English professor Marta Wilkinson dressed as a princess when introducing Cervantes' classic novel, Don Quixote, to her world literature class.
'Princess Prof' Gets Attention of Class Studying Don Quixote
Cervantes' Novel Is a 'Wonderful Commentary on Living the Dream'
Marta Wilkinson illustrated Don Quixote’s obsession of being a knight by showing up to class dressed as a princess.
She introduced Miguel de Cervantes’ early 1600s classic, The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, to her world literature class.
Wilkinson, associate professor of English, described Don Quixote as a “wonderful commentary on living the dream.” She didn’t reveal on whether the princess persona might be an alter ego of hers.
“As Don Quixote drew his inspiration from chivalric romances, I too based my costume in literature,” she said, noting hers was inspired by Barbie dolls and Disney’s Princess Collection of Tales. Her princess costume featured an unlikely prop, a sword, which emanated from another piece of favorite literature in her fantasy, The Three Musketeers.
Wilkinson decided to wear the princess costume to help her students understand the meaning of satire on the part of the author and parody as illustrated through the actions of the main character.
“I think students enjoyed both the reading and my costume,” she said.
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The content of English studies is comprehensive. English studies are based on both the study of the English language--one of the oldest European vernacular languages--and the literature written in that language for over 15 centuries. Its literature encompasses works written in English or available in translation: essays, plays, poetry, stories, novels, films.
Study of selected literature gives the opportunity to encounter other cultures, other places, other times; it offers a chance to become intimately involved with "the best that has been known and said in the world"; to experience, to understand, to challenge the ideas and values of the very finest minds; and to empathize with the universal human condition that, at base, we all share. English studies also include learning the skills--reading, writing, and thinking--needed to approach and master these ideas and other contingencies of life.
An English major meets the needs of students desiring a general background in the discipline as well as those wishing to prepare for professional or graduate study. English courses complement programs in the humanities and fine arts, especially in communication arts, modern languages, theater, religion, and history. Since English study combines so well with other specialties, students have used it not only to prepare for careers in teaching, law, journalism, publishing, the theatre, and public relations; but also in counseling, medicine, psychiatry, the clergy, business, agriculture, and the fine arts.
Interested in Graduate Study in Creative Writing, Literature, or Law?
For pre-law students, the English major is the first and best choice. In 2011, fully 90% of applicants accepted to American law schools came from English programs (source: Harvard). Why is English your best choice for a pre-law major? See this link from the University of Toledo for a list of reasons. This page from the University of Cranston explains why English majors are more likely to score well on the LSAT.
Follow this link for information on graduate study in English and creative writing, emphasizing our regional resources in south-central Ohio.
Photo above: Members of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival visit an English class at Wilmington to present scenes and discuss strategies for presenting Shakespeare to K-12 audiences (a specialty of the company).
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Last modified March 25 2011.