’19
Cory
Midlothian, VA
Rhetoric and Gender Studies

Interests

Saturday Night Live, Existentialism, Political theory, McSweeney's, Beyonce, & The New Yorker

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4 Reasons You Should Consider the Humanities Fellows Program

November 26, 2017

It’s the end of Thanksgiving Break, and I’m sitting at my dining room table planning out a 50 minute classroom plan as I eat a lovely yet unusual mix of green bean casserole and apple crisp.

How did I get here?

This summer, I completed a summer research fellowship at University of Richmond. I was working on an archival project which examined the history of the University and the city of Richmond. Not long after I had finished the application process for the research fellowship, one of my professors followed up with me to see if I would also be interested in applying to the Undergraduate Humanities Fellowship Program. After doing some research, I decided to apply! Here are a few things I’ve learned as an Undergraduate Humanities Fellow aka:

The Humanities Fellows Program will let you live your research out.

What is the Humanities Fellows Program all about? Research isn’t a one time thing! For me, summer research in the humanities only scratched the surface of my interest areas. By the time summer ended I was low key sad that I would have to part ways with my research team and topic. Enter the Humanities Fellows Program aka the opportunity to extend that research away from the “field” and in a classroom throughout the fall. This program encourages you to take your summer research and channel it into something much bigger. I’ve gone from learning about what an archive is and how to use it to learning about the philosophy behind the archive. Participating in the UHF has been a chance to step behind the scenes and ask the question why. This has helped me see the big picture of research and how it applies to my field of study.

statue

So what ARE the humanities?

The Humanities Fellows Program will turn you loose on the streets of New York.

Part of the program puts the humanities into action through visits to cultural sites. Our seminar headed to New York City over fall break for a whirlwind trip through the humanities. We visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, took tours through Harlem and Chinatown, met with an alum from the University of Richmond who made his career in the humanities, watched films, ate a fascinating array of food, and attended a poetry slam at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. We took what we had studied in academic journals and texts over the semester and saw it play out in real life — making discoveries about our own research through this experience. By the end of break, we had walked about 21 miles through New York City, and I had found out so much more about what it meant to be a humanities major.

moma

I'd like to think this installation at MOMA is an abstract representation of the Richmond Spiders.

The Humanities Fellows Program will challenge you.

What will you get out of this? And as I’m nearing the end of the semester, I’ve transformed my summer research into a presentable and publishable piece of scholarship. And I didn’t have to completely leave my research team behind either — my faculty mentor from the summer has continued to work with me through this project. The program also offers the opportunity to learn from scholars from many different academic departments — most weeks, guest lecturers will visit the class to share how they have come to view the humanities. Working on this project has forced me to go deeper into my studies than ever before — not only did I have to relearn how to diagram sentences to enhance my thesis, but I also had to learn how to wrestle with big questions: What was the intent behind Madonna’s Like a Prayer music video? What can I learn from Holly Golightly, the iconic protagonist in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? No lies, these questions (which seem to have little to no relation to my research topic) have made me rethink my writing.

manatee

"Oh the Humanatees!" became a running joke throughout the semester.

The Humanities Fellowship Program will leave you with awesome takeaways and existential questions.

We’re almost all wrapped up with the seminar now, and I have a research paper and a conference proposal. Later in the week, I’ll be “teaching” the seminar about my project in a 50 minute class. I’m excited to present my research, but I’m also sad to see this seminar come to an end as it’s been my favorite class this semester. The class has continued to circle back to the question: what does it mean to be a human? I’ve learned that everything I study comes back to this question, however unrelated it may seem. And while I won’t ever come up with an answer to this question, it’s left me with something to think about throughout the rest of my time at University of Richmond. 

t-shirt

As the semester ends, I'm leaving the program with lots of food for thought and a super swag t-shirt. Come for the research project, stay for the heather grey t-shirt.

And that’s the Undergraduate Humanities Fellows Program! If research is an interest for you, you should take your summer a step further and apply for the program. Check out the Program website to learn more!

-Cory, ’19

Hey Spiders! My name is Cory, and I’m a sophomore and transfer student. I’m a double major in Rhetoric and Communication and Women, Gender, and Sexuaity Studies. My goal in life is to one day work at Olivia Pope & Associates, or at least work in crisis management or public relations. I grew up between Florida, Colorado, and Virginia, and similar to Cady Heron in Mean Girls, I was homeschooled. I love traveling, shopping at Target, spending time with my cat (named Soren Kittegaard), attempting to keep up with the Kardashians, reading Albert Camus, and hanging out with friends. Keep an eye out for some posts specifically about the transfer life! Sneak peek: so far it’s been fantastic.


Why UR?

I didn’t really get connected to University of Richmond until I was a freshman in college. I met some amazing alumni and visited the campus and honestly fell in love with everything about Richmond. Michael Scott once said in The Office, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take - Wayne Gretzky,” and I knew that I had to take a shot and apply as a transfer student. I’m thrilled to be a Spider, to be at a university that feels like home, and to conquer my arachnophobia for once and for all.