British Shakespeare scholar appointed to McMeel Chair

by Gail Hinchion Mancini

p. p. Peter D. Holland, an internationally regarded Shakespearean scholar and director of The Shakespeare Institute at Stratford-upon-Avon, England, has been appointed to the McMeel Chair in Shakespeare Studies at the University of Notre Dame.
p. Holland’s primary appointment will be in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, and he will have a concurrent appointment in the Department of English. He also will serve as director of Actors from the London Stage. He will join the faculty in fall 2002.
p. “Peter Holland’s appointment ensures that the University’s Shakespeare Initiative will contribute significantly to Shakespeare performance and scholarship in North America,” said Mark Roche, I. A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters.
p. Holland, also a professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Birmingham, England, is a textual scholar whose edition of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is considered one of finest in modern times. He also is admired as one of the central figures in performance-oriented Shakespearean criticism, and was one of the first critics to see the central importance of particular actors to the Restoration dramatists’ art of composition.
p. In addition to his Shakespeare scholarship, Holland is considered a pioneer in Restoration theatre. His book “The Ornament of Action” has served for almost 20 years as one of the most important and influential works in that field.
p. “Holland is remarkable for his outreach and visibility beyond the academy, for his being one of the creators of the field of theatre studies, and for his understanding of centuries of dramatic performance, reaching even to contemporary film,” Roche said. “The appointment should draw international attention to Notre Dame and will be a perfect fit for our developing focus on the performing arts as well as our emphasis on medieval and Renaissance literature.”
p. Holland’s wife, Romana Huk, will join the English faculty as an associate professor. Huk specializes in modern and contemporary British poetry, including Black British poetry.
p. The McMeel Chair in Shakespeare Studies was established last year by alumnus John P. McMeel and his family. A South Bend native and 1957 graduate with a degree in business, McMeel is the chairman of Andrews McMeel Universal, the parent organization of Universal Press Syndicate and Andrews McMeel Publishing. He also is president of the board of the Andrews McMeel Universal Foundation.
p. McMeel has been a member of the advisory council for Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters since 1997.

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