Honors Symposia – Caleb Smith

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On Friday, February 16th, 2018, Dr. Caleb Smith of Yale University, presented an English and Writing Symposium that was co-sponsored by the Honors Program on his recently published book, The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict: Austin Reed. Austin Reed was a black prison inmate in New York during the 1800s who wrote about what it was like to be in prison during that time period. In his presentation, Dr. Smith discussed the process of converting Austin Reed’s writing into a readable manuscript and the various findings that resulted, including finding that parts of the manuscript were plagiarized and other parts were fanciful imaginings that didn’t actually happen.

Honors Symposium – Dan Walden

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On January 27th, Dan Walden, Associate Professor of English at Baylor University, gave a fascinating presentation to Honors Program students on pirates!  The timing was perfect as Gasparilla festivities were beginning that night and the main Gasparilla event was the next day.  Dan noted that the life of pirates not anything like the modern depictions seen in movies or amusement park rides. Their lives were often short-lived, hard, dangerous, and dirty.  Honor Student questions during the Q&A led to an insightful discussion about the similarities between modern-day pirates and their earlier counterparts.