April 25, 2007
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
Rock graduate wins statewide award for English thesis
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Jason Stuart, a 2006 Slippery Rock University master of arts in English graduate, has received the Outstanding Thesis Award from the Pennsylvania Association of Graduate Schools. Stuart's thesis examined similarities between Internet "culture wars" and the public's reaction to the changing literary scene in 18th-century Britain.
"Jason's thesis was so good I thought it would have a chance," said Joseph McCarren, coordinator of SRU's graduate program in English. "All of us were impressed when we read it. Winning the top award is quite an accomplishment. Hundreds of theses from a variety of fields were reviewed."
Stuart, currently a doctoral student at Case Western Reserve University, said his SRU thesis committee, which included English faculty Danette DiMarco, Cindy LaCom and Nancy Barta-Smith, was outstanding.
"Each provided excellent input on the project, and these three women were instrumental in shaping my development as a student and a professional," said Stuart of Meadville.
"The Literary Hack: Poetic Satire, Print Media and the Modern Author" argues that an entrenched conservatism produced outcries against avant-garde writings more than 200 years ago, similar to modern concerns about Internet decency, copyright and censorship. Stuart opposes censorship and describes blogs and Web sites as "new poetry."
DiMarco, an expert in British literature, nominated the thesis.
"This very issue of publishing [rights] is at the heart of our country's democratic ideals and crosses way beyond the boundaries of English and media studies," she wrote in a nominating letter. "We all experience institutional pressure, and we all should strive to constantly highlight the voice of the struggling."
The Pennsylvania Association of Graduate Schools accepted theses from students at 50 Pennsylvania schools. Stuart received $500 and a plaque for the top award. The non-profit organization promotes graduate education throughout the state.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.