Award Winner Megan West Adds to a Long History of Literary Criticism

A photo of Megan west between library book shelves.
Megan West

Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research in June 2019 also garnered 2nd place in the Lang Prize.  The Norma J. Lang Prize for Undergraduate Information Research recognizes undergraduate students whose research projects make extensive use of library resources, services and expertise and advance the students' understanding of the academic research process.  West’s honors thesis, Bertha Mason and the Politics of Feeling, examines envy, sympathy and race in relation to the madwoman in Jane Eyre, Bertha Mason. West took a historical analytic approach, tracing how literary criticism of the novel changed over time and ultimately uncovering a gap in the scholarly research: how the author denies sympathy to Bertha, the novel’s woman from the British colonies. West used library databases to find peer-reviewed articles as well as primary sources, such as “The Anti-Slavery Reporter,” a newspaper circulating in Brontë’s time.

 West share's her research journey and more about her thesis here.