Knight Accepted into National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar

Coker College English Professor Rhonda Knight has been accepted into the Summer Seminar for the Irish Sea Cultural Province: Crossroads of Medieval Literature and Languages.

Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the seminar serves to bring college and university teachers from diverse disciplines together to explore medieval language, literature and culture using texts and artifacts. Over
a period of four weeks, participants will have the opportunity to explore Britain’s cultural and linguistic diversity by investigating the conflict and resolution that characterized the relation among Briton, Saxon, Gaelic, Norse and Latinate cultures. Locations include Belfast, Northern Ireland; Douglas, Isle of Man and Glasgow, Scotland.

“Of the three sites, I am most excited to visit the Isle of Man,” said Knight. “It is a tiny island about 32 miles long and 14 miles wide. Because of the island’s isolation, it developed its own language and culture. The native language, called Manx, is almost near extinction because of the use of English. Over the last couple of decades, the Manx government has been trying to revive Manx through several programs directed at children and adults. I use this example in my Development of Modern English course to discuss how imperial languages like English threaten native languages and how colonies and former colonies can work to regain their native language.”

Knight expects to further develop her class on the Development of Modern English through her participation in the seminar, and she also plans to develop a study abroad course that focuses on Celtic literature in translation with travels to Wales and the Island of Man.

Knight, a Coker faculty member since 2002, earned her bachelor of arts in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), her master of arts degrees in English from the University of Alabama and her doctorate in philosophy
of English at Binghamton University. Her research currently includes medieval and early modern literature of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Author: Jana Pye

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