Three Plan II Students Win 2014 University Co-op / George H. Mitchell Undergraduate Awards For Academic Excellence
Posted: May 14, 2014
Professor James Loehlin, Casey Nice, Patrick Naeve and Lucy Junker (l to r)
The University of Texas at Austin, with the generous support of the University Co-op, will recognize up to seven UT undergraduates for superior scholarly or creative achievement. Three students will receive awards of $2,000 each, three students will receive awards of $3,000 each, and one student will be awarded the grand prize of $10,000. The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost provides a concurrent award of half the value of each student's award to the academic department in which the scholarly work was supervised. Recipients will be chosen by the Co-op Awards Selection Committee composed of University faculty.
Faculty members nominate students who have demonstrated superior scholarly or creative achievement through a notable paper or thesis, research project, creative or artistic endeavor, or other product of the student’s academic work. To qualify for an award, nominees must be either a junior or senior currently enrolled at UT Austin or have received their undergraduate degree in December of the academic year in which the award is being given. Submitted work should be finished or close to finished (e.g. a complete draft of a thesis or research paper). Previous University Co-op / George H. Mitchell Award recipients are eligible only if the submitted work is a completely different project. Only one nomination letter will be accepted for each student. Faculty may nominate up to two students.
Recipient of $3,000 Awards:
Plan II Honors; English Honors; History
Nominator: Dr. Daniel Birkholz, Associate Professor, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts
“To Reckon the Far--Off Origins of Men”: The Historical and Geographical Poetics of Beowulf
Patrick Naeve brings to ‘The Historical and Geographical Poetics of Beowulf’ a formidable knowledge of Anglo--Saxon language and culture. His research into the origins of Beowulf, which he locates in the great folk migrations of the sixth century, is informed by a mastery of the poetic geographies explored in the poem. Assessing the historical pressures and cultural complexities negotiated in the artistry of the poem, he shows how Beowulf mattered to the hybrid society that produced it and why it matters to us centuries later. In Patrick Naeve’s telling, Beowulf engages issues of conflict and feud, cycles of greed and violence that do not end with the killing of the dragon or with the funeral of the poem’s hero. His argument is as compelling as it is ambitious, as timely as it is original.
Recipients of $2,000 Awards:
Plan II Honors: Business Honors
Nominator: Dr. James Loehlin, Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts
Shakespeare At Law: Legal Philosophy, Forensic Rhetoric, and Justin In Shakespeare’s Plays
William Shakespeare is regarded as the world’s most influential dramatist. But what were his own influences? One of these, as Casey Nice argues in her compelling Plan II thesis, was the legal tradition that suffused so many aspects of 16th--century England. Nice persuasively demonstrates how this legal tradition is reflected in Shakespeare’s plays Julius Caesar, Richard II, and The Merchant of Venice. In this analysis, she draws upon the traditions of forensic rhetoric that underpinned legal and theatrical education; explores the networks of relationships between theatrical and legal social spheres; and examines legal philosophy as it surfaced in the plays. The result is remarkable: As her thesis director, Prof. James N. Loehlin, argued in his nomination letter, “Her arguments are well researched, wide--ranging, and compellingly articulated. Her knowledge of the subject of Renaissance law approaches that of many graduate students in the field, and her work draws conviction and detail from her own experience in performing Shakespeare’s plays.”
Plan II Honors; Russian Language and Culture
Nominator: Dr. Elizabeth Richmond--Garza, Associate Professor, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts
Fooling Lear: Contemporary Performance Practices of King Lear in Moscow and London
Lucy Junker's thesis, "Fooling Lear: Contemporary Performance Practices of King Lear in Moscow and London," is an ambitious interpretation of historical and modern renderings of the Shakespeare classic. To write the thesis, Ms. Junker mastered Russian and immersed herself in the theater traditions of Russia and England. Her work reveals a great deal about the cultures of the two countries and about their approaches to drama and art, and not a little about the play itself.