CONCEPT Highlights and Honors Interdisciplinary Graduate Scholarship at Villanova

graduate History student Justine Carré Miller holding a copy of the CONCEPT journal

VILLANOVA, Pa. – CONCEPT, the scholarly journal of graduate students in the Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, seeks to promote and reward not only exemplary papers within their respective disciplines but also scholarship with wide interdisciplinary appeal.

With her analysis of marriage and divorce in the plays of the late-18th century French playwright and political activist Olympe de Gouges, graduate History student Justine Carré Miller deftly brought a historical analysis to de Gouges’ literary works and demonstrated how de Gouges’ then-radical arguments are still being fought today. Miller’s paper, “’Marriage is the Tomb of Trust and Love:’ Marriage and Divorce in Olympe de Gouges’ Plays,” earned the 2018 Graduate Research Prize Essay, which was announced at the CONCEPT release and awards luncheon on April 19.

“Though she is best known for her Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Female Citizen (1791), de Gouges was a prolific writer and wrote many plays during and after the French Revolution. I was interested in her plays that were about marriage, man-woman relationships and divorce,” says Miller. “De Gouges was an advocate for marriage reform (before the French Revolution marriage was more of a business transaction between two families), and her ideas are reflected in her plays in which she portrays strong female characters and non-traditional relationships and gender roles.”

Micki Burdick ’18 MA, a Communication graduate student and one of the CONCEPT student editors, noted that Miller’s paper stood out for its direct writing style, depth of research, interdisciplinary scholarship and the ability to make a historical analysis relevant to current issues.

“There were a number of excellent submissions to CONCEPT, and the editors had to make a lot of hard decisions about which papers to choose for this year’s edition,” said Burdick, who volunteered to be an editor, in part, to learn more about the academic publishing process. “We looked for papers that well represented their disciplines, most thoroughly cited existing scholarship to support their claims, and best tied together interdisciplinary topics.”

Miller, whose research interests include Late Medieval and Early Modern France, also cites the timeliness of her paper as a possible reason for its selection. “Some of the issues that de Gouges was fighting against in the 1790s are still happening in the world today, such as forced marriages and no right to divorce,” she says. “In the context of the #MeToo movement this year, I think that de Gouges is very relevant.”

CONCEPT received submissions from and wide array of fields. This year, the print edition includes papers covering Classical Studies, Communication, English, History and Political Science, while online articles include the fields of English and Mathematics.

See photos from the launch.

CONCEPT Print Articles

“Marriage is the tomb of trust and love”: Marriage and Divorce in Olympe de Gouges’ Plays - Justine Carre Miller, History

An Inappropriate Football “Formation”: Beyoncé’s 2016 Super Bowl Performance, Mystery, and the Narratives of Football and Race in America - Richelle J Hurley, Communication

From Tribe to Nation: Assessing the Influence of Political Exclusion and Access to Mobilization Resources on Kurdish Ethnonationalism - Joseph Lasky, Political Science

Lyric Messene: Collaborative Ethnogenesis and Historical Narrative - Luke Nathaniel Madson, Classical Studies

Back from the Dead: Rediscovering Value in John Okada’s No-No Boy and John Williams’s Stoner - Nicholas Manai, English

Reimagining the American Revolution: Jonathan Boucher’s Loyalist Perspective - Andrew Carter Zetts, History


CONCEPT Online Articles

Which On-Base Percentage Shows the Highest True Ability of a Baseball Player? - Edwin Lu, Mathematics

Is Stephen Dedalus a Vampire? Bodily Breath, Creation, and Art in “Proteus” and “Aeolus” - Amelia Mrozinski, English               

“And down now, down…”: the Wildernesses of “Burning Chrome” and Inception - Casey Smedberg, English           

The Incredibly Loud and Uncomfortably Close Narrator of Uncle Tom’s Cabin - Stephen Reaugh, English  

Maxine Hong Kingston’s complex, multi-faceted, and paradoxical postmodernism in The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts - Angeline Nies-Berger, English

Read all of the CONCEPT papers.


Graduate Student Editors

Annamarie Benson, Theology and Religious Studies
Micki Burdick, Communication
Hayden Davis, Biology
Christian Leithart, English
Zachary Oxford-Romeike, Psychology

Faculty Editors
John Kurtz, Psychology, Managing Editor
Lowell Gustafson, Political Science
Erica Slotter, Psychology
Aaron Thomasson, Theology/Religious Studies & English
Klaus Volpert, Mathematics

Peer Reviewers

Katie Nicole Adams, Psychology
Sarah Alahmadi, Psychology
Trevor Arnold, Communications
Olivia Lynne Best, Psychology
Christine Bucher, Communication
Sepideh Cheheltani, Biology
Angela Christaldi, English
John Gainer, Communication
Emily K Geoghegan, Biology
John Guerra, Political Science
Erin Hughes, Psychology
Emily Grace Kane, Public Administration
Melinda Karth, Psychology
Michelle Karth, Psychology
Andreas Lezis, Applied Statistics
Justine Carre Miller, History
Amanda Moreton, Counseling
Angeline Nies-Berger, English
Madeleine Stout, History

graduate History student Justine Carré Miller receives her best student paper award

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With 39 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.