Alumnae To Study Medieval English at University of St. Andrews
June 30, 2015 (Jackson, Miss.) - Belhaven alumnae Lindsay Gill '14 will be pursuing a Master of Literature in Medieval English at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious centers for teaching and research.
Gill wants to breathe new life into a beautiful, but dead language. She believes Old English literature has the potential to be revived and its elements used in modern poetry.
The University of Leicester and University of Dundee sent Gill acceptance letters, but she selected St. Andrews because of its long history of academic quality and focus on medieval English. St. Andrews was founded in 1413 and is Scotland’s first university. It has a spectacular academic record and is steeped in history. The medieval English program includes modules on Old English, an interest I've had for years; I hope to develop my career and writing in new directions from what I glean in this program.
She recently graduated from Belhaven University with a double major, earning her degrees in creative writing and history. Dr. Randall Smith, Chair of Creative Writing, recognized her potential and said, From the start, Lindsay demonstrated the creative intuition of a writer and the keen intellect of an academic - thus, her eventual double-major in writing and history. Belhaven produces amazing students!
Gill compares her aspirations in writing to creating a tapestry; old medieval styles can be woven together with new elements to form a unique work of art. To fully appreciate any novel or piece of literature, one must be prepared to study it, piece it apart and understand its world––to take a microscope to the tapestry, said Gill. Research is an integral part of the degree program at St. Andrews. She plans to study the connection between Old English and Shakespeare, particularly the Old English linguistic and thematic threads that persisted into Shakespeare's time and plays.
There is a specific type of poetic formatting, a type of alliteration, a type of word language that Old English uses, like compound words and word rhythms. Modern poetry doesn’t do that, they started using Continental forms with the influx of the Normans into England around 1066. Since then, we have only been using Continental forms and have left everything behind with the forms and the processes that those poets used that are actually more natural to the English tongue. I think it would be interesting to experiment with that and bring it to modern poetry.
She is setting her sights toward a future that involves more than just writing. After her graduate work, she wants to earn her Ph. D. and eventually teach at the university level.
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