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Projects Recently Funded by the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation

Peruse this list to get a sense of the range and depth of literary and language-related projects that Hendrix-Murphy underwrites. Most of these carry Odyssey credit; all are supervised by members of the Hendrix faculty.


Student Cocurricular Projects in Literature and Language


*David Samuel, Volunteering in Samos, Greece: Exploring Language as a Conduit to Service

Project supervisor: Hope Coulter, English

In December of 2019, David will travel to Samos, an island off the coast of Turkey where thousands of refugees remain entrapped and isolated. The “Samos Volunteers” program provides social assistance through language education and community space-building. David, who has previous experience as an ESOL instructor, will volunteer in that capacity and will take on other responsibilities within the organization as well. This project will allow him the opportunity to provide tangible assistance to the refugee communities of Samos and apply his language proficiency in Arabic and French toward a constructive end. Upon his return, David will give a campus presentation on his project.


*Carlee Shepard, Place-Based Environmental Writing: A Foray into the Everglades

Project supervisor: Hope Coulter, English

Biology and Environmental Studies double major Carlee will travel to Miami, Florida, to visit the Everglades National Park as well the home of environmental writer Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Carlee’s personal research and observation will serve as the basis for a perspective-based nature essay that she will write and submit for publication in the months following the trip.     


*Anushka Yadava, Immersion in Spain’s Healthcare System

Project supervisor: José Vilahomat, Spanish

Anushka will travel to Cuenca, Spain, for two weeks over winter break to delve deeper into the language and medicine of the country. Through the Atlantis Fellowship program, she will shadow physicians in multiple specialties and utilize her Spanish listening skills to understand patients’ concerns. Anushka is currently learning Spanish medical terminology in preparation for the trip, and she will expand her fluency in Spanish through daily interactions with patients and physicians. Through this project, Anushka hopes to increase her language proficiency and cultivate empathy for Spanish-speaking patients that she will encounter in her future career as a physician.


*Megan Bellfield, Spanish Language Immersion in Buenos Aires

Project supervisor: Gabby Vidal-Torreira, Languages

After concluding a semester abroad in Valparaíso, Chile, Megan Bellfield will extend her South American experience by taking courses at Expanish, a language school in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Megan’s participation in Expanish’s immersion and homestay programs will increase her proficiency in Spanish and expand her knowledge of Argentinian culture.


Eliot Peterson, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Internship and Holocaust Literature Research Project

Project supervisor: Dorian Stuber, English

Eliot Peterson is currently a Peregrin Scholar of Holocaust Literature and Education under the supervision of Dr. Dorian Stuber, and this summer he will intern at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, DC. While working as a Museum Services Intern, Eliot will do research in the USHMM’s archives for his senior thesis on the postmemory of trauma in Holocaust literature.


*David Samuel, Learning through Service in Hebron, Palestine

Project supervisor: Hope Coulter, English

David Samuel will further his study of the Arabic language in Hebron, Palestine, this summer. Building on his previous study of Modern Standard Arabic in Morocco and Oxford, England, David will spend his time in Hebron learning the local Levantine spoken dialect and serving the community by leading journalism writing workshops and teaching English to Palestinian students. The service elements of this project will serve to strengthen both the language and leadership skills that David will need to reach his post-graduate goal of working with B’tselem, an Israeli human rights organization.


*Madeleine Scott, Thinking in Tongues: Intensive Language Study through Biomedical Research

Project supervisor: Andrea Duina, Biology

Biology and French major Madeleine will travel to Montpellier, France, where she will complete an eight-week summer internship in a cystic fibrosis research lab in the University of Montpellier’s Rare Genetic Diseases department. During this time, Madeleine will improve the breadth of her French vocabulary and learn specialized language directly related to her intended future career in the sciences. In addition, Madeleine will take an introductory-level Italian course in order to deepen her Romance language studies. Through this project, Madeleine will be able to combine her passions for language study and science, and she will gain practical laboratory experience while increasing fluency in her chosen foreign language.


