Program Celebrates Cervantes, Shakespeare

Published on September 01, 2016

A special Chautauqua program at Eastern Kentucky University will celebrate “400 Years of Cervantes and Shakespeare.”

The program, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, in O’Donnell Hall of the Whitlock Building, will feature presentations by EKU faculty members Manuel Cortés-Castañeda, Ezra Engling and Kevin Rahimzadeh. It is free the open to the public.

Literary giants Miguel de Cervantes (April 22, 1616) and William Shakespeare (April 23, 1616) died a day apart from each other 400 years ago.

Cortés-Castañeda, an associate professor of Spanish, is a native of Colombia who grew up in the Amazon jungle and studied in a Catholic seminary ruled by Italian priests. His presentation is titled “Fragments, Critiques and Poems of Quijote.” Cortés-Castañeda writes poetry, short stories and essays on poetry and films; his works include four books as well as dozens of articles on poetry and short narrative. In 2014, he received Colombia’s highest honor for excellence in literature – the José Eustasio Rivera Award, Tierra de Promision.

Ezra Engling, also a professor of Spanish, will discuss “Selective Insanity in Don Quixote and Hamlet.” As a senior Fulbright Research Fellow in Morocco, Engling analyzed representations of Moorish characters in Spanish Golden Age literature. He knows six languages, and has lived on four continents and published on three. His academic interests include medieval literature, cultural and gender studies, learning technologies, translation, Caribbean dialectology and reggae.

Rahimzadeh, a professor in EKU’s Department of English and Theatre, will discuss “Some Disorderly Thoughts on Order and Chaos in Shakespeare’s Plays.” Rahimzadeh teaches courses in Early World Literature, Early British Literature, Early Drama and various other courses centered on earlier periods, such as Shakespeare and John Milton. Little wonder he often jokingly tells students he seldom pays attention to anything written after 1674.

The program is sponsored by the Department of English & Theatre; the Department of Languages, Cultures and Humanities; and EKU Honors.

This year’s Chautauqua theme is “Order and Chaos.”

For more information, visit or contact Chautauqua Lecture Coordinator Dr. Erik Liddell at