English Department

Eddings Proposal Examples

Kashaf Qureshi, 2019

Martin Delrio is a name that most scholars would not recognize. In fact, if you search him up on Google Books, there seem to be only two books published on Delrio in the last two decades. Delrio was a Spanish-Dutch Jesuit scholar, traveler, polemicist, classicist, theologian, humanist, politician, and demonologist who lived from 1551-1608. Current research on Delrio focuses on his texts about demonology, witchcraft, and magic. With the help of the Eddings Grant, I would like to contribute to the presently minimal scholarship on Delrio by researching and partially translating his biblical commentaries, on which there is no published English translation or thorough research. I would also like to visit The Sabbe Library at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven to enrich my understanding of Catholic exegesis during the early modern period.

The author of one of the two books I previously mentioned is Dr. Jan Machielsen, with whom I have had some correspondence concerning research on Delrio. He is the most expert modern scholar on Delrio, and upon inquiring about research sources and materials for Delrio’s biblical commentaries, he told me, “I’m afraid that the short answer to your question is that Delrio’s biblical commentaries are still severely understudied, although, that of course provides opportunities for others, like yourself. I myself only scratched the surface in my Delrio book. Catholic biblical exegesis as a whole needs considerably more work.” Dr. Machielsen suggested that I start with Cornelius a Lapide’s works, who was Delrio’s influential successor at the Jesuit College in Leuven. Thus, I will use part of the Eddings Grant to purchase books on early modern Catholicism and Biblical exegesis, as well as relevant texts authored by Delrio’s contemporaries, which will inform my translation and understanding his New Testament commentary throughout the summer. Martin Delrio deserves recognition in early modern literary studies because he is a fascinating figure with an unapologetic personality (polemics tend to be this way), a vast network of connections (he is Montaigne’s second cousin), and peculiarly interdisciplinary interests (Seneca, the New Testament, and demons!). The questions I propose about Delrio’s works are unanswered, and perhaps even unconsidered by past scholars: How does Delrio’s background in classics and demonology, along with his identity as a humanist, influence his exegesis? (This is especially interesting, considering humanists are typically associated with Reformation ideologies, and not Catholic ones during this period.) How can we understand his vast range of scholarly interests as a whole, and how might they influence one another? As an exegete, are his interpretation processes concerning aspects witchcraft and parts of the New Testament similar? How does Delrio fit in or stand apart from traditional political, social, and religious ideologies in his period?

The books I need for my research include both primary sources in translation and secondary historical context (The Great Commentary of Cornelius a Lapide, Maxwell-Stuart’s Investigations into Magic, etc.); I also need resources for translating early modern Latin (Sidwell’s Reading Medieval Latin). My specific goal for this summer is to translate a piece of Delrio’s commentary, for example, on Romans, and compare it to major early modern Catholic commentaries on Romans. I would like to allocate most of my funding towards traveling to Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium (which calls itself the oldest Catholic universities in the world), the place where Delrio himself taught. The Sabbe Library at KU Leuven houses one of the world’s largest collections of early modern Catholic texts, as well as texts from all Jesuit colleges which had been shut down in the Netherlands and Belgium. An annual pass to the library is only about $25 for any student, and visitors are allowed to consult materials within the library. Dr. Machielsen informs me that KU Leuven’s theology faculty is thriving, with some notable people, such as Dr. Wim François, working on Catholic Bibles. Dr. Machielsen has recently opened a line of communication between me and Dr. François. After seeing where my research takes me by the end of the summer, I hope to meet Dr. François in person and get some advice and guidance—one of his interests is actually on Augustinian inspiration in the Golden Age of Catholic biblical scholarship from 1550-1650, and I know that Augustine will be occupy a substantial part of my senior thesis. Even if we do not get the chance to meet in person, his guidance concerning research at the Sabbe Library will be invaluable.

From my research, I will create a presentation of my findings, which I would love to show the Reed English department in the Fall. I would also like to produce a paper suitable for journal or conference submission. This summer’s research is one step in a very long-term project which will grow with me, as I plan to enter graduate school for my PhD in medieval and early modern literature. The prospect of having such an early start on this research is especially exciting because of how little has been published on Delrio. I am well prepared to take on this task due to my extensive coursework in Latin language and early modern literature. Last semester, I studied abroad at Oxford University, where I produced a paper on Erasmus, Luther, Machiavelli, and their engagements humanism, a vital aspect of Delrio’s scholarship. Courses such as Humanities 211-212 have also given me a solid historical and literary foundation for the work I will do with the Eddings Grant. For my senior thesis at Reed, I am certain that I would like to write about texts which deal with the process of reading and interpretation through the lens of theology, and so, my work on Delrio this summer will aid my work as undergraduate student (and as a graduate student).

