Three Students to Present Papers at Literary Symposium

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Three Fairmont State University students have been selected for the 2013 Undergraduate Literary Symposium, which is to be held at Marshall University in Huntington on Saturday, March 2.

The three students are Benjamin D. Fisher, Tammy J. Lacaria and Bradley T. Riffee. Fisher and Lacaria are both residents of Bridgeport, and Riffee lives in Morgantown. The three students wrote their essays for their senior seminar on the British writer Thomas Hardy. The seminar was taught by Dr. Angela Schwer, Professor of English, who helped the students refine their essays and submit them to the Symposium.

Fisher will present his essay, “Animal Cruelty in the Works of Thomas Hardy,” during the 19th-century British Literature session of the symposium. His paper investigates cruelty toward animals in Hardy’s fiction and poetry to argue that this cruelty reflects Hardy’s naturalistic worldview. Lacaria’s essay, “The Nature of Tess,” discusses the exploitation of Hardy’s heroine because of her inferior position as a woman. Riffee’s “Tess, Gender Class Expectations, and Society’s Time of Change at the End of the 19th Century” analyzes social injustices that existed in 19th-century male and female relationships. His paper is part of a panel on Class and Gender in Literature.

“It's a real honor for our students to present their work at this Symposium. The students gain confidence and professional poise through presenting, and they'll be among the top English students in the state.  We're very proud of them,” Schwer said.

The West Virginia Undergraduate Literary Symposium began at West Virginia University, which hosted it for more than a dozen years. In 2011, the Symposium began to rotate among West Virginia’s universities and colleges. Wheeling Jesuit hosted the Symposium that year, and Fairmont State sponsored it in 2012.