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Engle to Present Senior Thesis on Chaucer's Work

April 22, 2013

Engle, an English major with a minor in religion, is the daughter of Gregg and Krystal Engle. On campus, she has served as Welcome Week Steering Committee co-chair for 2012-13; Senior Class president; Student Success Center Civ coordinator; a member of Sigma Tau Delta, an English honors society; and she was selected as a member of 2012 Harvest Court.

Her paper, titled "Rereading the 'pleyn text' in Chaucer's 'Legend of Good Women,'" analyzes the ways Chaucer synthesizes the classical and Christian worlds in "The Legend of Good Women." Chaucer draws from the religious context of the Middle Ages and the literary legacy passed down from the Greco-Roman tradition in the way he structures his poem, Engle said.

"One specific good woman, Alceste, works as the crux of his literary synthesis, and her character gives insight into Chaucer's poetics," she said. "Alceste is a major focus of the thesis, because she mediates between Chaucer and his reading audience. Ultimately, the 'Legend' not only sheds light on how Chaucer viewed the blending of the pagan past with the sacred present, but it also shows some of his deeper anxieties about poetry's ability to convey divine truth."

Engle said she was inspired to write her thesis during the spring semester of 2012 when she read Chaucer's "The Legend of Good Women" in a Chaucer course taught by Dr. Youman, professor of English.

"I noticed the strange way Chaucer blended the classical and Christian worlds in this poem," Engle said. "He talks about the 'god of Love,' (Cupid) and the 'God above' existing in the same sphere, which caught my attention."

Following graduation, Engle plans to marry Micah Moore, who serves as youth pastor at Victory Life Church in Durant. The couple will help direct a youth intern program for a summer camp. Engle later plans to attend law school to earn a juris doctorate.

Presentations by students in OBU's Honors Program last approximately one hour. Individually, the projects reflect extensive and intense study and attention, said Youmans, who directs the program. Collectively, the projects represent an important commitment of the OBU community to careful study and good writing, she said.

The Honors Program builds on the foundation of OBU's basic liberal arts curriculum. Courses taken in common by Honors Program students are spread out across the years at OBU. In addition to these courses, all Honors Program graduates complete at least two of three "capstone" activities including study abroad, a service practicum and a senior thesis.

For more information visit the OBU Honors Program Web page.