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Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language Project Funding Announcements


Fall 2022

CONWAY, Arkansas (November 28, 2022)—In the Fall semester of 2022, the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation awarded $101,368 in grants for six student cocurricular projects, two faculty-led campus projects, and two faculty-led study-travel projects in literature and language. The following student and faculty-led projects were approved for funding:


Student Cocurricular Projects in Literature and Language

*Keeley Ausburn
A Novel Idea: Learning about Others through Literature 
Project supervisor: Hope Coulter, English
Keeley will conduct interviews at libraries in Central Arkansas and explore the question of what can be learned about someone from their relationship with literature. She will explore what makes a book resonate with someone, identify commonalities between the interviewees’ stories, and analyze overlap in the data. Through this research project, she hopes to explore the significance of literature in people’s lives. 


Grace Capooth
+Language and Professional Development at the 2023 Animayo Animation Festival
Project supervisor: Ruth Yuste-Alonso, Languages, Murphy Fellow in Spanish
In April, Grace will attend the 2023 Animayo Animation Festival in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain. This interdisciplinary project will enhance Grace’s Spanish language skills through total immersion, and she will also expand her cultural awareness and language proficiency in relation to a conference and an industry that is marked by its uniquely global community.     
+Carries Odyssey SP (Special Project) credit


*Makenzie Henderson
+Intensive Study of Work-Life Balance & Language through Cultural
Project supervisor: Carmen Merrick, Psychology
Over winter break Makenzie will travel to Genoa, Italy, where she will shadow physicians for 20 hours a week via participation in the Atlantis Medical Shadowing Program. Makenzie will take an intensive Italian course before her trip, and immersion in the culture of Italy will allow her to practice Italian and increase her proficiency in the language. Building on observations from her Summer 2022 Atlantis shadowing experience in Spain, she will investigate work-life balance in Italy, using methods such as talking to physicians and observing the societal structure of Genoa.
+Carries Odyssey UR (Undergraduate Research) credit


Ashley Nguyen, Jeremy Choh, Emma Chavez, and Hannah Stovall 
+Life and Language in Kyoto, Japan

Project supervisor: Wenjia Liu, Languages
Ashley, Jeremy, Emma, and Hannah will travel to Kyoto, Japan, over spring break to gain a deeper understanding of the Japanese language and culture. The group will participate in a language course offered by the Kyoto City International Foundation, where they will converse daily with native speakers and gain insight into everyday Japanese life. Before traveling, the students will enroll in a remote, four-month-long beginning Japanese course offered through WASEDA University XSeries to acquire foundational language knowledge that will enhance their immersion experience.
+Carries Odyssey GA (Global Awareness) credit


*Claire Segura
Curso Intensivo de Español in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Project supervisor: Ruth Yuste-Alonso, Languages, Murphy Fellow in Spanish
This spring Claire will complete a language intensive in Argentina before her semester abroad in Buenos Aires through ISEP (International Student Exchange Program). She will study Spanish grammar and conversation along with Argentinian literature and art. Completing this pre-semester program will allow Claire to achieve a higher level of Spanish proficiency so that she can maximize her language immersion experience at the Universidad del Salvador.


Oli Steven-Assheuer
+Spanish Language Intensive in Medellín, Colombia
Project supervisor: Ruth Yuste-Alonso, Languages, Murphy Fellow in Spanish
Oli will travel to Medellín, Colombia, over winter break to enroll in a Spanish language intensive course. Through this project, he will build on his conversational Spanish skills as well as his intercultural knowledge of Hispanic cultures. Colombian Spanish is an attractive form of Spanish for new learners as it is often spoken clearly, slowly, and with a rhythmic pattern, and broadening his exposure to the region’s unique Paisa dialect is a key component of Oli’s immersion experience.
+Carries Odyssey GA (Global Awareness) credit

*Murphy Scholar in Literature and Language


Faculty-Led Campus Projects

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, English, Murphy Fellow in Poetry 
Dear Ukraine: A Global Community Poem

Dear Ukraine: A Global Community Poem” offers an inclusive, participatory, and empathetic way to bear witness from our varying degrees of distance and relation to the war against Ukraine through the imaginative language of poetry. Participants read the model poem by Dr. Dasbach and then follow prompts to submit their own responses, which can be submitted and translated into English, Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish in order to be read by those in war-torn regions. Bringing a “Dear Ukraine” installation to Hendrix and housing it in the Windgate Museum surrounded by an exhibit of art by poets from Ukraine will engage Hendrix students to respond through language as well as open this response to the wider community.

Margo Kolenda-Mason, English
Reading Group

John Lyly’s Galatea (1588) is a play that features female homoeroticism, virgin sacrifices, sea monsters, shipwrecks, alchemy, and more. While he is little studied today, Lyly was one of the most popular playwrights of his time and was highly influential (including for Shakespeare). Galatea stands out as one of the most explicitly queer plays of the time, and one of the few to endorse same-sex desire. It is a fascinating glimpse into literary history even as it shows us the surprising ways that Renaissance theater engages with issues still important to us today. This reading group will meet twice, reading the play aloud together and discussing it in anticipation of this year’s Drake Lecture on Transgender Natural Spaces in Renaissance Theater, to be delivered on campus in April by Dr. Colby Gordon of Bryn Mawr College.


Faculty-Led Study-Travel Projects

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, English, Murphy Fellow in Poetry 
+Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference, Seattle

The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference & Bookfair is the largest literary conference in North America and arguably the most important one for those interested in literary careers related to writing, editing, publishing, or teaching. In past years, more than 12,000 writers and readers have attended the conference with over 650 exhibitors represented including small presses, large publishing houses and university presses, literary journals, nonprofits, and graduate writing programs, among others. During the three days of the conference, students will have the opportunity to meet with industry experts; connect with faculty from potential graduate programs; participate in a variety of panels on writing, reading, publishing, and pedagogy; and attend readings by established writers.
+Carries Odyssey AC (Artistic Creativity) credit

Hope Coulter, English; Tyrone Jaeger, English
+The Lore of the Emerald Isle: Exploring Irish Literature in Context
Students who have taken either the Murphy Scholar tutorial course Irish Short Stories or another relevant literature or creative writing course will travel to Ireland to investigate how the literary arts have shaped, and been shaped by Irish culture and tradition. This overview of Irish literature will start in Dublin, where the participants will see the Book of Kells, visit museums on Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, and Irish literature, and see a play at the iconic Abbey Theatre, home to the Irish Literary Revival. The group will then travel to Bantry, in County Cork, to attend the West Cork Literary Festival. There students will take creative writing workshops and hear readings and panels by contemporary Irish writers, whose work they will have read at Hendrix.
+Carries Odyssey SP (Special Project) credit