English professor receives Maurice L. Mednick Memorial Fellowship

SALEM, Va. - Dr. Wendy Larson-Harris, associate professor of English, has been awarded the Maurice L. Mednick Memorial Fellowship by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges for her research project, Gender, Devotion, and Patronage in the Cult of St. Margaret of Antioch.

Larson-Harris is currently writing a book documenting the development of activity associated with Saint Margaret of Antioch, a late third-century martyr who became popular in the Middle Ages in both the Latin West and Byzantine East.

The fellowship will support Larson-Harris's on-site research in Italy in November. She plans to study a reliquary of the hand of St. Margaret in Venice's Museo Correr, archives and the shrine of St. Margaret in Montefiascone and an altarpiece and manuscripts at the Vatican in Rome.

"I was very pleased to receive this award," Larson-Harris says, "because it makes possible an important step in my research. St. Margaret was popular from Iceland to Egypt, which suggests what an enormous undertaking this project is, and how expensive it can be as well."

Larson-Harris's cross-cultural research opens new perspectives. "My work offers a picture of the medieval world which is vital and exciting," she says, "it was not a static, fossilized era, but one in which people, objects, and ideas travelled widely and interacted in fascinating ways. This is something I want students to perceive in my classes, and I hope that my book on the cult of Saint Margaret will also convey this sense of dynamic interactions to scholars who draw upon it for their own research."

The Maurice L. Mednick Memorial was created in 1967 in honor of a young Norfolk industrialist. Administration of the Mednick Memorial Fund is vested in the VFIC to encourage the professional development of college teachers and improve their academic competence through fellowships for research and advanced study.

Roanoke College, an independent, co-educational, four-year liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a classic, undergraduate setting. Roanoke prepares students for their futures through its commitment to providing a true classic college experience. Roanoke is one of just 280 colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review names Roanoke as one of the "best in the Southeast."

For additional information, call the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.

Released: June 28, 2010
Contact Name: Public Relations
Contact Phone: (540) 375-2282
Contact Email: gereaux@roanoke.edu