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UNA Grad Student, Alumnus In English Honored For Top Two Papers At Regional Conference

Nov. 17, 2009

FLORENCE, Ala. – Thoreau, Alcott and Marx. They have more in common than being among the most influential 19th century writers. More recently, they became the topics of the top two prize-winning papers at the inaugural Alabama Regional Graduate Conference in English, hosted recently at the University of North Alabama. Both papers were written and presented by a UNA graduate student in English and an alumnus of the UNA English department.

Patricia Hartley, currently working on her MA in English at UNA, won first prize and $100 for her paper “Finding Utopia: Thoreau’s and Alcott’s Fruitless Attempts to Escape Mr. Emerson’s Neighborhood.”

Second prize and $50 went to Trey Bagwell, a UNA graduate currently enrolled in the Auburn University MA program in English, for his paper “Marx and Maxis: The Representation of Labor and Materialism in The Sims.”

Tanya Sasser, a recent graduate of the MA program in English at Jacksonville State University, won third prize and $25 for her paper “‘I Want to Go Home’: ‘The Badger’ As Working-Class Hero.”

“Our judges were very impressed by all three papers, which made valuable contributions to our collective exploration of this year’s conference theme, ‘Imagining Communities,’” said Dr. Lesley Peterson, assistant professor of English at UNA and conference co-chair.

The inaugural Alabama Regional Graduate Conference in English featured 16 papers from graduate students in English throughout Alabama and surrounding states. Next year’s conference theme will be “Going Gothic.”