Kait Hobson chosen as a Fulbright scholar for 2016-17

Kait Hobson

March 28, 2016

Congratulations to Kait Hobson, who in addition to being selected as Syracuse University Scholar has been chosen as a Fulbright Scholar for 2016-2017. She will be leaving in October to teach in Thailand for 12 months. Before she leaves though, she'll be presenting some of her research at the upcoming 2016 ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference on April 8-10. Each year, 5-10 outstanding undergraduate researchers from each ACC university gather at a host university to present their research, either verbally or as a poster. Kait is presenting research from her capstone project about World War I and how certain works of literature, specifically memoir, subvert the ideological fantasy of the war myth through corporeality and trauma. Congratulations, Kait!

The abstract for Kait's paper appears below:

Among the many devastations of the Great War was an obliteration of soldiers’ bodies from artillery warfare and enormous casualties, resulting in an interruption of Victorian mourning rituals that depended on and were performed around the body—the rituals that enabled the bereaved to mourn and overcome grief. The war’s devastation prevented soldiers’ bodies from being returned home to be interred and interrupted Victorian conventions of mourning; a situation that, I argue, provoked a response from the British government to institute the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey, leading to the elevated status of fallen soldiers that fueled a war myth—a myth that encouraged men to consign and made their subsequent deaths seemingly “heroic” and “meaningful.” This self-guided and original research draws upon the novels Jacob’s Room and Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and an unpublished hand-written manuscript by a Gunner in the Royal Artillery Regiment, named Hiram Sturdy, who fought in World War I. I discovered Sturdy’s manuscript at the Imperial War Museum in London through a funded research trip. Hiram Sturdy was one of the men who enlisted and I argue through his memoir and Virginia Woolf’s fiction that lost bodies in Jacob’s Room and violence in Sturdy’s manuscript reject the mythologization of dead soldiers and that both objects reestablish a private aspect to mourning to reprivatize the death of the soldier.