding first semester in a graduate program. As I glance over the calendar, this semester seems like it will be awfully short, broken up by both spring and Easter breaks. I think May will be here before we know it.

But before spring, warm weather, and the end of the academic year arrives, we have a lot going on at St. John’s this semester! So for your entertainment and edification, here’s a little housekeeping post to keep you in the loop.

First, I’d like to give a warm welcome to Dr. Steve Mentz (a familiar face around here at the STJ English blog) who is taking over the position of Director of Graduate Studies this semester. If you have questions about your coursework, academic requirements, the upcoming Graduate conference, or Shakespeare, stop by to visit with him. You can find Dr. Mentz in his office (B40-4, basement of St. John Hall) on Tuesdays and Fridays for morning office hours (8:00 am – 10:00 am).

While we’re on the subject of coursework and requirements … don’t forget that the last day to add a class is this coming Tuesday, January 24. Don’t forget to turn in your forms for independent studies and directed research!

Looking down the road to further in the spring, keep in mind that the English Department hosts a Graduate Conference in April. Start percolating those ideas now for papers and panel discussions. There will be a more formal call for papers coming soon.

April is going to be a busy month! Not only do we have our own Graduate Conference, but St. John’s is also hosting this year’s Northeast Writing Centers Association (NEWCA) Conference April 13-15. If you are interested in helping out with hosting this conference, please drop by the Writing Center and chat with Dr. Harry Denny. I know several St. John’s students have also applied to present papers at the conference. Good luck during the selection process!

Finally, I’d like to end with a little shameless plug of self-promotion. Some of you may know that in addition to my studies I am also the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the Adirondack Shakespeare Company. This semester, I am incredibly excited to be working with Dr. Mentz in his undergraduate Shakespeare, Law, and Theater course. ADK Shakespeare is producing two full productions of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and Measure for Measure in association with the Law School next month. The students in Dr. Mentz’s class will be attending rehearsals and performances, and I’m looking forward to sharing with them (and with you!) all the insane work that we do producing full-on, professional theatrical productions of Shakespeare with only 12 hours of rehearsal. Yes, you read that correctly. 12 hours of rehearsal for each show.

So I know that caught your interest! Follow this link to the ADK Shakes website for more information on The Justice Project. We will perform on February 10 and 11 at the Saval Auditorium at the Manhattan Campus, and on February 17 and 18 in the Moot Court at the Law School on the Queens Campus. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free for St. John’s students with STORMCard. We will also host a seminar at the Law School during the day on February 17, presenting scenes from each play and offering a panel discussion on the law and justice in Shakespeare’s work.

About Steve Mentz 650 Articles
I teach Shakespeare and early modern literature at St. John's in New York City.

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