I became aware of Delrio by visiting an old book store last summer in Lahore, Pakistan, my parent’s hometown. The vendor had a small collection of pre-1700 texts, but he did not know their subject matter or value since they were in foreign languages, handed down to him by his father. The oldest book he had was an edition of Martin Delrio’s commentary on the New Testament, published in 1618. I was able to purchase this book after multiple days of intense negotiation, ultimately convincing him that if he wanted serious research and consideration given to this text, I was the person he should sell it to. I will translate directly from this book, so I am also requesting that a small amount of the grant goes towards purchasing materials which will help me preserve and care for this book. I hope to promote increased scholarship on Delrio, but even more broadly, I hope to contribute to the understudied field of Catholic exegesis during the Renaissance. A fundamental part of interpreting much early modern literature, whether it be John Donne from my English 362 or John Milton from English 301 course, depends on understanding the author’s religious identity. The work I do this summer will help me cultivate a richer understanding of the texts I plan to work with for the rest of my life.

Maya Nesbitt-Schnadt, 2019

James Joyce claimed that if the city of Dublin suddenly disappeared from the earth, a reader of Ulysses could reconstruct it from the pages. Since it was published, Ulysses has inspired readers to reconstruct the landscape of Dublin on their own terms by undergoing both literary and physical explorations of the city. Readers of Ulysses are invited into the space of historical Dublin through Joyce’s words, and often feel further invited to explore the space of contemporary Dublin by becoming a virtual tourist.

My aim is to explore the impact and history of literary tourism in Irish culture, specifically through the lens of Joyce, and the relationship between the construction of modernity and urban spaces. My goal is to travel to Dublin, the city which has drawn international attention and visitation since Joyce’s work became famous, and to see how this important capital city - which is crucial to Irish identity and the development of the nation - has been shaped by Joyce’s legacy.

My plan is to produce two kinds of writings: first, I will complete a series of short stories about Dublin inspired by Joyce’s work in Ulysses. These observations will be about life in the city, and based upon my own sensory engagement with Dublin as a modern flaneur figure, in the form of a tourist whose sense of the city has been pre-determined by Joyce's writings. Second, I will write a critical essay about how Ireland’s literary history and relationship with modernism has influenced its development as a tourist destination and shaped it into its contemporary state. With this essay, I can also analyze how my perception of the city is colored by my status as a specifically British tourist, and what it means to occupy space in this city not as a native Dubliner, but as an outsider from this city's former colonizing nation.

For this project, I will draw on knowledge gained in my previous classes, which have given me the chance to discuss the formation of the modern novel and how modernity affects one’s engagement with places, spaces, and other people. For example, in English 205: “Memory, Desire, and the Modern Novel” and Humanities 220, I discussed in formal essays the conception of Baudelaire’s “flaneur” and how the city gave rise to the wanderer: a man both intimately engaged with, yet estranged from, the landscape he occupied. Having the chance to walk Dublin will allow me to better understand the postcolonial historical aspects, and progressive modernization, of this important European city. Further, my trip to Dublin will allow me to build upon my knowledge of Joyce’s work which I garnered in Jay Dickson's course English 333: “James Joyce,” where I was able to critically engage with Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Ulysses.

In preparation for this project, I will refer to books and articles which provide critical and cultural context and insight into Dublin's historical urban spaces and how they have been altered by time. These include Enda Duffy’s Disappearing Dublin, Liam Lanagan’s James Joyce: Urban planning and Irish modernism, Declan Kiberd’s Inventing Ireland and Paul Fussell’s Abroad: British Literary Traveling Between the Wars. To make the most out of my physical experience of Dublin’s space, I will travel to - and spend time in - specific architectural spaces that are either essential locations within Ulysses or spaces that will help educate me further about the novel’s formation. These places include: the Dublin Writers Museum, the James Joyce Tower and Museum, the James Joyce Centre, and the National Library of Ireland, as well as Davy Byrne’s Pub, O’Connell Street, and Sandymount Strand. My plan would be to visit Dublin during the week of the Bloomsday Festival, where the city celebrates Joyce’s life and work and hosts events such as textual recitations and scene reenactments for the public. Visiting, writing, and conducting research during this time would ensure that I would not only get to connect with the city, but also analyze the culture of literary tourism in action by witnessing this significant event where Dubliners and tourists alike will come together and Dublin will be fully immersed in its Joycean heritage.

