Villanova Interdisciplinary Journal CONCEPT Showcases Graduate Student Scholarship

Concept, the interdisciplinary journal of graduate students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
The winner of this year's Graduate Research Prize is Sarah Stryker of the Theatre program for her paper, "All the Wonders: Phenomenology and Making Julius Caesar Affective Again."
Watch the 2022 CONCEPT recognition event.

VILLANOVA, Pa. – CONCEPT, the scholarly journal of graduate students in the Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, launched its 2022 edition at a virtual event earlier this spring. The CONCEPT Graduate Research Prize was awarded to Sarah Stryker, a master's student in Theatre, for her paper, "All the Wonders: Phenomenology and Making Julius Caesar Affective Again."

CLAS Graduate Studies Dean Emory Woodard, PhD, hosted the virtual CONCEPT Recognition Ceremony, which featured a discussion with Faculty Managing Editor John Kurtz, PhD, and other faculty editors, as well as student authors, editors and peer reviewers about all areas of the CONCEPT process.

Watch the CONCEPT recognition event.

"I want to thank John Kurtz for his years of dedicated service to CONCEPT. He has been amazing in managing this wonderful opportunity," said Dean Woodard. "Thank you to all of the faculty and student editors and peer reviewers. It was fascinating to hear the stories behind the articles and your experience on the editorial team. Thank you, authors, for taking that step and contributing something that has enlightened us all."

The impetus for Graduate Research Prizewinner Stryker's paper was her observation of when and how Julius Caesar was produced and the experiences of contemporary audiences.

"It often gets produced in a way that feels very heavy and stodgy ... but not very fun or interesting," Stryker said. "So I wanted to tackle what the experience would have been like for Elizabethans as they were watching that play, and it just gave me an opportunity to do a lot of research about Elizabethan theatre, which I think is fascinating."

Stryker theorizes that Shakespeare wrote for theatrical conditions that modern theatre companies have abandoned and contemporary audiences do not know to expect. "If we reawaken and begin to use some of those lost practices that made Elizabethan theatre so exciting, we can find the key to making seemingly dry and archaic texts that we all know ... fun again," she said.

Said Kurtz of Stryker's work, "Everyone loved Sarah's paper. It captures what we try to describe what we are looking for in CONCEPT. She is an expert, but helped everyone else who doesn't have that expertise. It was easy to read, which is the best compliment you can give an academic paper."

This year, CONCEPT includes papers from graduate students in Classical Studies, English, History, Human Resource Development, Liberal Studies, Philosophy, Psychology and Theatre. The journal seeks to honor and highlight not only exemplary papers within their respective disciplines but also scholarship with wide interdisciplinary appeal. It is published in partnership with the Office of Graduate Studies and Falvey Memorial Library.


Papers appearing in the print and online editions:

Graduate Research Prize Essay
Sarah Stryker, Theatre
"All the Wonders: Phenomenology and Making Julius Caesar Affective Again."

Samantha Covais, English
“Intersection of Christianity and Slavery in Brown’s Clotel

Jess Derr, English
“Women Don’t Buy Suitcases: Liminality and Gender in Mad Men” 

William McCarthy, Psychology
“Something to Crow About: Birds with Tools” 

Suzanne Staherski, Political Science
“White Backlash to the Land Back Movement” 

Alec Tare, Human Resources Development
“Management Training for Reducing Turnover”

Papers appearing in the online edition:

Deidra Cali, English
“Trauma and Terror in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry”

Nina Ziegler, Classical Studies
“Mimesis and Martial's Eunuch in Epigrams VI.67” 

Emily Poteat, History
“Operation Barbarossa and Hitler’s War on the Eastern Front” 

Brendan Rome, Philosophy
“Mechanism and Hobbes Political Physiology” 

Franki Rudnesky, English
“Temperature Metaphor in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Mrs. Dalloway” 

Ethan Shea, English
“The Unracing of Whiteness in Heart of Darkness

Read all of the CONCEPT papers.

CONCEPT Editorial Board

Faculty Managing Editor
John Kurtz, Psychology

Student Editorial Assistant
Allison Warner, Psychology

Faculty Editors
Paul Bernhardt, Applied Statistics
Sarah Faggioli, Liberal Studies
Rebecca Makas, Augustine and Culture Program
Bess Rowen, Theatre
Erica Slotter, Psychology

Graduate Student Editors
James Alfano, History
Em Friedman, English
Chelsea Kryder, Psychology
Hannah Pfeifer, History
Allison Warner, Psychology

Peer Reviewers
Yakendra Bajgain, Biology
Brooke Berry, Psychology
Gabrielle Coker, Mathematics and Statistics
Nicholas Coscarelli, Liberal Studies
Rose Dietrich, Psychology
Lucretia Dunlap, Psychology
Erika Feeney, Psychology
Ashmita Ghosh, Psychology
Alexa Gonzalez, Psychology
Ryan Henderson, Psychology
Tyler Hubeny, Psychology
Erica James, Liberal Studies
Sarah Krull, Psychology
Alec Martin, Psychology
Sherry Meyer, Communication
Morgan Morris, Communication
Alison Pascale, Theatre
Caitlin Salomon, English
Harini Sankar, Psychology
Claryn Spies, Philosophy
Alexander Telma, Biology
Yi-Yun Minnie Tsai, Counseling

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.

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