Graduate Studies

English Graduate's Thesis Nominated for Prestigious Competition

April D. Best, M.A., English, will compete with graduate students across the region in the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools’ 2014 Distinguished Master’s Thesis Awards (MAGS). April's thesis is entitled: Geographical, Linguistic, Social, and Experiential Demarcation: the River in Edwidge Danticat’s The Farming of Bones.

April Best

April's thesis was chosen from six recent graduate theses select by the Biology, Cell and Molecular Biology, and English graduate programs for consideration to the MAGS thesis review committee. The eligible disciplines for this year's award were Biological Sciences and the Humanities.

The review committee was chaired by Dr. Jeffrey Potteiger, Dean of Graduate Studies. Members included Dr. Joseph Ianelli (Engineering), Dr. Jamie Owen-De Schryver (Psychology), Dr. David Alvarez (English), and Dr. John Stevenson, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

The review committee unanimously selected April’s thesis as the nominee to represent GVSU in the MAGS Distinguished Thesis competition. Her work was praised as insightful, well-written and organized, fresh, topical, and compelling. Her work makes a substantial contribution to the understanding of post-colonial literature, dealing with contemporary issues with a broad appeal.

"April’s thesis is an example of methodical scholarship that meticulously constructs its argument. There is a lack of academic obfuscation in which much scholarship engages. Her goal in writing this thesis was to untangle the discussion around Caribbean identity and the role of diaspora and memory. The result of her effort is this very cleanly written, thoughtful engagement with a text and with current theoretical frameworks. Her approach is concise without compromising on depth. Her analysis demonstrates a deft handling of multiple theoretical approaches and her insights into previous scholarship have enabled her to expand and deepen the discussion around Danticat’s work and Haitian literatures in particular, without resorting to redundancy or dismissal of earlier scholarship."

~ Dr. Corinna McLeod, Chair of the Department of English, Thesis Chair


Page last modified March 17, 2014