Ultimately, my time in Dublin will allow me to integrate my creative and critical writing skills and strengthen my relationship with Joyce, a crucial figure in modernist literature whose work I want to study further during my senior year and focus upon for my thesis. My visit could help me lay an important foundation for the research into modernist and Joycean literature, which I hope to conduct in the future here at Reed and during my time after graduation.

Quincy Kitson, 2018

In his essay on Oscar Wilde’s “The Portrait of Mr. W. H.,” Frederick King attempts to “recover Wilde’s Aesthetic convictions that love between men [is] neither salacious nor reducible to sex” (204). The claim underlying King’s argument is that the characters of Wilde’s story partake in a sexless, intellectual appreciation of male beauty, that Wilde separates carnal same-sex desire from the aesthetic desire for beauty. In an essay I wrote for Jay Dickson’s class “The Age of Oscar Wilde,” titled “Sex, Death, and The Erotic Fantasy of Shakespeare’s Heart in “The Portrait of Mr. W. H.,” I claim just the opposite. By positing the exclusivity of carnal and aesthetic pleasure in “The Portrait of Mr. W. H.,” King ignores the physical eroticism hidden throughout and essential to understanding the project of Wilde’s story. I argue in my essay that, rather than imagining an appreciation of beauty that excludes sex, “The Portrait of Mr. W. H.”explores the complexity of creating a vision of same-sex desire that acknowledges the undeniable entanglement of Wilde’s intellectual aestheticism with eroticism and the realities of sexual relations between men.

My proposal is subsequently to fund the expansion, revision, and finalization of this essay. I see the locations where my essay could be expanded as follows. Firstly, while King’s article will continue as my primary point of engagement with previous related literature, I intend to execute a more thorough overview of work directly connected to the place of sex in the narrative. Theoretically, while I originally used Lee Edelman’s No Future as a theoretical framework for understanding Wilde’s story, due to the paper’s time constraints, I was unable to assess Edelman’s theory in the context of Wilde’s work to its fullest extent. Ideally, I would like to both more carefully engage with No Future and assess other pieces of theory as alternate ways to understand the story where Edelman’s framework seems insufficient. Historically, my essay in its original form as well seems to miss its opportunity to locate the embodied eros I explicate within discourses around and realities of queer sexuality in Victorian England. I have already met with Jay Dickson to build a syllabus of literature I intend to consult in order to accomplish these goals for the paper, which you will find attached to this application.

The ultimate goal of this project is to submit the completed article to an academic journal. Jay Dickson has as well agreed to assist me in the completion of this goal, both in the process of revising the essay and in the mechanics of finding journals where it might be published. I estimate that the entire process will take the majority of the summer; grant money, besides purchasing books, would be used to support myself as I live in Portland this summer.

In addition to contributing significantly to gaps in the critical conversation around “The Portrait of Mr. W. H.,” my work would also function well as a sort of preparatory program for my thesis this following year. My current intent is to submit a creative thesis proposal that entails a large critical component, of which queer theory would be one of my structuring frameworks. If I complete an analytical thesis instead, I intend to focus on Wilde’s work as primary source material, within the context of Victorian England or within a the scope of ‘gay’ literary history. Beyond my thesis, I intend to proceed to graduate school post-Reed, either in pursuit of a doctorate in English or an MFA in creative writing; topics of sexuality will be central to my work either way, and completing this project would increase my ability to actualize these aspirations.


Caroline McCulloch, 2017

One of the most poignant moments in Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel, Mrs. Dalloway, is when Clarissa Dalloway’s daughter, Elizabeth, rides an omnibus along the Strand. Shirking the companions she is usually surrounded by, the focalizers the reader repeatedly sees her through, Elizabeth’s thoughts finally come to the forefront of the narrative. Alone and traveling a foreign, self-determined path, she feels a moment of unadulterated bliss that derives from a burgeoning sense of autonomy and growth, a blossoming that informs the novel’s conclusion. I think this speaks to the transformative nature of travel and how the exploration of new spaces coincides with the exploration of the self. As seen in Woolf’s writings, place informs the psychological space of the characters it hosts, changing with their ebbs and flows. My project encapsulates this spirit, merging travel and experience with internal exploration and scholarly inquiry.

