Research Research Research

This week has been an amazing one as far as research goes. I am proud to announce …

My research project was chosen again for a Collaborative Research Grant!

This is my victory face:

I took this last summer on the trip to South Dakota to interview folks for research. It seemed fitting to resurrect it.

I’m really, really lucky to have received a grant again this year. There were 105 applicants, and they could only accept 25. I would have been incredibly crushed if I hadn’t got this grant, not only for financial reasons ($2500 would have been a lot of money not to make this summer), but because this is the infamous Arthur Project.

For those of you that haven’t known about this project, it’s been about three years in the making. This summer, I will get to work very closely with one of my very favorite English professors, on a project that has been growing since I was a freshman in college.

To be specific, I will be researching the critical theoretical implications of the popularity of the legend of King Arthur in a “post-colonial” society. In other, less academic words: Why the hell is King Arthur still a major cultural force when the myth has been used for centuries to excuse imperialism and we have “moved past imperialism”? (Irony quotes signify my skepticism that we have truly moved past in imperialist society.)

So this summer it will be all King Arthur, allllll the tiiiiiime. I’m sure my nerdery will leak into this blog.

But this also means that I have to get my ass in gear. Marcela, my adviser, is going to kick my ass in a very good way. Because there is such a rich history of Arthurian retellings, she’s requiring that I get through the major medieval, Renaissance, Romantic, and Modern texts before the summer begins. Which means that I have to read all four Arthurian novels Chretien de Troyes wrote, The Idylls of the King, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, as well as attempt to track down the early Arthurian films (like, silent movie-early). To be a good Arthurian critic, I have to have this wide grounding in the topics.

Which is exciting, but the grant starts in June. Eeek! So if you don’t see much of me, there’s a reason …

**

In other news, I am currently sitting in a cafe, working on research and drinking far too much coffee to be legal. Seriously. This is becoming a social problem.

This week I head out to Missoula, Montana to present my research from last summer at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research. This is incredibly exciting. I’d talked about this in an earlier post.

This is the conference that is pretty important. And by “pretty important,” I mean that there will be grad school scouts there. It’s pretty much the biggest conference on Undergraduate Research in the country, and so I have to be on top of my game.

Which is kinda scary, considering my research endedย 8 months ago.

So now I’m hurriedly trying to become an expert in my field again, before we set off. Plus side? I get to ride in an airplane. And … see Montana? Mountains! Mountains, Gandalf!

And the whole thing will be much more enjoyable if I can get a good, early idea of my presentation. Even writing it now seems a bit last-minute. So wish me luck! I should really get back to it.

But I leave with a promise! My main computer is finally back from the shop, so I should have some pics up soon from my St. Louis trip.

Until then, fare thee well!

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