Every fall we close out the semester with one of the high points of our year here in English and Creative Writing:  thesis presentations by English majors finishing up Senior Seminar.  This year’s Senior Seminar was led by Professor Annalisa Castaldo, with a focus on the early modern playwright Christopher Marlowe.

Seniors huddle with Professor Castaldo right before beginning their presentations.
Seniors huddle with Professor Castaldo right before beginning their presentations.

Junior English major and Sigma Tau Delta President Kimberlee Roberts introduced the evening, providing background on Marlowe’s work and his turbulent life.  Students then presented the results of a semester’s worth of research and writing on the dramatist, focusing on Dido, Queen of Carthage and Edward II, as well as offering a panel consisting of a trio of papers on Doctor Faustus, concentrating on the question of the protagonist’s damnation.

Marlowe’s work in the hands of these emerging scholars presented the audience of faculty, family, and friends with important themes of agency, knowledge, the limitations of redemption, and the arrogance of youth.  We’d like to congratulate them on good work, and wish them a well-deserved winter break!

Here’s the full program:

Sierra Offutt, “‘Reward’st thou virtue so?’:  Godly Manipulation of Human Will and Agency in Marlowe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage

Megan Lewis, “The Hidden Protagonist:  A Character Study of Christopher Marlowe’s Queen Isabella”

Christian Scittina, “Unbecoming Irony:  Marlowe’s Despair of Calvinist Negation in Dr. Faustus

Brittany Cassidy, “The Quest to Damnation:  Doctor Faustus’ Limit to Knowledge”

Alan Parkerson, “‘Never too late, if Faustus can repent’:  Damned by Youth, Not Providence”

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