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(Photo courtesy of Merry Norby.)

Congratulations to Merry Norby, a junior in the Honors College, whose paper proposal was accepted by Sigma Tau Delta and was presented as part of “Coping with Slavery and Its Aftermath in American Literature” at the Sigma Tau Delta 2018 International Convention on Saturday, March 24, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“Sigma Tau Delta,” Merry explains, “is a National Honors Society for English students. I was first introduced to the society and to the possibility of submitting and presenting a paper at the convention by Dr. Dingledine, with whom I took English 110: Honors Composition and English 229: Honors African American Literature.”

“I hadn’t planned on submitting, but I read a piece by another student . . . about how valuable the experience was, and it seemed like there was nothing to lose. I looked into the guidelines for submitting on the Sigma Tau Delta website and realized I should take advantage of the opportunity.”

Merry submitted “The Queen, the Mother, the Muse”—a ten-page version of a longer paper she had written as a final project in Honors African American Literature—in which she analyzes photographs of Beyoncé’s 2017 pregnancy in the context of African American literature and history. “I found out a month or two later that my paper was accepted for presentation. . . .  Both my attendance and my participation at the convention were extremely valuable to me. Besides having the opportunity to present my hard work and gain rewarding experience . . . I was able to attend an array of events held at the convention, including other students’ sessions, a bad poetry contest, and the awards gala.” Sigma Tau Delta members were also treated to a tour of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, the writer’s family home where Stowe lived off and on during the 1830s.

The conference took place over four days and consisted of more than 150 panels and roundtables. Merry writes: “The annual Sigma Tau Delta convention is a great place to engage and foster community with other young English scholars, whether or not you present. I’m so grateful to be a part of Sigma Tau Delta and to have had the opportunity to experience the convention this year.”

Merry is majoring in Psychology and is minoring in English and in Spanish. She joined the Honors College in spring 2016.