courtesy Lauren Q. Nguyen CC’19
Lauren Q. Nguyen CC’19, a classics major, has been awarded the prestigious Pearson Fellowship from the Society of Classical Studies (SCS), which will sponsor a year of post-graduate study at Oxford.
The Lionel Pearson Fellowship, offered by SCS, aims to contribute to the training of American and Canadian classicists by providing for a period of study at an English or Scottish university.
Nguyen, an active member of the Barnard-Columbia Ancient Drama Group (BCADG), has served as stage manager and costume assistant for Sophocles’ Trachiniae (2016), and was notably producer for Seneca’s Trojan Women (2017) and Aristophanes’ Frogs (2018), while also acting in both.
“My experience in the BCADG has shaped my approach to ancient drama; rather [than] viewing ancient drama as static literature to be read, I believe that performance is a critical element of these texts,” said Nguyen, who is also the graphic design and advertisement chair of the Columbia Vietnamese Students Association.
“The program at Oxford draws together classicists from across the globe. I plan to study ancient drama and epic, with a focus on the construction of gender and race within literary texts and it will be an incredible opportunity to work with my peers in the department alongside the eminent faculty there.”
“Lauren is one of the academic stars of the class of 2019,” said Ariella Lang, associate dean of Academic Affairs and director of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. “We are thrilled that her academic achievements—and her desire to expand the field of classical studies to include engagement in areas such as race, gender and sexuality—is being recognized and rewarded with the Pearson Fellowship.”
This will not be her first experience living in Europe: Nguyen has previously spent five weeks in Rome, participating in the renowned Living Late in Rome program with the Paideia Institute. Upon the completion of her fellowship, Nguyen plans to return to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in classics.
“It is my goal to teach at the post-secondary level in classics,” said Nguyen. “In recent years, there has been a movement within classical scholarship to push for the inclusion of more diverse approaches and perspectives, and I want to be able to reflect the field’s progress in my research and in my classroom.”
Nguyen will be the second Pearson fellow from Columbia College in 15 years. She credits her peers and faculty in the College for honing her profound love for the classics: “Over the course of my undergraduate career, classics has been my joy, and I hope that I can one day teach in such a way that all of my students feel the same way.”
Candidates for the Lionel Pearson Fellowship must first be nominated by a faculty member (preferably a teacher of classics) at their undergraduate institution; the recipient is selected on basis of proficiency in classics and potential to grow during the year abroad. SCS was founded in 1869 as the American Philological Association and the first Lionel Pearson Fellowship, worth $24,000, was awarded in 1990.