Britny Doane's 2016 UNO FUSE project Methods and Madness: Poetry that explores the religious phenomena of Theia Mania was selected by the national Undergraduate Council on Research (CUR) to be presented at Posters on the Hill 2017 in Washington, D.C., April 25-26.
The CUR website describes the event as "a competitive event, giving students the opportunity to showcase their research to congressional members, meet with their representatives, and learn about advocacy for undergraduate research."
Doane's project is one of sixty selected from among over 300 submissions. She offers, "I am greatly looking forward to the audience reaction for this presentation, as I'm not quite certain how they will react to poetry."
"I received the FUSE grant to conduct research on the nature of Divine Madness in order to facilitate a collection of poetry that explores this religious phenomena and the connection between art and religion, artists and mystics," explains Doane, a double major in Religious Studies and Creative Writing.
The idea for the collection first grew from Doane's studies in religion and history. She writes, "In Dr. Michele Desmarais' Spirituality and Wellness class, we discussed contemplative practices, and how these practices were not only seen as a way of healing, but also as a way to communicate with a divine source. We looked at mystics like Hildegard von Bingen, who was a poet and artist herself, who produced her work in states of mania, and thought of her work as a bridge between herself and God. In Dr. Jeanne Reames' Greek Myth, Magic, and Religion course, we briefly touched on Plato's Phaedrus dialogue on Divine Madness."
Doane will attend the conference in D. C. along with her FUSE mentor, Dr. Desmarais, whom she describes as a "marvelous academic" and "a great poet, nationally recognized in Canada." She adds, "Dr. Desmarais has helped me forge my way through the research, and has helped with the construction of the poems as well. She has been my guiding light through this project, especially in the times when I wasn't quite sure where the work was going."