*Murphy Scholar in Literature and Language



Faculty-Led Campus Projects


Adam Schneider, Biology

Language as a Connection to the Natural World: Braiding Sweetgrass Reading Group

Dr. Adam Schneider will host a cross-campus book discussion of award-winning author Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants.This book “encourages readers to consider the ways that our lives and language weave through the natural world” (Publisher’s Weekly). Reading group participants will explore three main topics through discussion: First, how does language (specifically contrasting Potawatomi and English) and culture (expressed through mythology) shape a person’s worldview? Second, how does this worldview shape their relationship the natural world? Third, how is Kimmerer able to use the literary device of “a braid of [three] stories” to inspire more personal interaction between her readers and the natural world?


Andy Vaught, Murphy Visiting Fellow in Theatre Arts

4-H: Hendrix Grown Theatre

4-H is an immersive, collaborative workshop designed to foster the dramatic work of four Hendrix students from the page to the stage. At the start of the spring semester, four student playwrights will convene and workshop one play written by each student. This program, which is based on the New York City organization known as 13P (13 Playwrights), will foster the creation of new work while allowing each student to experience the professional aspects of playwriting, including casting, design, marketing, publicity, performance, and management. Each playwright will not only create their own work but assist the other playwrights in the group through play critiques, organizational efforts, and production duties. The students will meet weekly from the beginning of the Spring Semester through March. This will culminate on March 13, 2020, with a staged reading of each play created by the 4-H writers. Through this program students will deepen their abilities in dramatic literature while seeing and experiencing the professional process of new play development, linking their burgeoning literary abilities to real-world practice.


Faculty-Led Study-Travel Projects


Hope Coulter, English, and Tyrone Jaeger, English, International Conference on the Short Story in English: A Group Excursion into Short Fiction

This intensive study of short fiction begins on campus with 12 student participants’ choice of prerequisite: at least one course in fiction writing or the short story as literature, in English, Spanish, French, or German. With that grounding in the theory or practice of the short story, students will proceed to the International Conference on the Short Story in English, which takes place at the University of Calabria in Rende, Italy, from June 23-27, 2020, and features both writers and scholars of the form. Students will attend the conference panels, workshops, readings, and talks, using what they glean to investigate a research question of their choice. Their final product will be either a research paper or an original short story with an artist’s statement explaining how it grew out of learning sparked by the conference.


Giffen Maupin, English, and Rebecca Resinski, Classics

Experimenting with Ekphrasis

The literary practice of ekphrasis uses pieces of visual art, either real or imagined, as the springboard for verbal creation. Over winter break, Drs. Giffen Maupin and Rebecca Resinski will take six students to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where they will immerse themselves in ekphrastic writing, using the museum’s permanent collection and the special exhibits “Hyman Bloom: Matters of Life and Death” and “Make Believe” to propel their experiments with words. Their time will include structured activities, group conversations, and opportunities for individual inquiry and writing. After returning to campus, participants will revise one or two of their pieces, which will then be hand-bound into a chapbook mini-anthology and distributed for free on campus. Participants in this project will cultivate and practice habits of mind—deep attentiveness, patience, care, playfulness, and more—that they can carry into their lives at Hendrix and beyond.


Caitlin Scott, Chemistry

Discovering Science Writing and Science Journalism at the American Association of the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting

Dr. Caitlin Scott and six students will attend the 2020 American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Seattle, WA, where they will participate in a science communication workshop and a science journalist-mentoring program organized by the National Association for Science Writers. Students will learn about how to write about science for a general audience and about future careers in this field. Upon returning to campus, students will lead a “Language and Literature over Lunch” discussion about science communication and write articles for a Hendrix College publication about the scientific research. Students will come away from this experience with new knowledge about how to communicate specialized topics to non-experts, how to use this information when writing their research projects, and how to prepare for professional opportunities in science writing.


Martin Shedd, Murphy Visiting Fellow in Classics

Classics Program Professional Conference

This faculty-led conference experience will allow up to five advanced Classics students to attend a professional conference, observe the application of language and literature study to broader academic discourse, and explore future educational and career options. These students will attend the annual meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, the largest Classics organization in the U.S. that explicitly encourages undergraduate attendees. Dr. Martin Shedd will work with each student to plan a set of panels relevant to their interests in the literary and linguistic aspects of Classics. Debriefings and group meals will give students the time to analyze and reflect on each session, leading up to a final reflection paper describing the conference’s contribution to their understanding of both Classical literature and the professional world of Classics.