They’re assisting Prof. Christopher Phillips with research for a new book. By Elizabeth Hall ’10
New York’s museums, galleries, and libraries are among the scholarly destinations for Katie Thompson ’09 and Nicole Ceil ’11 this summer as they assist Christopher Phillips, assistant professor of English, with research for a book on American literature, law, and art.
Thompson (Glenside, Pa.), an American studies and English double major, and Ceil (Stonington, Conn.), an English major, are visiting the New-York Historical Society, New York Public Library, and Metropolitan Museum of Art. They also are doing research at the Museum of Art and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia.
Lafayette’s proximity to these research centers is convenient for his project, Phillips says: “It really helps to be local when you need to quickly verify a source, or when librarians who know you come across tips that you’d miss if you weren’t in regular contact with them. Some of the most exciting and useful information has been discovered through my research with these opportune resources.”
Focusing on the formative stages of early American literature (1750 to the late 19th century), the work will look at how “epic” as a concept has shaped the development of American literature, constitutional law, and fine art.
“This book is about the ways in which Americans have used epic to develop and ‘sell’ their ideas about literature, cultural values, national identity, and authority,” Phillips says.
- EXCEL/Undergraduate Research
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