Traversing the paths the six primary characters take over the course of Mrs. Dalloway, I will map each respective journey geographically, while creatively and critically responding to passages that coincide with various stages of the voyage, culminated in a final art piece. This piece will integrate various interpretations of mapping, paths, and spatiality, occupying a liminal space between cartography, concept mapping, and visual art. Interrogating space, the piece itself will formally explore spatiality. My responses, reflections, and photography will connect to my geographical map spatially and conceptually, so that layered onto the map is an additional mind map. Further layering will occur in different methods of mapping; this process will be informed by different cartographical techniques and styles. By combining literature, criticism, history, geography, and visual art, I will create a multivalent, interdisciplinary method of study that will allow me to connect my scholarly endeavors to my experiences as a traveler, thinker, and artist.

Additionally, I will engage with my surroundings in a scholarly manner by visiting sites significant to Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury group, as well as research libraries. I intend to visit Virginia Woolf’s childhood home, 22 Hyde Park Gate, as well as the home she inhabited with her sister, Vanessa Bell, in the genesis of the Bloomsbury group, 26 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury. Other sites I intend to visit are Kew Gardens, the place that inspired her eponymous short story, the British Library, the National Portrait Gallery, and a multitude of museums and historical sites. I will also conduct research at King’s College in London, where Woolf herself attended classes, and the University of Oxford, an institution indirectly mentioned in her 1929 book, A Room of One’s Own. Through these excursions, I intend to gather a better understanding of place and its influence on Woolf’s writings, particularly, Woolf’s interest in the availability and segregation of space in relation to class and gender. The inquiry into the change in access to the public sphere for Modern women will form the basis of my critical paper.

Olivya Veazey, 2017

My proposed project is a series of fictional stories which will de/reconstruct the various ways we narrativize psycho-somatic experiences that are often cast as non-normative, divergent, or other. Examples of these include depressive, hallucinatory, menstrual, neurologically atypical, or synesthetic subjectivities. In considering these experiences, I will focus less on the particular psychology of an individual and more on spaces and societies that could potentially be built around these alternate presumptions of experience. The writing will interrogate and subvert current centralized notions of living and will seek to construct alternate/proximate realities, familiarizing alterities in worlds that presuppose other forms of experience as normative. In this way, the stories will also necessarily seek to understand how relationships, families, local and national institutions, art, literature, and other aspects of life might be different under alternative sets of experiential presumptions.

I first conceived of this project while flipping through a publication titled The Pill Book, an index of every pill prescribed by physicians. The book, which includes a small photograph and description of every pill, made me wonder which kinds of experiences these medications are supporting, implicitly or explicitly, and which they are 'curing.' What is the underlying message of this prescribing, and this will to be altered/fixed? I didn't ask this question about every pill, and believe in the benefits of many of them, but I did wonder about the politics and assumptions of pills like Viagra, Xanax, the abundance of female birth control pills, and many of the anti-depressive medications. Choosing to begin medication is a complex process for any individual and this complexity is only furthered by the economic incentive of pharmaceutical companies, preconceived notions of sickness, and representations or expectations tied to medication. Perhaps, for instance, there is a way in which the depressive symptoms of malaise and body aches, and the difficulty that these symptoms pose towards being a 'productive' member of society, are inherently anti-Capitalist, and that this has contributed strongly to both the stigmatization of depression and its subsequent narrativization. Or maybe the term 'disorder' to describe a mental state presumes something about our notions of organized and linear mental experiences. In pursuit of these interests, I will expand beyond mental illness categorizations into realms of other non-normative experiences, ones that aren't medicated but are nonetheless stigmatized in similar ways.

The stories will deal with some or all of the following questions, aimed at our national hegemonic reality: Why do we fear or make strange certain behaviors? What does the institutionalized nature of our health care system say about our understanding of these alternate subjectivities? What does our current experiential value system say about our relationship to death and dying? How would alternate conceptions of death affect our experience of living and vice versa? How do we conceive of or structure relationships between groups and their individual members based on the classifications we create?

In many ways I believe this project will be an investigation into, and often a resistance of, the assemblages of language we tend to use in describing these experiences. For instance, we often use the language of war to describe illness (ex: "battling cancer") or economic language for our relationships (ex: "investing in a relationship"). Further, I will take into consideration Susan Sontag's claim in her book Illness as Metaphor, that "illness is not a metaphor, and that the most truthful way of regarding illness ... is one purified of, most resistant to, metaphoric thinking." In order to avoid romanticizing and trivializing these subjectivities, the stories will seek other language that rejects the simplistic metaphors to which Sontag refers, in order to devise worlds built to support these 'atypical' psycho-somatic experiences.

