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English Major Presents Paper at Moravian College Conference

Amelia Altoe

Amelia Altoe, an English and secondary education major, recently presented a paper entitled “Parallels between Shakespeare’s Tragedies and Hawthorn’s The Scarlet Letter” at the 10th Undergraduate Conference in Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The conference is one of the largest undergraduate conferences in the humanities held in the United States. More than 200 participants from 37 colleges and universities attended the event which was held on December 5, 2015.

According to organizers, the conference is an “extraordinary exchange of student work in all disciplines of the humanities, united by a critical approach to the subject matter that often elicits reflections on the world we live in today.”

“This conference gives students an opportunity to bring their research to a wide audience,” explains Sandy Bardsley, Moravian’s associate professor of history and co-chair of the conference. “These students are doing some really interesting stuff, which is mostly just read by professors.” 

Neumann University professor Dr. Anne Ramirez informed Altoe of the conference and suggested she find an idea to submit. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter was being discussed in Altoe’s American Literature class and she had written her final paper on the subject. In it, Altoe explored the similarities between Hawthorne’s Roger Chillingworth and Shakespeare’s Iago from Othello,and then expanded her research to include Hamlet, the main character from Hamlet.  

“There are similarities in both. Iago and Chillingworth are deceptive,” Altoe explained.
Shakespeare’s works are among Altoe’s favorite reads. “I just feel that Shakespeare is very universal and covers a broad range of emotions. We still read and relate to that today,” she said.

Dr. Ramirez was instrumental in the development of Altoe’s presentation, providing guidance and feedback. “She was very helpful in helping me expand my ideas and find resources,” Altoe said.

Presenting at the conference was a highlight for Altoe, and she was proud of her presentation. “I was so nervous. I had ten minutes to present and my panel was one of the larger groups. I actually got a question about my presentation and I think I answered it ok!”  



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