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Students to present papers at West Virginia Literary Symposium April 11

ISSUED: 6 March 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Six Shepherd University students will present papers at the West Virginia Literary Symposium April 11 at Fairmont State University. In addition, one of the students will present her paper at the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society National Conference March 18-21 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Students presenting papers at the West Virginia Literary Symposium are:

Katie Byrum, of Shepherdstown, “Gender and the Supernatural in Uncle Tom’s Cabin and MobyDick”

Danielle Carder, of Ridgeley, “A Critical Analysis of Rhetorical Arguments in Moby Dick, An Indian’s Looking-Glass for the White Man, and What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

Molly Lovern, from Bluefield, “Societal Ideals in Medieval French and Japanese Romance”

Shelby Shajimon, of Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania,“Finding the Perfect Balance: Erec and Murasaki”

Emily Spangler, from Huntington, “Feminine Quests in Arthurian Legends”

Rose Tribby, of Lovettsville, Virginia, “Mephastophilis in Media and Prospero in Pictures: Influences of The Tempest and Dr. Faustus on Modern Media”

Spangler, who has never done anything like this before, will also present her paper at the 2015 Sigma Tau Delta National Convention in March. She’s excited about flying to New Mexico and is looking forward to five days “full of academia and English camaraderie.”

“It is an exciting, new event in my life,” she said. “Submitting and presenting papers is, of course, a great thing to have on my résumé. I would also add that presenting papers builds confidence and spirit as a potential scholar. It takes a lot of guts to get up in front of a group of people and present something you wrote, and if I face that once or multiple times, I think it will make me stronger as a person and as a student.”

Spangler said she chose the topic, “Feminine Quests in Arthurian Legends,” because she is fascinated with female characters in medieval texts.

“They don’t get very many interpretations due to their gender, and looking at their motives within the legends shines light on their characterization that may not have been explored before,” she said.

Lovern said she chose the subject of societal ideals for women in romance literature because it’s a topic she developed an interest in during the Honors Medieval History class. She will discuss two works, “The Tale of Genji” and “Erec and Enide.”

“I am truly looking forward to presenting at the West Virginia Literary Symposium,” Lovern said. “I feel really lucky that I have this opportunity. As a biology student, I likely won’t ever present a paper on literature again but I feel like this presentation will give me experience that will help me present research in the future.”

Carder, an English major, said her presentation will focus on rhetorical strategies that were employed by mid-19th century writers to address racial inequality.

“I am so excited to be a presenter at the West Virginia Literary Symposium, and I am eager to represent Shepherd University as an academic writer,” Carder said. “It is important, as a student and budding writer, to present my work at  as many opportunities as possible because this provides room for improvement and growth in my professional career.”

Shajimon said her presentation, “Finding the Perfect Balance: Erec and Murasaki,” is about the psychological journeys of two characters from different stories. The presentation attempts to highlight the need for balance between physical and psychological health, no matter what a person’s gender, ethnicity, or age. Shajimon, who is a biology major, said she’s honored that she was chosen to present at the symposium.

“I am also very excited to hear other people’s perspectives on the art that they are analyzing and to just be around so many intelligent students and professors who really love literature,” Shajimon said. “As a premedical student, submitting and presenting a paper like this not only helps me polish my public speaking and writing skills, which is important in any career, but it also lets me gain a little more insight into the human experience, which is what literature, medicine, and life are all about.”

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