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Internship with The Spenser Project
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Danielle Austin

Major: English
Hometown: Bellefonte, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this internship in the fall of 2011 through an email from Paul Zajac, an English graduate student who assists Dr. Cheney with the Spenser Project.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

“Through my experiences with the Spenser Project, I not only had the wonderful opportunity of being introduced to a beautiful piece of writing, but also acquired useful skills in editing, research, and even translation—skills that can be applied to any position in life.”

My internship is centered on 16th century poet, Edmund Spenser and his work, The Shepheardes Calendar. The goal of this project is to make both the poet and this particular piece of work more accessible to students in the literary world by releasing a book. During the early part of my internship, my duties involved research and translation to make sure that both the form and definitions of otherwise archaic vocabulary were accurate.  I also had to make sure that certain passages in the various documents sent to me were correctly cited and not plagiarized.  Currently, my duties include taking part in the early stages of developing a bibliography by combing through the commentaries and looking for cited sources.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this internship has been extremely beneficial. Through my experiences with the Spenser Project, I not only had the wonderful opportunity of being introduced to a beautiful piece of writing, but also acquired useful skills in editing, research, and even translation—skills that can be applied to any position in life. I even learned how to use various tools of research such as the OED (Oxford English Dictionary). Overall, this was a wonderful opportunity that really helped develop my reading and writing skills.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Sometime in the future, I’d like to go to graduate school and earn my PhD in medieval literature and possibly, teach it myself one day at the university level. I hope to focus in Anglo-Saxon/Old English, Norse, or Celtic literatures—possibly even all of them if I can! Even though Edmund Spenser is in no way a medieval writer, the skills acquired from this internship are universal to any English-based career—I can easily apply them to any future projects I may have in the future. I can confidently say that I feel a lot more prepared for the future, be it graduate school or my career, after taking part in this project.

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