This year’s Eaton symposium marks the 10th time the event has been held on the University of Redlands campus. The Easton symposium is an event where graduating seniors of the English department share their “capstones,” or months-long research projects, with faculty and peers. This event is a tradition in the department, as faculty and students gather to take pride in the seniors’ projects and be present in the intellectual community.
Furthermore, the importance was only heightened because it was held in person for the first time since 2019. Head of the English department, Heather King, introduced the event and the student presenters. Grace Hall ‘22, Megan Vietstra ‘22, and Alessandra Young ‘22 began the first panel discussion.
Grace Hall began by explaining her research project, “From Page to Stage: Gender, Power, and Control in Shakespeare’s Tragedies.” Her project centered around the dynamics of gender in Shakespeare’s tragic plays Hamlet and Othello. The project dove deeply into the ways gender affects on-screen portrayals of characters in stage adaptations.
Meanwhile, Megan Vliststra and Allesandra Young both had projects about “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelly. Megan compared the novel to Ahmed Saadawi’s 2014 novel Frankenstein in Baghdad, adding to the complexity of looking at “Frankenstein” through the lens of the scientific revolution. Young took a different route and chose not to look at “Frankenstein” as a novel warning about the scientific revolution, and instead took the stance that it is a reconstructionist story.
Panel Two was made up of Madison Aument ‘22 with her project titled “De-commodifying the self: Lily Bart’s struggle for autonomy,” Anna O’Meara ‘22 with her capstone “Ew Gross: Abjection in the Works of Ai and Emily Dickenson,” and Olivia Rose Umstead ‘22 with her piece “Becky Sharp: A Victim of Society, or a Reason to Condemn it.”
After the panelists were finished, the respondents Dr. Daniel Keifer, Chryse Kruse, and Kassandra Zamanis commented on the projects and asked the panelists questions about their research
All in all, the evening was one of intellectual community and conversation that celebrated each graduating senior’s project. The presentations were followed by drinks and conversation afterward.
Photo provided by Bulldog photographer Kyle Eaton.