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Latest Rothermere Fellow off to Oxford


Nancy Martin

By Janet Harron


Nancy Martin was still reeling at the news that she had been accepted to pursue her doctoral studies at Oxford University when another honour was bestowed on her in late June.

While on holiday with her family in Florida, Ms. Martin discovered that she had been named the recipient of this year’s Rothermere Fellowship, one of the most prestigious and lucrative scholarships offered by Memorial.

“I was on the cruise ship in a tiny cubbyhole beside an elderly man who was also checking his e-mail. When I read the message I couldn’t help myself – I turned to this complete stranger and announced the news. ‘That’s lovely, my dear,’ he said,” she explained with a laugh.

Established by Memorial University's first chancellor, Lord Rothermere, this generous trust will fund the full cost of Ms. Martin’s studies in the United Kingdom, and provides a yearly stipend and airfare to and from Newfoundland and Labrador. This annual award is currently valued at about £15,000 per year, plus tuition fees.

The Rothermere Fellowship is given to an exceptional scholar who has completed a first degree at Memorial. Ms. Martin studied English at Memorial before going on to Carleton to do a master’s degree. She is currently finishing her second masters, in women’s studies, here at Memorial.

A major part of the Rothermere Fellowship is to reward students who are committed to Newfoundland and Labrador and applicants must provide a written letter on that theme and how this commitment is reflected in their research.

Ms. Martin plans to extend her research on “the fallen woman” in 19th century literature to women’s writing on sexual transgression in Britain and Newfoundland and Labrador during the First World War.

“I am interested in drawing out the relationships between women, sexuality, morality, and nation as they emerged in texts emanating from both Britain – the motherland – and Newfoundland, the island colony determine to prove its worth on the international stage,” explained Ms. Martin.

Dr. Annette Staveley sparked Ms. Martin’s original interest in studying in England during the Landscape and Literature program that she and her husband Dr. Michael Staveley ran in Harlow in 2005.

“Both of us recognised Nancy's potential and her passion to study in England, so we talked about the scholarships available from Memorial and it was Michael who told her about the Rothermere Scholarship.

“In being named to this prestigious and unique award, Nancy has brought great credit to the English and women’s studies departments, the Faculty of Arts and Memorial University.”
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