From Enlightenment to Romance: Adam Fergusons Philosophy of History in Scottish Romantic Literature

In preparation for his senior honors thesis, Dane is studying the relationship between literatures of the Scottish Enlightenment and Romantic periods. Specifically, he is exploring how Adam Fergusons theory of history, described in the Essay on the History of Civil Society, colors major texts of Scottish Romanticism. The scholarship surrounding Fergusons work has focused on its political and sociological implications, but there has not yet been any major study of Fergusons relationship to Scottish Romanticism. Through close reading and archival research in Edinburgh, Scotland, Dane will fill this gap by tracing characteristic elements of Fergusons Essayits communitarian orientation, its republican critiques of commerce, and its ambivalent attitude towards progressin the novels of Walter Scott, John Galt, and James Hogg, and the poetry of James Macphereson and Robert Burns.

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Dancing Girls: Margaret Atwoods Gothic and Ecofeminist Dialogic Through Landscapes and Shadow Selves

Arina’s project will examine how Margaret Atwoods short fiction collection, Dancing Girls, uses the elements of landscape and the shadow self as sites of ideological conflict between traditional Gothic tropes and ecofeminist ideology. While scholarly literature has addressed, separately, ecofeminism and the Gothic convention in Atwood’s fiction, there has yet to be discourse on the dialogic that is formed through their interaction. Due to the stories lack of closure, the thematic effect of this dialogic is still unclear, as the tension between these vying ideologies remains unresolved in each story. Arina will travel to an Atwood archive at the University of Toronto to search for any records that provide insight into the creation of these stories and Atwoods intentions for the function of this dialogic within them.

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Melancholy, Memory and the Millennial Experience in Digital Poetry

Jacqueline Vela’s research project will focus on the writings of contemporary poets of the 2010s that have emerged and performed their pieces via the Internet. Closely following this new genre of e-literature, Vela will observe both the bodies of work and digital platforms of poets such as Yesika Salgado, Danez Smith, Olivia Gatwood, and Ocean Vuong among others so to explore how the rapid explosion of technology and the phenomenons of online culture have influenced the form, style, and themes of these so-called insta-poets. With special attention to diverse narratives representing marginalized communities across class, race, and gender, Vela’s study will further investigate how this group of writers has enabled mass accessibility, challenged the literary gate-keeping, and what this may signify for the future of the publishing landscape. Photo caption: Jackie meets with Olivia Gatwood, one of the poets she is analyzing in her project, when Gatwood performed at Cornerstone […]

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