McGillicuddy Humanities Center Fellows Presenting Two Night Research Showcase
The McGillicuddy Humanities Center is sponsoring a two-night research showcase event, “The Stories We Tell,” featuring the four graduating undergraduate student fellows. The showcase will take place on Wednesday, April 21, and Thursday, April 22, from 7-8:30 p.m. on both nights.
The four fellows’ presentations will be split into two nights to allow for sufficient time. On April 21, Katherine Reardon will be presenting her research titled “What is Was and What I Know: Attempts at Family History”. Nola Prevost will also be presenting that evening and her project is called “All the Girls In The Woods: Feminist Fairy Tales for the Modern World”. The following evening, April 22, Hailey Cedor will be presenting “Local Involvement, Memory and Denial: The Complexities of the Holocaust in Lithuania”. Nolan Alvater will be sharing his project that night as well called “Wabanaki Tools of Diplomacy: Storying Protocols as Political Will”. Those who are interested in attending this event can use this Zoom link to access the presentations on both nights. 899432 if needed.
These creative projects have been in the works for about a year, and each student has remained vigilantly dedicated to their chosen topic despite COVID restrictions which disrupted each of their research plans. While each student has been working independently, their research happened to all center around the idea of inter-generational storytelling including: the power of Wabanaki storytelling in education, Irish American family lore, local memory and Holocaust denial in Lithuania, and updated fairy tales for the modern world.
Alvater is a Wabanaki student who is majoring in secondary education. He is concentrating in English and hopes to use his degree to become a tribal educator. Alvater hails from both Sipayik and Island Falls, Maine and with his project he hopes to create a writing camp for people that would focus on the history of Native Maine and native culture. Alvater also wants to draw attention to the lack of resources given to the implementation of the Wabanaki studies law.
Cedor is a graduating history student with a minor in environmental horticulture who is passionate about bringing the stories of the past to life in the modern era. After working with Professor Anne Knowles’ Holocaust Ghettos Project, Cedor became interested in Lithuanians involvement in the Holocaust and how that shapes national discourse and identity surrounding the events today. Unfortunately, Holocaust denial remains on the rise in both Europe and the U.S. which is one of the aspects that makes Cedor’s project relevant in today’s world.
Prevost, of Brewer, Maine, is a graduating English major who is concentrating in creative writing and minoring in women’s, gender and sexuality studies. She is rewriting classic fairytales to have a more feminist message in a combination of both poetry and prose. She will focus on bringing to light the issues marginalized groups face in the U.S. through these reworked fairytales to make a collection of modernized fables.
After a trip to her family’s native Ireland, Reardon who is an English major with a political science minor, became interested in testing the validity of the stories her family members had been passing down to her over the years. Through the use of non-fictional creative writing, oral history and examining historical documentation, Reardon is hoping to differentiate truth from fiction, and examine how the stories have impacted herself and her family throughout the years.
The McGillicuddy Humanities Center chooses four students per semester to participate in its fellowship program, or eight at any given time, at various stages in their research. Participating students earn $4000 per semester to work on the research or creative project of their choice that is rooted in the scope of the arts and humanities. Any student of any major is welcome to apply to hold fellowships during their junior or senior years. There are two annual deadlines to submit proposals, which are October 17 and March 17. Fellowships are highly competitive, but the position is earned based upon the strength of an applicant’s proposal as opposed to their GPA. Each student must apply with a faculty advisor who works closely with the student throughout the duration of their project. All students are required to make their project accessible to the public through a medium such as a talk, gallery show, or journal article.
Thank you to our undergraduate assistant Megan Ashe for this piece.