Astute Analysis

(Photo by Duane Zehr)

By Matt Hawkins
September 12, 2014

A Bradley student will be featured in the national English honor society’s journal for the second consecutive year. Danielle Fitch ’15, an English major from Peoria, won a Sigma Tau Delta contest with her critical analysis of William Faulkner’s “Absalom, Absalom!”

Written last spring, Fitch’s paper is titled, "Constructing and Demolishing Thomas Sutpen’s Legacy: The Corrupting Influence of the Feminine on Masculine Reproduction in William Faulkner’s ‘Absalom, Absalom!’” It was one of a dozen papers chosen from 1,000 submissions for “The Sigma Tau Delta Review,” one of the honor society’s literary journals. A paper by Maggie Cipriano ‘15, an English major from Downers Grove, Illinois, was chosen last year. The journal is published each March.

Though the writing process and six-month wait from submission to notification were “nerve-wracking,” Fitch said the experience was rewarding.

"The time and effort required to perfect an essay to publication standards is demanding, yet seeing the finished product is rewarding on many levels,” she said. “It really built my confidence and reinforced the skills that I have learned here at Bradley. I would recommend this experience for everyone."

“Even though it was tough getting published, the journey was something students should go through.”

Fitch wrote the paper for Dr. Tim Conley’s Faulkner class, which required students to write a paper with journal publication in mind. She realized “it would be unfair to do the work and not submit it” and worked with Conley to perfect the paper for the honor society publication.

She gained a new appreciation for the wisdom and materials available through faculty mentors like Conley. Students have access to a range of creative venues and scholarly journals to seek publication.

“The English department pushes us in the right direction and has the resources for us to take advantage of opportunities,” Fitch said. “I like how faculty take us under their wings as we go through the process.”

Sigma Tau Delta advisor Dr. Danielle Glassmeyer said the submission process opened students’ eyes to an academic world beyond the Hilltop.

“Journal submission fosters students' sense of how their work fits into ongoing conversations about our literary and cultural traditions, and even into aesthetic and political trends,” she said. “Publication is fantastic icing on the cake. It’s the signal that you reached an audience of very smart readers (the reviewers and the editors) and they thought your work was worthy of publication.”  

Additionally, Fitch’s work sparked a new interest in critical and creative work. As she looks ahead to graduate school, she is preparing poetry and another essay for journal submission.