Student Spotlight: Andrea Davidson

To say that Andrea Davidson (1T6) distinguished herself as an undergraduate researcher at Vic would be an understatement. Davidson - who won the Professor D. O. Robson Graduate Memorial Scholarship to study abroad, the Prince of Wales medal, the Harry Morris Coyle Memorial Scholarship, and the Myrtle V. McCullough Prize for Renaissance Studies (twice) - was an undergraduate fellow at the Jackman Humanities Institute, where she worked under the supervision of Professor John Paul Ricco on a project entitled "A Gloss on Suffering and the Body of Christ: Philomela Matters in Aemilia Lanyer's Salve Deus Rex Judeorum (1611)." She is now continuing her study of early modern literature at the University of Oxford in the M.St. in English Literature from 1550-1700.

Tell us a little bit about your current interests - how did you come to the project?

I'm currently studying for a Master’s degree in English Literature from 1550 to 1700 at the University of Oxford. My dissertation conceptualizes early modern religious conversion as an experience of (dis)location in a revolving world. My interest in experiences of location and embodiment developed out of my two undergraduate research projects on medieval and early modern affective piety.

What do you find most exciting about your project?

I love the challenge of figuring out where my research will take me. Starting out with a long list of questions and a keen interest, I know that I have so much still to learn before completing this project. Also, it's incredible to engage with early modern books and manuscripts!

Was your undergraduate research experience helpful preparation for your current work?

An undergraduate research project is incomparable preparation for graduate research. Most of all, as an undergraduate researcher, I had so much support from mentors and peers. Even though graduate study has taken me overseas, I am fortunate to still be able to count on mentorship and friendship from my academic community in Toronto. 

Are there any teachers or mentors who were particularly helpful or inspiring?

I'm fortunate to have had many generous and supportive professors throughout my undergraduate studies. The best way to find a mentor is to introduce yourself to a favourite professor during office hours or after class. 

Do you have any words of advice for other students who may be interested in pursuing this sort of research?

Get involved in every way you can! Attend events in your field at the university and be confident in introducing yourself to the people you meet. You never know what opportunities your own confidence will open up.

Do you have any particular goals or plans for the future?

I have lots of questions and ideas to pursue as a scholar of early modern culture and literature. I guess I'll see where my curiosity takes me!