Supported projects examine cathedral’s historic influence and connections between academics, administration

Roze Hentschell, Ph.D., is professor of English at Colorado State University as well as associate dean for undergraduate studies in the College of Liberal Arts. Her worlds of renaissance academics and university administration collide in two initiatives, which Hentschell has undertaken as recipient of the English Department’s Thomas Mark Scholar Award.

The award supports scholarship on the life and works of major literary figures, particularly those of the early modern period. Hentschell’s two projects, supported by the award, approach this objective from separate angles.

The first is in line with Hentschell’s academic focus on early modern historical and cultural representations of spatial practices. It will appear as the final essay in the upcoming collection Old St Paul’s and Culture. The book chronicles deep literary investigation into the expansive secular and religious influences of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, in medieval life and today.

“It’s a tricky proposition as the collection spans about 300 years,” she said.

Hentschell’s essay will serve to contextualize the book and tie the volume together. The work is related to her book recently published with Oxford University Press, St Paul’s Cathedral in Early Modern Literature and Culture: Spatial Practices.

Her second project is a workshop and essay collection titled Shakespeare’s Administrators, which delves into connections among university academics and administration. She works on the initiative with Catherine Thomas, professor of English and associate dean in Georgia Gwinette College’s School of Transitional Studies.

Hentschell said the project aims to engage Shakespeare and early modern studies professionals who enter administrative roles. Shakespeare’s Administrators will answer the question, who are Shakespeare’s administrators today, and how are they shaping their lives and those of others? She said transitions into administrative positions can carry stigma in the arts, and she once grappled with her own sense of pride in her administrative role.

“I felt like having to defend administration and explaining it away when the fact is that I really love it,” she said. “I’ve been able to effect change that I’m proud of. I’ve grown to really celebrate the work that I do.”

She hopes Shakespeare’s Administrators will serve as a framework for thinking about academic studies and its relationship to college administration. The effort will culminate in a forum session at the annual meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America, SAA, and an essay collection.

“I happen to think literary scholars are good for being effective in leadership roles,” she said. “We study the human condition,  and we can see a variety of models in the literary world about what leaders should and shouldn’t be.”

The forum session will investigate how early modern scholar-administrators grapple with the joys and challenges of administrative roles, and it will connect them with their research and teaching endeavors.

“With this project I really wanted to stay engaged with my profession and for it to feel relevant to the work I’m doing in administration,” she said. “I think this accomplishes that.”

The Thomas Mark award will support Hentschell’s travel to SAA as well as provide support of working on the essay for Old St Paul’s.

Hentschell is wrapping up 18 years with CSU’s English Department, where she arrived in 2002 as a renaissance professor working alongside Professor Barbara Sebek. Hentschell represents the College of Liberal Arts on several university-level committees, including the Advisory Committee for Undergraduate Affairs, Admissions Advisory Council, University Committee for Academic Advising, International Affairs Committee and the President’s Commission for Diversity and Inclusion. She holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in English, both from University of California-Santa Barbaraa, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English from Vassar College.

Professor Thomas Mark taught in the English department from 1957 to 1995, and the Thomas Mark Scholar Award was established in 2018 by Greg Mark to honor his father.