I spoke with fellow English major, Amanda Mitchell, today about her recent experience at the 29th annual Medieval Association of the Midwest conference, which was held at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana, from September 26th through 28th. Amanda’s portion of the project was funded by the FUSE grant she was awarded this year. She and Dr. Alison Langdon presented a collaborative paper titled “Playing at Truths: Looking for Dante in Beatrice and Virgil.”
This project had been in the making for quite a while – Dr. Langdon and Amanda began working on the project during the summer after Amanda returned from studying abroad. They had been tossing around ideas for quite a while before that, but decided to focus on Beatrice and Virgil, by Yann Martel, because none of the critical reviews they’d seen had delved into the Dante references in the book. Dr. Jane Fife first recommended Beatrice and Virgil to Dr. Langdon, who then recommended it to Amanda. They soon knew this would be the topic of their collaborative paper.
Dr. Langdon selected Amanda for this project because she was one of her “Dante fanatic students,” as Amanda puts it. They had been brainstorming ideas for collaboration for quite a while when this opportunity arose. After Dr. Langdon selected the conference they would attend, she recommended Amanda apply for a FUSE grant. She had no trouble getting the grant because of the exciting nature of the project and low-risk investment involved for the university.
Many attendees of the MAM conference were surprised to see an undergraduate student there; Amanda was the only one to attend. It was a relaxed environment and great opportunity to make connections (and to get to know Dr. Langdon on a more personal level). The conference was a great experience for Amanda, and she got to meet a lot of professionals in her desired field.
Congratulations on your recent success, Amanda. We look forward to seeing what you do next!