The English Undergraduate Symposium

Each spring marks the Symposium for St. Rose’s English Undergraduate students. The 2011 Symposium will take place Thursday, April 14, 2011, from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm in Standish Rooms A and B on the second floor of the Events and Activities Center. This event is a chance for students to share their work areas of literary analysis, film, theory, creative writing, and performance.

A scene from Hamlet 2 courtesy of

Emily Gagola is no stranger to the English Undergraduate Symposium; during her sophomore year, Gagola presented a group project and last year, she read one of her poems. This year, symposium veteran Gagola (who also earned top honors as an English major) will be presenting on her senior seminar paper, “Hamlet and Other Shakespeare References: Their Purpose and Effect as They Appear in Non-Shakespearean Comedy Films.” Gagola explained her paper as “an analysis of the purpose and evolution of the status of Shakespeare in pop culture” by methods of exploring “four films and the role of Shakespeare (especially Hamlet) within the films.” Gagola used the films To Be or Not to Be (1942 and 1983 versions), Renaissance Man (1994), and Hamlet 2 (2008) as primary sources in her paper. Gagola argues in her paper that “these four films are comedies and show the changing attitudes of the public towards Shakespeare and his works while also using Shakespeare as a therapeutic/uniting device.”

When asked if she is feeling any pressure this year, this accomplished student voiced confidence over anxiety saying, “I think that my past participation has just prepared me for the feel and organization of the symposium and makes me more comfortable to present this year.” The only challenge with this year’s presentation, Gagola mentioned, will be “summarizing the paper in a clear and concise way” to make it accessible and entertaining for the symposium audience. Gagola had only good things to say about her participation in the symposium commenting, “It is a great experience and an easy way to share your work with others in the same field.”

The English Undergraduate Symposium is free and open to everyone for any part or all of the day, so stop by and hear what English students have been working hard on this year.

See for information on this and last year’s symposiums.


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