Student Shares “Search” Course Paper With Students Across Nation

Rhodes student Ailsa Bryce ‘15 recently presented her scholarly work at the Association for Core Texts and Courses (ACTC) Student Conference, held at Shimer College in Chicago.

Bryce’s paper, “Contradictions and Assimilation: Why is Utopia an Island?,” was originally written for her second-year “Search” course, in the literature track taught by Associate Professor of English Scott Newstok. Bryce’s argument draws upon sources from the first-year Search sequence, including Biblical and classical texts, as well as looks ahead to imagined islands in the European Enlightenment and postcolonial fiction.

As Search Director Geoffrey Bakewell observes, “Only 40 students from the U.S. and Canada were selected, so it is quite a testimony to the quality of Ailsa’s work that she was invited to present her paper at this international conference."

Created by the faculty in 1945, The Search for Values in the Light of Western History and Religion at Rhodes draws professors from 10 departments, and over 50 percent of Rhodes’ students participate. It is one of two ways to fulfill the basic humanities requirement at Rhodes.