Big Macksey: MC Humanities, Social Sciences Students’ Research Gains Inclusion at Prestigious Conference
Research projects conducted by a recent Mississippi College alumna and a senior history major at MC have been accepted for publication in an esteemed national humanities symposium’s publication.
Morgan Thomas ’21, an English and history double major, and Matthew Drew, a senior history major, will see their research published in the Macksey Journal, the official publication of the Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium. The Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences will host the symposium virtually April 8-10, 2022.
Adapted from an undergraduate thesis, Thomas’ paper, “I Will Not Be Silenced: Voice and Autonomy in Madeline Miller’s Circe,” focuses on the concept of voice as a means of autonomy in the novel. It follows the character of Circe as she learns to use her voice. It examines five categories – Silence, Whisper, Conversation, Assertion, and Shout – to trace Circe’s vocal levels as they correspond to her developing autonomy. The paper analyzes journey, examining how it occurs and why it matters for Circe’s character.
Drew’s work, “Contested Spaces: Runaway Slaves and Location in the Bahama Islands,” explores how runaway slave advertisements throughout the Atlantic World during the Age of Revolutions not only recorded the authors’ ideas about race, but disseminated and reified perceptions in specific Atlantic locales. The paper examines descriptions and perceptions of geography in the ads published by the Bahama Gazette from 1784 to 1795 and how those perceptions were constantly contested by occupants of the Bahama Islands.
The Macksey Journal is a peer-reviewed journal of proceedings that presents an opportunity for symposium participants to develop their presentations into articles for publication. The symposium’s implementation team and peer reviewers work with presenters to develop their presentations into journal-length articles for the journal.
Dr. Jonathan Randle, professor of English and philosophy and dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at MC, said having research published in the Macksey Journal is a significant accomplishment for undergraduate students.
“Morgan and Matt are exemplary students from the School of Humanities,” Randle said. “Both of them came to the University with a well-developed capacity for academic inquiry, and it’s rewarding to see them both recognized in this way.
“Both Morgan and Matt took advantage of the challenging opportunities presented to them at MC. Each of them entered as first-year students into the University’s Freshman Honors Program, which was intentionally designed as an interdisciplinary academic experience in the humanities. Their upper-level coursework is reflective of that early experience, as both have since pursued combined programs in history and English.”
The Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium provides hundreds of students across all fields of the humanities the opportunity to share their work in the professional presentation style most common to their respective fields. Attendees also participate in professionalization and recruitment events during the three-day symposium, including panels on graduate admissions, careers in publishing, and networking.
Randle said the students’ successful placement of their research in the Macksey Journal is reflective of the high-quality education Mississippi College provides.
“To see bright and capable students responding to the cross-disciplinary curricula that we offer in the School of Humanities, and to see them earn wider recognition for their research, affirms what we already know: with students like Morgan and Matt, MC can compete with other universities on the national stage,” he said.
"I'm thrilled for them both, and I'm excited for what their successful presentation and publication suggest about their own academic futures, as well as the future of undergraduate research in the humanities here at our University."