samples of an Elizabethan bookUnder ultraviolet light, the title page of a collection of Horace reveals a record by Anthony Munday that he purchased the volume from Shakespeare for four shillings in 1598: “Ex Libris the player W / Shakesper 4 shills A: M / 1598.”

Researcher to discuss Shakespearean sources

Archeology is all about storytelling, telling an object’s story. As a field archaeologist, UWindsor professor Robert Weir’s specialty is bronze coins found at excavations.

When not teaching courses in archaeology, ancient languages, Greek civilization, or Greek history in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, he researches ancient coins and for the past decade, antiquarian books.

Robert Weir“They (bronze coins) are in bad shape and you have to know what to look for,” Dr. Weir says. “Same with old books. You look at the fibers and the paper … I’ve developed an eye for what to look for and where to look -- a ‘spidy sense’. One informs the other. Archeology informs my book research. They have a lot in common.”

Weir believes he has identified a book that once belonged to William Shakespeare, a 1575 book of Horace’s work in Latin that was heavily annotated. Weir used technology to reveal the annotations and has found corresponding references in Shakespeare’s early plays.

It all started in 2016 when he was able to inspect this book in a private library  of an owner who wishes to remain anonymous.

When Weir looked at the Horace volume, he noticed markings in certain passages in the poems known as the Odes. These were the only poems of Horace’s that hadn’t been translated into English during the Elizabethan period when this book was published.

“I thought this was curious and began to wonder who could have left these markings,” Weir says.

He did a bit of online research using Early English Books Online (a database in England of everything that has survived) and found that what was marked is not what we think of as the highlight reel of Horace in the 16th century.

“History views Horace as the lyric poet of the Odes, but during the Elizabethan period he was a didactic poet, someone full of wise adages,” he says. “So really, the people who read the Odes, which didn’t exist in English translation at the time, were by and large poets.”

Weir immediately made a list of Elizabethan poets and near the top of that list was William Shakespeare.

He came across a book in the Windsor Library, T.W. Baldwin's magisterial work of 1944 titled William Shakspere's Small Latine & Lesse Greeke, which alludes to something that Ben Jonson said about Shakespeare’s use of classical sources. A chapter on Horace ran about 20 pages.

“So I went through it. Baldwin would mention this Ode, this line and I would look at this 1575 Horace, and yes, there was a mark there,” explains Weir. “I got this nice matchup between Baldwin’s references and the marks in the 1575 Horace. And I thought, wow that’s cool. And it’s not your typical Elizabethan readership profile.”

Weir agrees with the ‘less Greek’ attribution, noting all of the Greek words in this copy of Horace have the English translation written beside them in the margin.

“Chances are that Shakespeare would have received at least some education in Latin, but maybe not enough to allow him to translate the Odes with facility,” he says. “The Odes are tricky. It is no wonder that they were the last of Horace’s poems to be translated into English.”

In the case of the 1575 Horace, Shakespeare would have used signposts left by earlier readers.

Weir has been able to identify specific marks with specific earlier readers, and they highlight the good bits.

“So, I thought, I had better look at these more closely. That’s when I started ultraviolet imaging the marks and looking for other annotations,” he explains. “Because in my experience, you often find things if you look closely.”

During a sabbatical in 2019-20, he worked through the book methodically.

“I’ve imaged most of the poems, but about half of the book is commentary and I haven’t dipped into that at all,” he says.

Weir has been able to construct a chain of provenance of who owned it when. And he’s made notes of what use they made of the book. He continues to research and study the page images, and he continues to make discoveries.

“There are just so many pages to consider that new marks and annotations pop up all the time,” he says.

Weir will discuss his findings in a webinar for the Humanities Research Group entitled “How Shakespeare Read his Horace,” at noon Tuesday, Jan. 25. His presentation will demonstrate ultraviolet imaging and the detailed research that brought to light the people who read Horace and marked the book prior to it being given to Shakespeare – a who’s who of the 16th century.

The event is free and open to the public. Register here to attend via Microsoft Teams.

—Susan McKee

Rosalind HamptonProfessor Rosalind Hampton of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education will deliver a lecture entitled “Plotting Black Studies in Canada” on Friday, Feb. 4.

Speaker to explore role for Black studies in Canada

The past decade has seen Canadian universities that have long celebrated their settler colonial origins declaring commitments to “decolonization,” says Rosalind Hampton.

