A New Perspective on a Legend

Published: May 30, 2003

Hands-on From the Start


Ilse Schweitzer
Ilse Schweitzer spent a year in Scotland studying Medieval Scottish literature. She will present her research at UMBC’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day.

A New Perspective on a Legend

Ilse Schweitzer, a Humanities Scholar with a double major in English and history, spent a year in Scotland studying the Scot Gaelic language and Medieval Scottish literature at the University of Aberdeen. “I was fascinated with what I was learning,” says Schweitzer, who is also a student in UMBC’s Honors College. “My study abroad experience sparked my interest for going to graduate school and was the starting point for my research in Scottish literature.”

Schweitzer will present her research project, “King Arthur the Tyrant and the Scottish Call for Freedom,” as part of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day at UMBC on Wednesday, April 30. Her research looks into the 15th-century portrayal of King Arthur as a largely negative influence, and how this interpretation reflects the historical and political period of the time.

“Dr. Gail Orgelfinger in the English department helped me to develop the idea and suggested other writings, including works from England and France. I bounced my ideas off of her and she helped to direct my research,” says Schweitzer. “There has been so little research done in this area, but many of the writings of the period show strong links to historical legends including King Edward I and King James III. It is amazing to see the connections.”

Schweitzer was one of two UMBC students selected to participate in the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Utah and is an alternate for the Marshall Scholars program. Outside of the classroom, she has been the president and vice president of the UMBC crew club and an active member of the university’s Maryland Camerata.

She plans to continue her studies and earn a master’s degree in literature from the University of York in England before returning to UMBC for a Ph.D. in order to become a professor of English and Medieval literature.

Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD) is an opportunity to recognize outstanding student work through oral presentations, poster sessions and artistic exhibits and performances. This year’s seventh annual event is open to the UMBC community, prospective students, alumni, family, friends and campus supporters. Programs and exhibits will take place in the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery, the University Center Ballroom and the Fine Arts Building.




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