Our English Honours students have a rare opportunity to spend a year researching and writing in the manner of professional literary critics and theorists. Under the supervision of a professor, they select a topic, develop it through research, and write a substantial scholarly work. Last week, our current Honours students presented their research to the department in our annual Honours Colloquium.
Meet our 2016-17 Honours students:
My thesis explores John Gardner’s novel Grendel, which is an adaptation of Beowulf told from the monster’s perspective. In my project, I employ postcolonial theory — mainly the theories of Edward Said and Homi K. Bhabha — to explore the ways in which Gardner portrays the relationship between the monster and the Danes.
With a focus on children’s literature, I am examining how structures of surveillance, specifically the panoptical structure, are used for the social conditioning and social control of children. I will be working with Mary Martha Sherwood’s The Fairchild Family, Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons, Elizabeth George Speare’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond, and Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.
My thesis focuses exclusively on novels and short stories by Thomas King. A self-described “contemporary Native writer,” King blends written narratives with oral traditions. I am interested in his specific brand of interfusional storytelling: King creates an intentionally liminal space and deconstructs assumptions about the way stories are told and perceived. The novel Green Grass, Running Water, short stories “One Good Story, That One” and “Coyote Goes West” are a few of the texts I use to explore King’s methods of replicating the spoken voice through written narrative. In my research, I am considering authority and a possible capital-T “Truth” in storytelling.
If you’re a Mount English student and think you might be interested in an Honours degree, speak to your faculty advisor or the Department Chair. You can find some information about our Honours program on our Course Guide webpage.