Fourteenth Annual Honors Colloquium

My time slot in the Charles Center’s Fourteenth Annual Honors Colloquium was one of the first—1:30 on February 15—and I didn’t quite know what to expect. However, I think the opportunity afforded was a great one: not only has the colloquium allowed me to learn more about my thesis-writing friends’ research, it gave me a way to speak about my own with a depth for which I’m not often given the space.

To prepare for the colloquium, I wrote a ten-page speech (having heard that each double-spaced page took about two and a half minutes to read) that went over the genesis of my project, summarized Wallace Stevens’ life, and then delved further into my means of analysis and organization. To finish, I explicated three poems/excerpts—the second stanza of “Sunday Morning,” “Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour,” and the fifteenth canto of “The Man with the Blue Guitar.” I also prepared a slideshow, from which I took the picture posted below, and a handout so that every person there could follow along within the poems.

I was surprised at the degree to which writing a general introduction for a non-specialized audience helped me elucidate issues which had been tugging at me for months. It’s also provided a pretty solid scaffolding for my thesis’ introduction, so that’s great too!

Stevens in his garden by Charles Henri Ford, 1940

Stevens in his garden by Charles Henri Ford, 1940

The final draft of my thesis—now, finally, titled “‘The vernacular of light’: Wallace Stevens’ Constructions of Belief”—is due to my committee on April 12. Until then, I’ll be using my spring break (and, most likely, late nights and early mornings) to finish this up. Wish me luck!