Mentor: Janet Myers
Project title: "Short-cut to the heart": A historical analysis of men's courtship letters in Jane Austen's fiction
After submitting a chapter for publication, presenting three chapters in one month, and revising a great deal of writing, I am happy to announce the completion of my 83-page multi-chapter thesis, “‘Short-cut to the Heart:’ A Historical Analysis of Men’s Courtship Letters in Jane Austen’s Fiction”! This semester has certainly been a whirlwind. My favorite chapter, “‘Too Happy for Letter-Writing:’ Irresolute and Distracted Suitors in Mansfield Park” was accepted for publication in Papers & Publications. I presented the same chapter at the British Women Writers Conference in Albuquerque, NM this April. A week later, I joined a group of Elon students in La Crosse, WI to attend NCUR and present my first chapter, “‘Little Delicate Compliments’ and ‘News of Importance:’ Artful and Natural Letter Writers in Pride and Prejudice.” Not long after, I presented my final chapter, “‘Half Agony, Half Hope:’ The Malleable Masculinity and Epistolary Excellence of Captain Wentworth in Persuasion” at SURF, which was a wonderful opportunity to showcase my discoveries to professors and friends. Additionally, I helped plan and I participated in a dramatic reading for the “CELEBRATE!” event to recognize the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice. Following these events, I began to piece together my final product by writing an introduction, an acknowledgements page, and a table of contents, revising each chapter for consistency and clarity, and even making some new discoveries along the way! This three-year journey has truly defined my Elon experience, and is one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I am so grateful to the Lumen Prize for providing the financial and academic support for this unforgettable research opportunity.
My immediate plan is to be a live-in nanny for a year for a family outside of Washington, D.C., because I need a break before my next scholarly adventure. However, I plan to return to school either through an international fellowship in the UK or a graduate program in the U.S. Dr. Myers is such an incredible resource, so I look forward to working with her in the future on applications for fellowships. I will likely pursue a higher degree in English Literature, specifically in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature, which has been the focus of my Lumen research.
Dr. Ann J. Cahill
Professor of Philosophy
Spence Pavilion 111
2340 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-5703
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