2008-2009 Honors Student
Name: Angela Geosits
Honors in: English
Hometown: Hellertown, PA
Major(s): English, Art History
Title of project: Governance, Marriage and Pastoral Care: Estates Satire in the Canterbury Tales, the Confessio Amantis, and Piers Plowman
Abstract or brief description: Using estates satire in the form of positive and negative models as well as descriptive analysis, the Canterbury Tales, the Confessio Amantis, and Piers Plowman all develop guidelines for behavior for the three estates. Each of the estates can be characterized by a central duty or interaction: the nobility by governance, the clergy by pastoral care and the peasantry by marriage. This estates satire acts as a means of social criticism within the narratives of the poems, identifying problems within society and providing ideals for virtuous and socially responsible behavior.
How did you get interested in your topic? Last Spring I studied abroad at CMRS, Oxford and took a course in medieval literature.
Do you intend to research your topic further, if so, how? Broadly speaking, yes. I continue to have a strong interest in medieval literature, but I do not know if I will be working with estates satire specifically in the future.
How did you benefit academically by conducting research/participating in honors? In addition to the knowledge of my topic gained over the course of the project, I have also developed better time management, research and writing skills. It has also given me a strong sense of confidence in my abilities as a writer, a researcher and a literary critic.
How has the department (or faculty advisor) in which you studied prepared you for the future? I have always found the English Department to be highly supportive, and Dr. Black, my faculty advisor has been a good sounding board for discussing future plans.
What advice do you have for other students interested in honors? Create a workable schedule early in the process and stick with it. If you plan well in the beginning you won't have to panic in the end.