An assistant professor of Black studies in the Department of Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, she will examine the shifting landscape of academia in a lecture entitled “Plotting Black Studies in Canada” at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 4.

“To plot Black studies is to locate and engage Black radical thought and creativity across time and place, and to study and organize together toward a repurposing of the university as a site of anti-colonial convergence,” she says.

Dr. Hampton’s areas of teaching and graduate student supervision include Black radical thought; arts and creative practice; Black women’s life writing; Black learners in Canada; and critical ethnographic and arts-informed methods of inquiry. Her 2020 book Black Racialization and Resistance at an Elite University examines racialized social relations in Canadian higher education through a study grounded in Black people’s experiences at McGill University since the late 1950s.

Expanding on this work, her current research projects examine Black student activism and coalition building in the late 20th century, Black studies initiatives at Canadian universities since 2015, and critical-creative praxis in Black studies research and pedagogy.

In her Feb. 4 address, Hampton will make the case for a critical Black studies that demands consideration deeper than institutional surfaces and appearances, below and beyond matters of representation.

The event is the second in the Distinguished Speaker Series in Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Pedagogies, presented by the Office of the Vice-President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. It will run on the Microsoft Teams platform and is free to attend; join the live event on MS Teams here.

Robert GordonUWindsor president Robert Gordon will address the State of the University in a public presentation Wednesday, Jan. 26.

Reminder: State of the University subject of presidential address Wednesday

President Robert Gordon will celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of UWindsor faculty, students, and staff over the past year — and look forward to key priorities and plans for the coming year — in a State of the University Address over Microsoft Teams on Wednesday, Jan. 26.

Among the topics of discussion are the University's plans for extensive consultation during its strategic planning process.

Members of the campus and surrounding communities are invited to listen to his presentation and ask questions, starting at 11 a.m. Register here to receive the link to the live event.

Frank SimpsonProfessor emeritus Frank Simpson has been awarded the Decoration of Honour for Merit to Polish Geology.

Retired geology prof honoured for work in Poland

Professor emeritus Frank Simpson of the School of the Environment has been awarded the Decoration of Honour for Merit to Polish Geology by that country’s Minister of Climate and the Environment.

Dr. Simpson, along with 10 other editors of Annales Societatis Geologorum Poloniae, the journal of the Polish Geological Society, received the honour in 2021 on the occasion of the society’s 100th anniversary. Simpson has been an editor of the journal since 2012.

The minister signed the document of proof that goes with the decoration just two days before Simpson began his retirement.

“A total of 31 individuals received the award at the end of 2021. They include people whose work I have known and admired for many years,” says Simpson. “I feel that being a member of this group adds an extra dimension to the honour of receiving the award.”

Simpson has written research papers about the geology of part of the Polish Western Carpathian Mountains. He has translated from Polish to English numerous papers by geologists from universities and government organizations in different parts of Poland.

The award came in response to a recommendation from the president of the Polish Geological Society. A presentation ceremony will be held in May.

man displaying site of vaccination on upper armStudents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 today in Windsor Hall will receive $25 in UwinCASH.

Downtown campus vaccination clinic a chance for students to UwinCASH in

UWindsor students who receive vaccination against COVID-19 at a clinic in Windsor Hall today will receive $25 in UwinCASH.

The funds allow students to use their UwinCARDs to purchase products and services from campus food outlets, printers and photocopiers, and the Campus Bookstore.

The Windsor Essex County Health Unit will operate a public pop-up clinic open to anyone 5 years or older today —Monday, Jan. 24 — at Windsor Hall from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

No appointment or health card is necessary to receive a first, second, or booster shot. Students who attend may fill out a form on site after their vaccination to claim their $25 reward.

T4 slipsHuman Resources is seeking to update home addresses for faculty, staff, and student employees to prepare 2021 tax slips.

Human Resources seeking to verify mailing addresses for 2021 tax slips

Preparation of T4 slips for the 2021 tax year has begun, and Human Resources requests that all faculty, staff, and students employed on campus ensure their mailing addresses are current and accurate on the myUWinfo site.

Take a moment to log in to myUWinfo to confirm that it reflects your current address, or update it as well as your emergency contact listings.

Note: Address changes should be completed by Feb. 10 to ensure the correct address on 2021 tax forms.