English Student Capstone Conference
The class will be sharing work from their English 401 capstone projects, which comprise of independent research on topics of their choosing. This year’s conference title, (Re)Presentations, offers a sense of the kinds of research that students have been doing throughout the semester: recovering overlooked modes of thinking and refiguring ways of understanding literary/cultural history and texts. Each project enters into a specific archive and critical conversation and contributes to it with a new and carefully argued perspective. At this year’s conference, you can look forward to hearing about projects that range from the medieval period to contemporary fiction and film and that engage with questions about race, gender, sexuality, power, theology, education, history, politics, and social justice, among many others. Please join us for what promises to be an exciting day of conversation!
Ashley Menard (She/Her)
Driven by an intense interest in the tangled amalgamation of culture, language and human insight that is English, Ashley Menard is working to complete her undergraduate degree at St. Mary’s. She is particularly fascinated by the interplay between fiction and truth, and the way words have the power to sculpt or reflect reality. Currently Ashley is not in fact surviving the pandemic at all, and is rather a zombie dragging herself from task to task, hopeful that an appropriate helping of brains may come along, sooner rather than later.
Amy Morton (She/Her)
Amy Morton is completing her English degree and is entering into the Education program at St. Mary’s University. She has always been fascinated by retellings of the traditional Arthurian tales and hopes to share that with others. She is looking forward to becoming a High School English teacher once she has completed her degrees. She is tolerating the pandemic through catching up on her ‘for fun’ books, Broadway music, and watching her favorite films.
Artemis Baker (xe/xem/xyr)
Artemis is excited to present xyr work on satire, Jonathan Swift and Terry Pratchett with you today. Xe is an aspiring teacher who loves working with kids, crocheting and swimming. Xe is also an avid supporter of the LGBTQ+ community and the head of the school GSA. Xyr favorite part of studying English literature is investigating how fiction reflects and alters fact. Xe survived covid by making new friends… out of yarn.
Cheyenne Fordham (She/Her)
Cheyenne Fordham is completing her undergraduate degree in English. Her capstone project was founded on her desire to participate in ethically discussing and celebrating Indigenous literature. When Cheyenne is not immersed in the fantastical world of her current read, she can be found on her dirt bike racing through the mountains. She has survived the pandemic through a loving combination of snuggles with her chocolate Lab, Dio and Downton Abbey marathons.
Daniel Melvill Jones (He/him)
Daniel Melvill Jones is fascinated by the intersection of ideas, culture, creativity, and theology. It has been a joy to study these subjects in community at St. Mary’s. When he is not catching up on school assignments, Daniel can be found reading even more books, mastering a new bread baking technique, creating a podcast with friends, or heading out into Fish Creek Park. Daniel plans to continue his research into race, imagination, and Christian faith at Regent College in Vancouver. He survived Covid by weathering it with Annie (his wise and loving wife) and Babette (their opinionated yet affectionate cat).
Dermott Decottignies (He/him)
Dermott is finishing his Bachelor of English and hopes to return for an Education degree in the near future, but post COVID. His capstone project focuses on how post-colonial literature refocuses and resizes history to show the losing side of history, specifically in One Hundred Years of Solitude. When he’s not doing class work, Dermott spends time hiking, camping, and playing music. He “survived” COVID by spending time with his loved ones, getting beaten up by his brothers, and planning his revenge…
Hannah Ackerman (She/Her)
Hannah is currently completing her Bachelor of Arts in English and has hopes to further her education with a Master’s of Creative Writing. Hannah’s capstone is about Secret Societies and their roles in literature. Her project is inspired by some of her favorite secret societies, such as the ones written by Erin Morgenstern, whose books will be the focus of her presentation. Hannah loves hot chocolate and warm blankets to help her get through the day while she waits for her two favorite people, her sisters, to get home from school. She loves escaping from everyday pandemic life by reading and playing animal crossing with her favorite characters, Derwin the duck and Limberg the mouse.
Hannah Tkatch (she/her)
Hannah Tkatch is currently completing her undergraduate degree with a major in English and a minor in Sociology at St. Mary’s University. Her capstone project focuses on the relationship between queer identity and constructed ideals of masculinity in James Baldwin’s novel, Giovanni’s Room. When she isn’t mindlessly scrolling through TikTok for hours, she spends her time tending to her plethora of pandemic plants. Hannah has survived the pandemic by fostering her creativity, listening to Hozier and working to achieve her future career as a photographer.
Ico Beltran (he/him)
Ico is excited to be graduating from St. Mary’s University. During the pandemic, he has been jumproping, running, cooking, and playing with his dog, Beatrice. He is excited to present his capstone essay on Bernard of Clairvaux’s use of metaphorical human forms of loving in “Sermons on the Song of Songs.”
Izzy Zenglitzky (She/Her)
Izzy’s fascination with witches began many years ago, and she is extremely excited to be able to incorporate all things witchcraft in her academic work. She is very excited to be completing her Bachelor’s in English at St Mary’s University and hopes to complete her Master’s in Library Information Sciences. When her nose isn’t buried in a book on romantic poetry, Izzy enjoys spending time outdoors, writing poems of her own, and painting. If it weren’t for her cat, Halloween, Izzy doesn’t think she could have survived the pandemic.
Kyla McDonald (She/Her)
Kyla McDonald is completing her undergrad degree with a double major in English and History at St. Mary’s and is excited to present two capstone projects at the academic conference this year. For her English project, she is examining the queer gaze in cinema with a focus on Blake Edward’s 1982 film, Victor/Victoria, and for her History project, she is concentrating on the history of the corset as a restrictive garment from the 1800s to the end of the twentieth century in England. She has always been interested in literature, films, and history; especially in relation to authors outside of the traditional canon, female-centered cinema, and fashion, respectively. Kyla has survived the pandemic through watching (and re-watching) her favourite Marvel movies, crime shows, and Disney classics.
Landon Buckley (He/ Him)
Landon is completing his Bachelor of Arts in English with hopes of moving on to complete a Master’s of Divinity to become a Pastor. His project is about the history of Queer Theology, with a focus on the 20th century, and the gap between scholarly Queer Theology and mainline Christian culture. When not writing entire essays in one night, Landon writes music, and gets way too invested in nerdy hobbies. Landon survived the pandemic on ramen and sad music.
Thomas Lloyd (He/ Him)
Thomas Lloyd is an English major (despite the criticism) studying at St. Mary’s University. Thomas’ capstone will be dealing with 9/11 and the relationship between politics, trauma, and media. A week before “Corona” became “COVID-19” Thomas found himself celebrating a birthday at a popular bar sharing in jokes about the virus – turns out the joke was on him! Fast forward one year, and zero haircuts later, Thomas finds himself engaging in the most important semester of his academic career, whilst learning the online format (like everyone else in the world) and all the while looking and feeling a bit like Howard Hughes. Thomas’ survival of the pandemic has relied mostly on a steady diet of frozen pizza, angry rants, and an unhealthy amount of binge-worthy television. In the future Thomas plans on being a fully vaccinated, degree-holding, and job-for-life member of society.