Critical Mass

Event Coverage

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April 22, 2012
The sixth annual Undergraduate Literature Conference featured students from Bridgewater State and Stonehill College presenting their work on a wide variety of topics. From consumption, to religion and politics in Iceland and England, to creative writing, the day-long event showcased the scholarship of more than two dozen undergraduates.[br][br]"The students are doing extremely well," said [b]Dr. Molly Robey[/b], assistant professor of English and one of the organizers, during a break in the event. "The papers are really phenomenal this year."[br][br]The conference was born after Stonehill's Associate Professor of English Sarah Gracombe, who is faculty advisor to the institution's English Society, was talking to a student and both lamented the fact that students worked hard on their final papers only to see them graded and filed away.[br][br]"They didn't have an afterlife," Dr. Gracombe said.[br][br]The symposium gives these papers a well-deserved showcase, she added.[br][br]"It's wonderful," she said of the event. "It's full of great examples of the sophistication our students are capable of."[br][br]Panel themes for this year's symposium included "Outsiders," "Race in America from Civil War to Civil Rights," and "Sexuality and Sentiment: Pushing Cultural Boundaries," as well seven works of creative writing.[br][br]"I love watching our students present their work like this," Dr. Robey said, "they're nervous and shy but they get a real sense of accomplishment. It's a very special day."[br][br]The students saw the symposium as a way to share their research, hone their presentation skills and learn from their peers and share in their success.[br][br]"This tends to be their best work of the semester and you can see how proud they are," said BSU sophomore [b]Jennifer Kilgallon[/b], who is president of the university's English Society.[br][br]Presenting one's work at a symposium also allows students to experience the range of scholarly work, its labors and rewards, said Stonehill's Meredith Kalinski,'13, who presented her paper on Disney's advocacy of human-animal relationships.[br][br]"It's the combination of putting it together and presenting it," she said. "It brings the whole process full circle." [br][br]Photo caption 1: Foreground, Dr. Molly Robey, assistant professor of English; panel is (right to left): Andrew Norkiewicz, Carolyn Meklenburg, [b]Caitlin Larracey[/b] (BSU), Amy Flynn, [b]Lauren Daponte[/b] (BSU) and BSU's [b]Dr. Stuart Allen[/b], assistant professor of English.[br][br]Photo caption 2: (Standing) Dr. Molly Robey, [b]Sarah Damewood[/b], Caitlin Larracey, [b]Christina Jasper[/b] and Jennifer Kilgallon. (Front) [b]Christopher Roy[/b] and [b]Saide Ranero[/b].[br](Story and photo s by John Winters, G '11, University Advancement)[br]
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