Honors Fellowships

Katelyn Durkin

Name: Katelyn Durkin
Title of Project: Reclaiming the Nursery: Children’s Spaces in Edith Wharton’s Fiction and the Problems of Modern Childhood
Advisor: Melanie Dawson
Honors Department: English

My thesis research will analyze Edith Wharton’s depiction of spaces creates for and inhabited by children and her insight into theories of child development in the early twentieth century. The interaction between children and their environment in Wharton’s fiction is ubiquitous but has received limited critical attention

The Honors Fellowship will allow me to travel to the Mount, Wharton’s home in Lennox, Massachusetts, which will aid in my understanding of Wharton’s personal use of spaces. I will also visit the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University for three days to gain access to their Edith Wharton Collection, which includes photographs, personal papers, and manuscripts that span Wharton’s lifetime. I believe by reading these personal documentaries, particularly those from her early life, I will better understand the author’s impressions of her own childhood which will help me interpret her child characters.

Hometown: Clark, NJ
Major: English
Future Plans: I hope to earn a PhD in English Literature and work as an English professor.
Hobbies: Equestrian Team, Winged Nation Literary Magazine, Museum University Student Exchange (MUSE).
Fun Fact: I can’t wink.

Follow Katelyn’s research on the W&M Honors Fellowships blog!