3 UH Hilo students present their research at a prestigious symposium
Three English majors from the University of Hawaii in Hilo presented their original papers at a prestigious research symposium hosted by Johns Hopkins University.
Emily burkhart, Alexandre coley and Kiaria Zoi Nakamura (co-author of this article) applied to virtually present his research at the Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium under the supervision of Kirsten Møllegaard, professor and president of EUH Hilo English Department.
“This symposium was a wonderful opportunity for Emily, Alexander and Zoi to present their work in a national context and to gain experience as presenters in a large-scale academic setting,” said Møllegaard. “Their participation in the Johns Hopkins Symposium demonstrates the strength and relevance of the skills they acquired during their undergraduate studies at EUH Hilo. “
The three students are graduating this spring and have spent months preparing, reviewing and practicing for their presentations, the first of which took place April 24-25. This unique opportunity allowed them to share their research and discoveries with other students and academics across the country and around the world.
Burkhart is a dual major in English and in Gender and Women’s Studies. Her presentation was part of a larger project she is currently completing for her Gender and Women’s Studies Synthesis Project, “It’s So Much Easier to Despair: Whiteness and Narcissistic Despair in Popular Cli-Fi. ” Cli-Fi refers to climate fiction literature, which focuses on climate change and global warming.
“The purpose of the project is to complicate widespread understandings of the Anthropocene (a proposed geological epoch reflecting climate change) and ultimately to argue that white writers’ climate fiction perpetuates settler colonialism by erasing various indigenous interpretations of climate change. Burkhart explained.
Coley’s major English project, “Body Politics: Traditionalism and Adaptation in Titus Andronicus», Focuses on an analysis of traditionalism in Shakespeare’s terrible Roman tragedy, Titus Andronicus.
“My project features three examples in which the play’s protagonist, titular titus, fosters his family’s angst by blindly applying Roman law and tradition,” Coley said.
Drawing inspiration from independent feminist and historical analyzes, her project built an argument against the uncritical acceptance of tradition. Coley added, “In my conclusion, I stress that traditionalism is not only dangerous, but futile, as the end of the play marks the beginning of an era of change.”
Kiaria Zoi Nakamura
Nakamura is majoring in English with a minor in Performing Arts and a Certificate in Educational Studies. Although she also focused on Shakespeare’s works for her presentation, “Reflective Relevance: A Contemporary Examination of Shakespeare’s OthelloNakamura took a different approach to better understand how to read, analyze and teach her works in the classroom.
“Shakespeare’s works are woven into the fabric of almost every classroom of English, being the most cited author under the Common Core English Language Arts Standards,” said Nakamura. “However, with the growing efforts to decolonize the program, the question of whether or not Shakespeare should be on the chopping block, is regularly revisited.
To find out more, visit EUH Hilo Stories.
—History of Kiaria Zoi Nakamura and Susan enright