On April 14, Butler University will host the Undergraduate Research Conference (URC), an event where undergraduate students can showcase their exceptional research to the community. About 300 undergraduate students from 13 institutions come to Butler’s campus to showcase their work, and our students share their research efforts with others in their industries. Senior College of Liberal Arts and Sciences student Maddi Eary shares how participating in the URC allows her to share research that is not commonly explored and open dialogue with others in academia.

Maddi Eary
Major: English with a concentration in Literary Theory, Culture, and Criticism
Minor: Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

What is your research about? 
I will be giving two presentations. This first is about gender codes in early 20th century literature. This presentation unpacks social expectations for men and women as they are presented in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, and Kate Chopin’s The Awakening

My second presentation is about my undergraduate Honors thesis. For my thesis, I explain the stigmatization of menstruation in society and propose two theories in response to the social taboo. One is called embodied subjectivity and pulls on Black Feminist scholarship; the other is called menstrual liberation and aims to change the way the body is viewed in society.  

Why did you want to participate in the Undergraduate Research Conference (URC)? 
I felt that the URC was a good opportunity to present my research in front of large groups while still being in a comfortable environment. Both of my topics address areas of scholarship that are not commonly explored, and I would love to open up a dialogue about them in academia.  

How are Butler faculty involved in your research project? 
Butler faculty have been supporting me through every step of the process. They have helped me to fine tune my ideas and think my way out of research snags, and they have encouraged me to present my work.  

How is participation in undergraduate research preparing you for your future career?  
I hope to be a professor at a university in the future, and this conference will likely be the first of many in my academic career.  

Why should Butler students get involved in undergraduate research? 
Undergraduate research is a wonderful way to follow your interests and learn about the world around you. It also gives you the opportunity to explore new ideas.