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Salameno Center for British Studies

The Center for British Studies was created in January, 2012 by faculty from various disciplines to further the study of all aspects of British culture, support student and faculty engagement in this study, and enrich the intellectual life of Ramapo College students.

The Center ended its activities in May of 2019. This site is an archive of its activities during that period.

Board Members: Patricia Ard, Roark Atkinson, Todd Barnes, Yvette Kisor, Ellen Ross, and Terra Vandergaw.

Archived Events

Events of 2019

Shakespeare at Ramapo 2019Shakespeare At Ramapo 2019

Events of 2018

Ramapo Reads: FrankensteinRamapo Reads: Frankenstein

On October 31, 2018, students, faculty and administration of the College joined together for an all-day reading of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein. The Halloween event took place in the wood paneled York room of the Birch Mansion. Student Hannah Frascella observed that “the reading of a classic horror novel on Halloween, in the supposedly haunted Birch mansion, was truly a one of a kind experience.”

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Shakespeare At Ramapo 2018Shakespeare At Ramapo 2018

Events of 2017

The British History behind Game Of ThronesThe British History behind Game Of Thrones

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Shakespeare At Ramapo 2017Shakespeare At Ramapo 2017

Visual and performing artist Melissa Bartley Chernowetz, Ramapo Alumna ’02, gave an artist’s talk on Friday, April 21st. This talk was followed by three, free puppetry workshops, which were offered twice per day on the 22nd and 23rd. Then, on Tuesday, April 25th, from 7-7:30pm in the Grove, students presented their puppets in a pageant. The pageant was followed by “Shakespeare Live,” from 7:30-10:30, an open mic/performance party in BC 216. Students presented scenes, sonnets, soliloquies, music, and dancing. On Thursday, April 27th, Professor Todd Barnes opened up his “Shakespeare’s Plays” course to the public. Held in the Laurel Hall Screening Room, his lecture, “Richard II: Staging History, Staging Power,” focused on the controversial turning point in that play, Act 4, Scene 1, wherein Richard abdicates his throne to Henry Bolingbroke, who then becomes Henry IV. Throughout the lecture, Prof. Barnes also shared clips from the BBC’s recent series, The Hollow Crown. 

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The Joy Of Jane: Austen's 200 Year AfterlifeThe Joy Of Jane: Austen’s 200 Year Afterlife

2017 marked the 200th anniversary of the death of British novelist Jane Austen. Literature Professor Patricia Ard, who teaches and publishes on Austen, spoke about the novelist’s enduring appeal and status as a literary celebrity 200 years after her death.

Events of 2016

Talk by Web Mistress Melissa Anelli on Harry PotterTalk by Web Mistress Melissa Anelli on Harry Potter

Melissa Anelli has been reporting on the Harry Potter phenomenon since 2001. As the webmistress of The Leaky Cauldron she has written and spoken for Harry Potter fans in media outlets worldwide. She graduated Georgetown University in 2001 and spent several years as a daily news reporter and features writer in New York City. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her ferocious cat, Moochka.

Her book, Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon tells the story of the Harry Potter phenomenon through a superfan’s eyes.

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Shakespeare At Ramapo 2016

Shakespeare At Ramapo 2016 – 400th Anniversary

2016 was the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Thus, the British Studies Center sponsored numerous events relating to this important anniversary.

  1. Macbeth – Performance ran through the weekend of April 8th and 14th and was directed by Mary Ellen Allison with Music by Gilad Cohen.
  2. Acting in Shakespeare – This workshop was with actor and veteran Stephan Wolfert and took place on April 11th.
  3. Cry Havoc! –  Stephan Wolfert’s acclaimed one-man show was followed by a Q & A on the night of April 11th.
  4. Advanced Directing: Scenes from Shakespeare Scenes – Directed my Mary Ellen Allison and performed on April 20th, 21st, and 22nd.
  5. Scenes, Sonnets, Soliloquies – Performed on the 21st of April with students from Todd Barnes’ Shakespeare Plays class and Terra Vandergaw’s Voice and Movement and Advanced Acting Classes.
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Cry Havoc!Cry Havoc!

After six years in the Army and battling PTSD, Stephen Wolfert hoped off an Amtrak train deep in the mountains of Montana, wandered into a theatre and saw Shakespeare’s Richard III. He was so moved by this experience that he left the Army and went to graduate school to become a classical actor.  Twenty years later, Wolfert relives his odyssey by seamlessly interweaving his story with the voices of William Shakespeare’s veterans in his tour de force solo show, Cry Havoc.

Cry Havoc dramatizes the way young, psychologically malleable men and women are recruited and “wired for war” but then, at the end of their military service, are not ” un-wired from war” or “re-wired” for society.

Cry Havoc is a thought-provoking, gut-wrenching, and yet shockingly funny evening of finely crafted theater.

