Life after SCIO

Life after SCIO: alumna wins academic prizes

SCIO is delighted that alumna Rachel Sakrisson (Michaelmas Term 2017), an undergraduate at Palm Beach Atlantic University, has recently received two essay prizes.

Rachel has been awarded first place in the category of British literature at the Sigma Tau Delta International Honors Society Conference. Her prize-winning essay, written in response to a general question concerning the language used by the two principal male characters in Shakespeare’s Othello, was titled: ‘Iago, Othello, and the languages of passivity and activity’. Rachel writes that her work was ‘directly inspired by conversations about linguistics during [her] tutorials’ at Oxford. She continues:
The answer to this question seems fairly obvious: they speak the English language. However, Dr Thorpe pushed me to look beyond word-level meaning and analyze the underlying purpose of language. In doing so, I discovered that Iago and Othello have differing definitions of language (for Iago, this function is intrigue, whereas for Othello, this function is for truth).
Rachel writes of her time at SCIO that it ‘gave [her] greater understanding of the truth that there are multiple ways of thinking about literature.’ She offers the further reflection that:
Prior to SCIO, I knew that literary analysis is founded on differing opinions, but being surrounded by students from varying backgrounds gave me first hand experience of this truth. In addition to thought-provoking conversations during tutorials, the community at The Vines encouraged valuable conversations to continue outside of tutorials — at the dinner table, at tea-time, or during midnight study sessions. These conversations were always lively and interesting because they were founded on differing opinions, backgrounds, and the same interest in knowledge.
Also an awardee of the de Jager prize, offered by SCIO in recognition of outstanding scholarly work [...]

Life after SCIO: alumna awarded MSt with distinction from Oxford

Elspeth Currie, an alumna of the Scholars’ Semester in Oxford programme in Michaelmas 2014 and Hilary 2015, is graduating with an MSt in Women’s Studies from Oriel College, University of Oxford with distinction.

Concerning Elspeth’s recent success and her work during the Scholars’ Semester, Dr Jonathan Kirkpatrick, Director of Classics at SCIO, offered the following comment:
Elspeth sparkled as a student during her time studying in Oxford through SCIO.  She took advantage of Oxford’s resources to indulge her academic interest in the classics, and pursued undergraduate research in this area.  It was a pleasure to see her develop as a budding scholar, and extremely gratifying (though not surprising) to find her excelling as a Masters student as well.
Elspeth finds herself fascinated by how women’s history encourages compassionate consideration of persons, both historical and contemporary.  Her thesis was a historical study of matrilineal intellectual legacies in 16th–17th century England; she specifically explored how women with advanced educations pursued the life of the mind themselves and raised their daughters to embody a similar learnedness.

Given that the MSt and the act of stepping outside the comfortable confines of history into something more theory driven were challenging, Elspeth notes that ’receiving a distinction is affirming’.  While proud to have a mark that reflects the investment of her advisers, friends, and fellow students, she also feels that her mark ‘honors the various women [she] has studied throughout the year’.

Reflecting on her time studying at SCIO, Elspeth says:
Studying through SCIO gave me confidence that I lacked beforehand.  I left SCIO feeling like a scholar, if still an inexperienced one, ready to pursue an academic career.  Academically, the rigors (and supports!) of SCIO’s program ensured I had the skills needed to [...]

By |November 1st, 2017|Life after SCIO, News|0 Comments|