This is a guest post from the School of Law:
Wake Forest Law’s Professor Richard Schneider and the Honorable U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sat on the judicial panel of a “Merchant of Venice” mock appeal hearing on July 27 in the Jewish Ghetto of Venice, Italy. The mock hearing, which was organized by Professor Schneider at Justice Ginsburg’s request, was part of a series of events hosted by Compagnia de’ Colombari and Ca ‘Foscari University of Venice in celebration of the intersection of the 500th anniversary of the formation of the Jewish Ghetto in Venice and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
Other events include symposia, lectures by Shakespeare scholars Stephen Greensblatt of Harvard University and James Shapiro of Columbia University, receptions and a six-performance production of “The Merchant of Venice,” marking the first time the play was performed in its historic, famous setting.
Students in Professor Schneider’s summer Law, Literature, and Culture course, which addressed “The Merchant of Venice” and other Italian literature, accompanied Professor Schneider to Venice and participated in several of the events. Students observed the oral arguments and attended a reception with the involved dignitaries, such as U.S. Ambassador to Italy John R. Philips, another member of the judicial panel, and Justice Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg also spent a day with the students and lectured on the high court and its work, as she has done twice before for Professor Schneider’s class in Venice.
Professor Schneider was featured in the New York Times article, “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Presides Over Shylock’s Appeal,” for his contributions to the “Merchant of Venice” project, as well as in Lisa Snedeker’s Huffington Post blog entry, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hears A Different Argument,” both on July 27.