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Last Updated: 7/23/2024, 9:11 AM

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Students at Academic Conference

English Majors Present at Seton Hall Literature Conference

English majors Olivia Frew ’24, senior Breanna Guinta, Nicole Mautone ’24, and Hana Vozzo ’24 recently presented their research at Seton Hall University’s “Boundaries and Borders” undergraduate literature conference alongside English majors from Seton Hall, Columbia University, Baruch College, and Keene State University in New Hampshire.

Frew presented on “Myth and Sacrifice: Haitian Womanhood in ‘Breath, Eyes, Memory,’” a 1994 novel by Edwidge Danticat. Guinta presented on her departmental honors thesis research into Nathaniel Parker Willis, a mid-nineteenth-century American author once popular but now largely forgotten. Guinta was much encouraged by the audience response: “I was delighted to receive from my peers and professors at Seton Hall such positive feedback on my presentation. The Seton Hall English department chair especially motivated me to continue my research and gave me some recommendations on other works to check out.”

Mautone’s paper was “Ultimate Weakness to Driving Force: How Religion Empowers the Vampire in ‘Midnight Mass.’” Her paper examined the use of religion in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel “Dracula,” Anne Rice’s 1976 novel “Interview with the Vampire,” and the 2021 Netflix series “Midnight Mass.” Mautone considered herself “lucky to be able to watch Hana Vozzo present and to share a Q&A session with her.” Vozzo’s presentation was on “Symbolism of the Sea: An Exploration of Individual and Cultural Identity in Derek Walcott’s ‘The Schooner Flight.’” Best known for his poetry, in 1992 Walcott was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

All four English majors are members of Monmouth University’s Delta Sigma chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society, advised by BethSara Swanson, lecturer in the Department of English. All four students said they enjoyed and benefited from presenting off campus. “I enjoyed seeing the research my peers were working on from other universities,” Guinta said, adding that she was pleased that this “talented group” of English majors represented Monmouth University.

“Conference presentations like this one can be an important step in undergraduate professional development,” said Stanley Blair, Ph.D., associate professor of English. “By presenting on their own time and off campus, these students have demonstrated that they think not just within course requirements, but also beyond them.”

L-R: Frew, Vozzo, Guinta, and Mautone