With the clock ticking and a swarm of evil villains on my tail, embarking on a perilous adventure does sound extremely dangerous, yet, in a way, appealing. Since I was a youth, I dreamed of going on an adventure like Indiana Jones. I was intrigued by his career as a college professor and his unfortunate habit of always being in some sort of trouble. In the end though, he always managed to provide the academic community with pieces of history that were said to be legendary or lost. I never thought I would have a similar experience, especially as an English major with dreams of being a college professor. It was not until I began my Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) project that I began to embark on my own adventure.
For the summer of 2012, I have been given the opportunity to work with Dr. Daniel Shea, Associate Professor of English at the Mount, through the SURE program. The project that I am currently working on focuses on acquiring and compiling primary sources on the Irish Revival that will be used for future publication by way of an anthology. The sources that are being acquired encompass the political, literary, and aesthetic facets of the Irish Revival. The Irish Revival as a movement assisted in establishing Ireland as a nation and essentially defined Ireland as a separate entity from their Imperial Mother, Great Britain. Currently, I am working on acquiring sources concerning Douglas Hyde’s establishment of the Gaelic League and on Charles Stewart Parnell and the influence that he had on the establishment of Ireland. Being of Irish descent, I have also begun to trace my own roots and find out more about my own heritage.
Through my research, I am acquiring the skills necessary to conduct my own research when I am ready to write my dissertation. I am learning a great deal from working with Dr. Shea, and I am thankful that I have the chance to work with him on a project of this magnitude.
As of right now, my research is going well and, like Indiana Jones, I am always ready for an adventure. Unfortunately, I have not gotten into any serious car or boat chases, and I have not found a secret passage in the Curtin Memorial Library, but I will continue to check through the stacks just in case. As of right now, my research has not afforded me any surprises. No Fedora, no bullwhip, just the Pandora’s box that is the mind, and, of course, a plethora of books.
Whoever said that summer was boring never had the chance to do research.
Stephanie Weaver, Class of 2014, is an English major from Rockville Centre, NY.