Jane Austenmania: Why the Current Craze and Why Should We Care?
Ruth Happ’s senior project took a look at the continuing interest in English author Jane Austen, particularly from the perspective of love and relationships. While modern society promotes what she calls a “loveless hook-up system,” Austen’s world projects “courtesy, propriety and most of all the feelings of others.”
In contrast to today’s cultural obsession with sex and the lack of personal connection fueled by technology, Austin’s works are popular because “they may reflect, beyond nostalgia for a past era, a commonly-shared hope for love, commitment, equality, and personal growth in relationships.”
Happ said she found that studying Austen texts, blogs, websites and recent “mash ups” like Pride, Prejudice and Zombies convinced her that today society could learn a lot from Austen’s characters and storylines.
All That Glitters Grows Mold: Gold Nuggets From Mulch
Julie Israel kept her audience entertained with her senior project, “All That Glitters Grows Mold: Gold Nuggets From Mulch.” She presented a montage of her poetry, ranging from free verse to traditional forms, including both comical and sober topics, from irksome spiders and expired yogurt, to the music of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
Israel came to Pacific as a freshman interested not only in creative writing, but Spanish, Japanese and art—all fields that Pacific offers.
“I wasn’t until my sophomore year that I took my first poetry course and it was an eye-opening experience for me,” she said. As she read more poetry, she says, “I became even more inspired…I really admired what the different faculty members have to offer because they all have something different to say about writing and something different to contribute.”