Proceeds from Cry Havoc went to the Heroes for Heroes nonprofit and Ramapo Veterans Lounge.

Events of 2015

Shakespeare At Ramapo 2015Shakespeare Day 2015

This event, sponsored by the Salameno Center for British Studies featured performances of various scenes, sonnets, and soliloquies by students.  Additionally Montclair University Shakespeare scholar Adam Rzepka joined professors Todd Barnes, Terra Vandergaw, Yvette Kisor, and Fulbright scholar-in-residence and director, Rafael Bianciotto, for a freewheeling discussion of how Shakespeare’s plays are performed today, taught, and incorporated into everyday life.

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The Ghost of 1842

The Ghost of 1842

The Salameno Center for British Studies sponsored a talk from Professor Dean Chen on “The Ghost of 1842: China’s Insecurity and Occupy Central in Hong Kong” on Wednesday 19 November.

Events of 2014

Joe Strummer’s Transatlantic Rockabilly WarJoe Strummer’s Transatlantic Rockabilly War

On April 16, the Center hosted Professor Ed Shannon’s presentation on “Joe Strummer’s Transatlantic Rockabilly War: The Punk Politics and Folk Roots of The Clash.” This well attended lecture, based on one of Professor Shannon’s recent publications, drew fascinating connections between the life and work of Joe Strummer and folk traditions embodied by Woody Guthrie.

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Harry Potter Film SeriesHarry Potter Film Series

The Center also hosted a Harry Potter Film Series. Throughout the semester, Professor Yvette Kisor hosted screenings and discussions for all of the films.

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Shakespeare at Ramapo 2014Shakespeare at Ramapo 2014

On April 23, on the occasion of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, the Center once again sponsored a series of events to celebrate “Shakespeare at Ramapo.” The daylong celebration included performances by students in Professor Todd Barnes’ “Shakespeare’s Plays” course; scenes, sonnets, and soliloquies performed by students in Professors Vandergaw’s and Vail’s acting classes; a screening and discussion of the new film Caesar Must Die; and a stage combat workshop hosted by alumna Lize Meisenzahl.

Events of 2013

Shakespeare Day 2013

Shakespeare Day 2013

On April 23, the birthdate of William Shakespeare, the BSC sponsored several relevant events for the college community. Professors Roark Atkinson and Todd Barnes each gave a talk related to the poet’s life and work. Professor Yvette Kisor led students in a lively Shakespeare centered game.

The Center hopes to make this an annual event.

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Screening of Doctor Who

Screening of Doctor Who

On Tuesday, November 19, Dumbledore’s Army and the Salameno Center for British Studies co-sponsored a screening of an episode of Doctor Who (“The Name of the Doctor”) in the Laurel Hall Screening Room. The screening was well attended. We hope this event is the first of many collaborations between the two groups.

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The Tempest and Its Discontents

The Tempest and Its Discontents

On November 21, 2013, Professor Todd Barnes (Literature) gave a public talk entitled “The Tempest and Its Discontents.” This talk, sponsored by the Salameno Center for British Studies, was scheduled to coincide with the current campus production of The Tempest. In his talk, Professor Barnes discussed the history of the play’s reception. He discussed, in particular, the play’s role in larger debates concerning early modern and contemporary ways of thinking about colonialism, patriarchy, globalization, geography, and of course, theatre and performance studies. The talk was well attended by students and faculty from across the campus, and it was followed by a lively discussion.

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Poets or Killers?

Poets or Killers?

On October 16, 2013 Martin Francis, Henry R. Winkler Professor of Modern History at the university of Cincinnati, gave a public talk to the College community.The talk was provocatively titled “Poets or Killers?: Royal Air Force Flyers and British Culture During WWII,” and concerned the complex public identity of the pilots; they were indeed national heroes but the death rate among them was forty percent! The talk was sponsored by the British Studies Center, a campus organization established to foster the study and discussion of all things British, as well as by the History Club.

Events of 2012

Jane Austen in the Popular Imagination

Jane Austen in the Popular Imagination

The newly forming Salameno Center for British Studies of Ramapo College sponsored a talk on Monday, November 19th, 1-2 in SC 137 by Jane Austen scholar Juliette Wells of Goucher College.

Juliette Wells is the author of the 2012 book Everybody’s Jane: Jane Austen in the Popular Imagination. This book, which was the subject of her talk, explores the fan culture that has sprung up worldwide and in countless mediums, centered upon the British novelist, Jane Austen. Professor Wells explored why Austen has such a varied “fan” base, of people of all ages and nationalities, including academics and non-academics. This resurgence of Austen “fandom” has sparked an industry of film adaptations, material objects related to Austen, as well as “mashups” or popular rewritings, of her six famous novels. These fan fictions include continuations of her novels, dating guides, mystery novels based on her books, and countless other “quirky cultural creativity.” Support for this event was generously provided by the Ramapo College Foundation, with additional support provided by Platinum funds.