As someone who lives with or in close proximity to depression, anxiety, bipolarity, menstruation, synesthesia, and neuro-atypical experiences, some of the content for the stories will come from personal experience. For each case, but in particular for experiences that I do not claim as my own, I will conduct interviews and perform research to try and map the type of language used in defining that experience, both by those who do fall under the experiential category and those who do not. I will be looking into social experiments like David Rosenhan's "On Being Sane in Insane Places" or the deinstitutionalization of health care in the town of Geel, Belgium in order to refine my own understanding of similar experimental questions posed against our dominant expectations of experience. I will continue this research by looking closely at the work of writers like Susan Sontag, Leslie Jamison, Lauren Slater, Alan Watts, Atul Gawande, Hélène Cixous, and Michel Foucault.

In the writing process, I will consider many different technical approaches to best represent and convey my ideas. Some of these considerations will revolve around space, place, the compression or expansion of time, perspective, and non-grammatical syntax. The writing might be considered thought experiment, speculative fiction, fantastic, or surreal, but regardless of genre it will be projective and fictional, as I believe that fictional works will readily accommodate new language to re/unthink imposed narratives. I will especially engage with the work of writers like Octavia Butler, Karen Russell, and Alan Lightman.

Ultimately, though I am drawing from multiple and diverse sources for inspiration and information towards this project, it is unified in its goal to find new language, narratives, and techniques for reconsiderations of non-normative experiences. The research and critical thought put into this summer project will assist me as I prepare to write a creative thesis in the fall. Furthermore, I believe that this project is particularly pertinent in a socio-political climate that is increasingly at odds over issues of essentialism and closed-mindedness, as the stories will instead seek paths of empathy and proliferation of human identities.

Hayden Kinney, 2016

A current in Wallace Stevens studies examines at the relationship between Stevens and the predominant American modernist and theorist of High Modernism, Ezra Pound. An influential example of this occurs in Marjorie Perloff's famous essay "Pound Stevens: Whose Era?" (1982), in which she draws a distinction between the poetics of Stevens and Pound. Here, Perloff casts Stevens as continuing the "visionary humanist"/Romantic project of making verse that "teaches us 'how to talk to ourselves'," while Pound created polyphonic, mimetic poetry that attempts to imitate and present reality rather than create a vision of it (as Stevens would) (Perloff 505-506). This example serves to demonstrate how Stevens' poetics are often understood and contextualized in relation to, and in this case, against, Pound's. This makes sense, given that ever since Stevens was publishing (1914), Pound was the prominent figure in experimental American poetics, shared acquaintances with Stevens, and would thus be inescapable. He was a proponent of imagism and the vorticism, terms of which at least the former has been often used to describe some of Stevens' verse. In general, Pound's influence would have been hard to escape for Stevens, especially at the start of his career in the 1910's and 1920's. Perloff usefully points to a letter by Stevens to Theodore Weiser written in 1947, in which Stevens replies to Weiser's request for Stevens to write on Pound for the Quarterly Review of Literature by saying, "Nothing doing about Pound. I should have to saturate myself with the work and I have not the time" (qtd. in Perloff 485). The brusque (I'd venture to say somewhat defensive) tone of this letter seems to demonstrate an ambivalent attitude towards Pound. Moreover, Stevens' claims towards ignorance of Pound's work's are seemingly betrayed by the presence of two works by Pound in his personal library, now held by the Huntington Library in San Marino: Pavannes and Divisions (1918), and Hugh Selwyn Mauberly (1920).

I'm interested in examining these two works, particularly the collection of critical essays Pavannes and Divisions (call #: 44051), looking specifically for annotations and margin notes made by Stevens in these books. Pavannes and Divisions seems especially ripe ground for enlightening note taking by Stevens, given that it contains essays where Pound in detail describes the general imagist poetic creed, as well as precepts for the employment of rhyme, rhythm, poetic forms, and symbols. Pound also discusses free verse, and the relation between prose and poetry. Annotations and margin notes by Stevens in these sections could elucidate Stevens' sympathetic and/or antagonistic feelings towards the prominent imagist dogmas and techniques of his day. This would provide greater depth and nuance to the examination of the relationship and influence of Pound's imagist/vorticist poetics and poetic theory to Stevens, and illuminate various techniques and the motivations behind them in Stevens' verse. I seek to examine this in service of a general study of the poetics of Stevens' first collection, Harmonium (1923), which would be the focus of my senior thesis next year, continuing the work of the critical history I did on Harmonium in my junior seminar last fall. The funds from this grant would pay for transportation and lodging costs for me to go to the Huntington Library's archives, and examine these books. Ideally, I would research these specific books as a jumping off point, and I would then look further into the Huntington's Wallace Stevens collection during this two-week visit to their Stevens archives, examining other books of poetry and poetic theory that may have influenced the composition of Harmonium.