James Lamon Selected as Dean's Distinguished Graduate
Liberal Arts Honors graduate performed in Winedale and studied English, Government and Philosophy
Posted: May 24, 2012
James Lamon began his journey at UT as a Liberal Arts Honors freshman with an English major. Quickly realizing his academic interests strayed outside of a single discipline, he added a philosophy major, joined a great books program, then added a government major. He’s graduating with all three majors and a certificate from the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas. After participating in the Shakespeare at Winedale program in the summer of 2009—where he performed in Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III, and Cymbeline—James went on to appear in nine student-run and professional theatre shows. His favorite role was Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Four of those performances were with the Spirit of Shakespeare club, for which James served as the Master of Revels. James also volunteered with the Shakespeare Outreach organization, which teaches children to play Shakespeare. Apart from Shakespeare, James has been active in the Liberal Arts Honors community. He has served as a student mentor, led Rousseau’s Reading Groups, and volunteered as an orientation adviser. James is also passionate about creative writing. His fiction and poetry have won prizes in Department of English writing contests. When it came to time to write a thesis to graduate with honors in English, James chose to focus on one of his favorite authors: David Foster Wallace. James’ thesis uses optical technology to understand solipsism in Wallace’s Infinite Jest.
In addition to these studies, James possesses an interest in political theory. He completed an independent research paper on Tocqueville’s Democracy in America that won Best Paper Award at the Illinois State University Conference for Students of Political Science. The paper will be published in the Spring 2012 issue of Critique, an international journal of politics. After graduation, James will be applying to M.F.A. programs in creative writing and moving to L.A. to pursue a career in screenwriting.