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Literary Society Selects UNA Student To Present At London Conference
May. 8, 2012



FLORENCE, Ala. – Ashley Gonzales, a student at the University of North Alabama, was recently selected by the Literary London Society to present a paper she wrote last summer during the London study abroad program entitled “Dark Pleasures: Night-Time Gardens in William Wycherley’s ‘The Country Wife’ and Frances Burney’s ‘Evelina.’”
 
The Institute of English Studies at the University of London will host the 2012 conference from July 4 to 6. The keynote speakers at the event will include Michael Rosen, Kasia Boddy, Norma Clarke and Sarah Wardle. The Literary London Society invited proposals for 20-minute papers, comprised panels and roundtable sessions, which involve central and suburban London, according to the official website.
 
Gonzales said her work explores the 17th and 18th century night-time gardens of London and how they function to direct the male gaze to objectify women, creating opportunities for danger and freedom. She uses Wycherley’s “The Country Wife” and Burney’s “Evelina” as literary examples within her work.
 
Last summer, Gonzales traveled to London with the UNA study abroad program alongside professors Jeffrey Bibbee and Lesley Peterson. She wrote her paper while she was living and studying in London.


“I have never before spoken or presented at a conference,” she said. “I did not expect to be chosen as a participant and am completely overwhelmed at the honor of being chosen to present my paper at an international conference.”
 
Gonzales, who completed her undergraduate studies at UNA, will become a graduate student at the university in the summer 2012 semester. She also works as a project controller for an Urban Planning and Engineering Firm.
 
“I am most looking forward to being able to make my family and professors proud,” she said. “As a student at UNA, I had such a strong support team, including my husband, mother, kids and Dr.'s Peterson and Bibbee. There is no way that I could have managed to obtain my degree without each one of them and I am looking forward to showing them just how much their support allowed me to do. As for what I plan to bring from it, this opportunity has allowed me to realize just how much I am capable of accomplishing. I plan to continue my journey into academia and hopefully this will be only the first of many conferences that I have the honor of presenting at.”
 
For more information, contact Dr. Lesley Peterson in the Department of English at 256-765-4104 or email lepeterson@una.edu.