Carla Cevasco '11
Major: English and American Literatures Minor: American History
Describe your experience presenting at the Spring Student Symposium last year.
It was so rewarding! It was really exciting to see friends, professors and even some complete strangers in the audience for my presentation. I got to practice public speaking, which is an important skill both for classes at Middlebury and workplace situations in the real world. I also enjoyed learning about the work of other students—there were so many presentations to choose from! Overall, it was a great learning experience and I can't wait to do it again.
What are you presenting at the Symposium this year?
I'll be presenting my thesis, which is about early twentieth-century American lyric poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Millay was one of the most popular poets of her time—she sold hundreds of thousands of books, even during the Great Depression!—but isn't often studied in literature classes today. I'm writing a cultural history because I'm interested in why Millay didn't make it into the canon. I've pinpointed many factors, including her complex relationship to Modernism, attacks by New Critics such as John Crowe Ransom, her decision to write propaganda in the lead up to and during World War II, and the way that she became defined by her celebrity.
Why do you think other students should present at the Symposium?
The Symposium is a great opportunity to present your research as an undergraduate student. The more you talk about a project you're working on, the more insights you can come to about the material. Plus, for me at least, I often don't know what my friends are doing academically on a daily basis, so it's interesting and fun to see them talk about the subjects they are most passionate about.
To submit your own proposal visit the Undergraduate Research Office at go/sym