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College of Humanities students Tom McConnell, Jemima Hubberstey, Anna Varadi and Cherrie Kwok

Humanities students selected to attend British Conference of Undergraduate Research

Third year students Anna Varadi, Cherrie Kwok, Jemima Hubberstey and Tom McConnell have been invited to present their undergraduate research at the 5th annual British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) from the 20 - 21 April.  

This multi-disciplinary conference, funded by HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund and the University of Central Lancashire, will bring together undergraduates from across the UK to present their findings to fellow undergraduates from British Universities.

The students will attend the two-day conference at the University of Winchester, where they will have the opportunity to present their peer-reviewed work and meet fellow undergraduates across academic disciplines. The invitations of attendance were extended to Anna, Cherrie, Jemima and Tom after they each submitted a 400 word abstract outlining their academic work.

The Conference encourages students to present their academic work in a format of their choosing; submitting academic papers, performances, posters or workshops.

Anna Varadi, studying English and Film will present ‘Proud Hookers: fandom, fetish and Captain Hook's masculinity on "Once Upon A Time'. Speaking about her research, Anna explained: “it explores the fetishistic representation of (male) characters on contemporary American primetime television, and how such a character might function as a marketing tool. I suggest that there has to be a degree of structural unity that connects TV production and TV consumption (i.e. fan activities, such as photoshopping pictures or creating fan videos), in order to maintain the number of viewers in the course of a long-running serialised program.”

Cherrie Kwok, a Flexible Combined Honours student from the Department of English, Classics, and Theology submitted a paper titled ‘The influence of the biblical Fall in J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye’. She will be discussing the broader topic of the spiritual influences in Salinger's work as a whole, from Christianity to Zen Buddhism.

Jemima Hubberstey, also from the English and Film Studies Department, will be addressing her peers to discuss ‘Virginia Woolf, Feminism and Horses’, highlighting “the shifting role of the horse in early twentieth century society in the works of Virginia Woolf. While the critical turn towards animal studies has often highlighted Woolf’s work in relation to her mock-biography Flush, little has been uncovered about her references to horses which become particularly persistent in her later works."

Tom McConnell from the Classics and Ancient History Department will be presenting to fellow students about the 'Homeric Question'. Tom added: “Namely, who, in what way, and why were the Iliad and Odyssey composed. My paper defends an "Evolutionary Model", which is mostly supported by American scholars, whereas many British scholars dismiss it without much real justification. I argue that this general bias leads to fallacious arguments which they employ to undermine the model. Secondly, I extend the model from a linguistic argument concerning the frequency of certain forms.”

All four of this year’s attendees regularly contribute to The Undergraduate, the University’s Undergraduate research journal co-founded by current Editor-In-Chief Cherrie Kwok. Speaking of her fellow peers, Cherrie said: “They are fiercely passionate about their work, and all three of them have been excellent in their respective editorial roles for The Undergraduate - the journal owes much of its success to the hard work of team members like Tom, Jemima, and Anna.”

For more information about the conference, please visit the British Conference of Undergraduate Research website. If you would like to find out more about The Undergraduate, please visit their Facebook page.

Date: 7 April 2015

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