Image by John Buckingham
Christine Roughan ’14, of Wilton, Conn., has received a Fulbright research grant for the 2014-15 academic year to travel to Germany to study and contribute to the field of philology, the study of language in written historical sources.
A classics major and physics minor, Roughan will spend her year working with the Open Philology Project at the University of Leipzig’s program for Digital Humanities. The international project seeks to reshape how written cultural heritage is shared with a global community. It currently aims to create an open-source digital library for every extant written artifact of classical Greek or Latin produced from antiquity through the present day.
Roughan will contribute through research and the creation of digital representations of manuscripts. She says she is especially excited to have access to the university library, which possesses one of the largest manuscript collections in Germany.
Her background and undergraduate career at Holy Cross have made her uniquely qualified for this type of work. She has studied Latin for eight years and ancient Greek for seven, and during her junior year, studied abroad in Athens and Rome. She also has four years’ experience working with medieval Greek manuscripts, both on a cocurricular basis during the academic year and as a full-time summer researcher in 2011 and 2012.
“Several opportunities at Holy Cross — volunteering on the Homer Multitext Project, participating in the Mellon Summer Research Program — inspired a love of research beginning in my freshman year,” she said.
After completing the Fulbright program, Roughan plans to attend graduate school to study classical philology, textual transmission, and the history of science. She aspires to become a college professor, and expects that her scholarship will continue to be informed by approaches and methods that working with the humanities in a digital age makes possible.
“Digital tools and the professors at Holy Cross allowed me to engage in research that would have been unthinkable for undergraduates in years past. I am excited to see what opportunities I can help make available for future researchers, graduates, undergraduates, or any other interested individuals,” she said.
At Holy Cross, Roughan is a member of Eta Sigma Phi, the classics honor society, as well as Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics honor society. She serves as a Latin tutor and is a tutor in the physics department. She is also a founding member and the vice president of Holy Cross’ Manuscripts, Inscriptions, and Documents Club, a student organization which engages undergraduates in research usually reserved for the graduate level.
Each year approximately 1,900 U.S. college students are awarded grants through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship program in international educational exchange, awards grants to U.S. citizens and nationals of other countries for a variety of educational activities, primarily university lecturing, advanced research, graduate study and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Since the program’s inception in 1946, more than 300,000 participants — selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential — have had the opportunity to observe each other’s political, economic and cultural institutions. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.
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