The College of Arts and Sciences held its 16th annual A&S Summit for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (URSCA). Five of our students submitted research projects in History, and an additional two of our students worked in the related field of Classics.
In the Humanities and Fine Arts Oral Presentations session, Molly Buffington, triple major in History, German, and Latin, presented A War of Words: The Lutheran-Calvinist Debate on Acts 3:21 and the Eucharist. Her work, a project she is executing with Dr. Kirk Summers of the Department of Modern Languages and Classics, analyzes a conflict between Lutheran and Calvinist theologians during the 1570s on the translation of Acts 3:21. Jamie Bynum presented Marvelous Monsters and Sexualized Freaks: Hermaphrodites in 1750s to 1830s America, which she researched under our own Dr. Heather Kopelson. Bynum’s project analyzed how early Americans contradictorily viewed intersex individuals as sexual idols and pariahs in the political, social, and cultural spheres. Gray Wood, a double major in History and Classics, presented his project, A Study of Deified Roman Emperors’ Titles in Roman Literature. Working with Dr. Kelly Shannon-Henderson of the Department of Modern Languages and Classics, Wood is analyzing the apotheosis of Roman emperors — both after death and during life — across time using qualitative research and quantitative statistical analysis. In the Social Sciences Oral Presentations, Margaret Lawson presented Mississippi Memories: The Legacy of Lynching in Hinds County, 1880 to 1934. Lawson worked with Dr. John Giggie on this project, which seeks to recover the lives lost to lynching in her home county in Mississippi by tracking how newspapers treated these murders.
In the Humanities and Fine Arts Poster Presentations session, Isabella Garrison presented The Cartography of Southern Queerness. Garrison, who worked with Dr. Giggie, researched the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQ+ student group on campus at the University of Alabama, looking at maps and invitations sent out by the group to better understand how they made a created a queer space in a hostile environment. Bridgette David presented on her research with Dr. Kopelson, “You Can Always Tell a Spelman Girl”: Spelman College and the Civil Rights Movement. David analyzed how the young women at Spelman College resisted strict student conduct codes in order to support the Civil Rights movement, even in seemingly-small ways. Finally, Olivia Wyatt presented Exchange of Medical Knowledge in the British Colonies During the Early 18th Century, also with Dr. Kopelson. In her research, Wyatt looked at how the early American colonists utilized traditional European medical knowledge and incorporated Native American and enslaved African traditional healing practices, in order to see how these groups exchanged medical knowledge through their interactions.
We are so proud of all of our students who participated! Additionally, we would like to acknowledge the students who received awards. Molly Buffington received the Dr. Laura Busenlehner Award for First Place in the Oral Presentations — Humanities and Fine Arts, and Gray Wood received Third Place. Margaret Lawson received Third Place in Oral Presentations — Social Sciences. In the Poster Presentations — Humanities and Fine Arts, Isabella Garrison also received the Dr. Laura Busenlehner Award for First Place, and Olivia Wyatt received Third Place. Congratulations to all of the winners! We are so proud and can’t wait to see what you do next.