Faculty-Led Research Projects, 2017-2018

The below is a list of faculty-led research projects as part of the Northrop Frye Centre Undergraduate Research Award. This list will be updated as information is received.

Please click here to be directed to further information regarding the NFC Undergraduate Research Award.




"Epicurean" Vergil 
Project Supervisor: Professor Alison Keith
Number of students: 1 or more

In this research project, the NFC Undergraduate Fellow(s) will join a team of graduate Research Assistants to contribute to the preparation of a monograph on the philosophical, especially Epicurean, formation of P. Vergilius Maro (Vergil) and the impact of ancient philosophy on his poetry, especially on his masterpiece, the Aeneid. We are in the fortunate position of possessing a good deal of contemporary anecdotal evidence about Vergil's life as well as four ancient biographies, all of which attest to his education in Epicurean philosophy and his adult living circumstances in an Epicurean community. Yet despite the incontrovertible evidence of his long-standing participation in Epicurean philosophical communities on the Bay of Naples during his lifetime, and his reception in late antiquity and the middle ages as a philosopher, classical scholarship has been slow to investigate specifically Epicurean philosophical currents in his epic poem. This project aims to fill this gap in the scholarship by compiling evidence for the inclusion of philosophical questions and debates in the Aeneid, from its opening question ("Can anger such as this disturb the gods?" To which a committed Epicurean might reply - absolutely not!) to the closing scene of the epic in which Aeneas succumbs to anger (a problem for many ancient philosophical schools) and kills his Italian rival, Turnus. 

The NFC Undergraduate Fellow will be trained in: Hellenistic ethics; metrical and stylistic analysis of Latin epic; and recognizing verbal allusions in the Latin literary and classical philosophical traditions.

Required Skills: Students must have completed Intermediate Latin II (LAT202H2S)

Soviet Dissidence: Samizdat and Digital Humanities

Project Supervisor: Professor Ann Komaromi
Number of Students: 1 or more

The research project “Imagining the Underground: Looking at Soviet Dissidence Today” encompasses a number of components, including a database of underground journals, timelines of dissident movements, and interviews with activists. Undergraduate Research Fellows are sought to assist with visualizing the data collected. This might entail developing graphs, maps, charts or time sliders to convey where and when journals were produced, what authors worked for what journals, what different groups (Rights activists, Unregistered Baptists, Russian nationalists, Ukrainians, and others) were represented, and where primary source materials may be found today. Fellows will learn about dissidence and opposition, and have the opportunity to target their efforts to topics of interest, with the possibility to gain familiarity with one or more tools for data visualization and on-line presentations of research.

Desired skills (not required): Languages (Slavic languages), familiarity with databases and/or on-line platforms. 

Academics