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2015 Honorable Mentions - Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research

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Olivia Dill
Tracing Changes: Botanical Artwork Modeled after Jacques Le Moyne
History of Art H195
Professor Todd Olson

This paper is an analysis of four sets of botanical artworks executed by or based on the work of the 16th century French artist Jacques Le Moyne De Morgues. It considers Le Moyne’s two albums of watercolors, from 1575 and 1585, and his self published set of hand colored woodcut prints as well as the 1614 engraved book, Hortus Floridus made by Crispijn de Passe I. This paper argues that the construction and consideration of plants both by artist and viewer in these works is fundamentally different than those in the genre of botanical subject matter from previous centuries. New concerns include, relational and affective ability, and temporal and spatial identity and are manifested through increased attention to materiality and physicality in plant portrayal. These new concerns and identities for plants introduce themes and questions relevant to the natural sciences. Thus the paper concludes with an analysis of the treatment of concepts that will become vitally important to botany; the system, organization, labeling and optimizing information content.

Christopher Korp
Shoemakers, Clowns, and Saints: The Narrative Afterlife of Thomas Deloney
English H195A/B
Professor Katherine Snyder

This thesis explores the historical placement and literary significance of the late-Elizabethan silk weaver turned pamphleteer and proto-novelist, Thomas Deloney. He is dismissed by some modern literary critics as an unsophisticated apologist for England’s burgeoning merchant middle class, and thus relegated to footnotes in texts exploring London’s vibrant 16th century literary scene. This thesis attempts to reverse those dismissals by proving Deloney’s massive popularity during his life, and by tracing Deloney’s influence in the dramatic works of Thomas Dekker, William Rowley, and William Shakespeare. This from-bottom-to-top study of early modern intertextuality hopes to uncover new truths concerning the foundations of Elizabethan and Jacobean literature and establish a wider array of texts for entry into the English literary canon.

Julie van den Hout
The Omnipotent Beaver in Van der Donck’s A Description of New Netherland:  A Natural Symbol of Promise in the New World
Dutch H196
Professor Jeroen Dewulf

While Adriaen van der Donck’s A Description of New Netherland presents the land and the people as fundamental components of New Netherland, his chapter about the beaver positions the beaver as the third essential element of the colony. Van der Donck’s effusive writing about the beaver raises the question of whether there is more to the purpose of this chapter than establishing the beaver as a source of financial security for colonists. This paper explores Van der Donck’s chapter on the beavers, beginning with background information on the Colony of New Netherland and Adriaen van der Donck, then discussing Van der Donck’s writing in a contextual analysis. Van der Donck’s portrayal of the beaver as a being that is able to do anything is interpreted as a metaphor for what New Netherland has to offer, and a natural symbol of promise in the New World. This suggests a deeper motivation behind Van der Donck’s chapter about the beavers, to bolster his appeal to potential immigrants far beyond a demonstration of the beaver’s traditionally accepted role as a commodity.