The amount of brilliant minds that take part in UMF’s English Department never fails to amaze me. Especially recently while witnessing my peers present their creations of research and deep analytical thinking skills. More recently, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a class of Misty Krueger’s called TransAtlantic Women which focuses on the literature of women who traveled across the Atlantic to the New World – including our own region of New England and others such as Suriname and Central America.
In their presentations, they carefully researched and mapped out the travels of these incredible women in relation to their texts and the characters within. It was super interesting that with the help of technology and GPS that we can visually understand the trials in which these women underwent.
In Sam Oppenheim’s presentation, as seen pictured above, he mapped out Anne Bradstreet’s travels from England, where she was born, to Massachusetts. He explained how her poetry reflected the position she had in this transition in 1630. She holds the title of being the first published female poet in the New World.
Other presentations included Aphra Behn’s (potential) journey to Suriname, though not much is known about her journey and Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative about her ransom by the Native Americans in 1682. Their journeys were mapped out to the best of their ability.
Brigid Chapin and Grace Hatch tackled on the project of mapping out women pirates known as Mary Read and Anne Bonney. Both of these women were born in Europe and traveled across the Atlantic looking for a place to make their own. Brigid explained that in Europe, because Read and Bonney had lower class roles, they would have never had the type of life they led in the Caribbean. They pirated together and separately, and Brigid and Grace had mapped out as much as they could about their life journeys.
Katie Drew and Jasmine Heckler focused on Penelope Aubin’s story taken from her own memoir known as The Life of Charlotta Du Pont, and they mapped out the unfortunate journeys of the couple Charlotta and Belanger – proving not to be an easy task as it seemed.
Overall, the maps of these brave women’s journeys were visually entertaining and amazing to imagine. The element of travel was important to the works in which made them famous. Great presentations guys!