Contrary to what her place on an internship panel at Furman Engaged! would lead you to believe, Maddie De Pree ’20 most definitely did not participate in an internship last summer at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.
“It has to do with the visa. In fact, they almost sent me right back to the U.S. for calling it an internship when I was in customs,” De Pree said. “So let’s call it a volunteership.”
De Pree will be talking about the research she did during said volunteership at the 11th annual Furman Engaged!, a daylong celebration of high-impact learning experiences from departments all over campus set for April 9.
“I was executing close readings of ‘Othello,’ examining the text at the granular level and pulling out certain objects that are mentioned in the texts,” she said. “I was essentially doing a catalogue of different objects that are mentioned and connecting those with objects that the birthplace trust has in their archives. It’s a pretty new way to look at text because it helps us illustrate with actual historical objects what Shakespeare might have been picturing.”
Financially, the trip was possible because of a Furman Summer Research Fellowship. Having the opportunity to begin with was possible largely because of Professor of English Willard Pate, who was a personal friend of Paul Edmondson, the head of research at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
“Because of our long friendship, Dr. Edmondson and I were able to share a depth of communication about Maddie’s work that might not have been possible had I not known both of them so well,” Pate said. “For the record, he raved about her and invited us to send another English major to him in the summer of 2019. That student will be Olivia Corso.”