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Ridley-Elmes to present papers / March 03, 2009
Halifax County resident Melissa Ridley-Elmes, a Williamsburg native and Longwood graduate student in British literature, has had two conference papers selected for presentation at top medieval studies conferences this spring.
Her paper on a German beguine mystic of the thirteenth-century, entitled "The Sacred and Profane: Language as Equalizer in the Writings of Mecthild of Magdeberg", will be delivered at the Vagantes medieval graduate student conference at Florida State University, March 5-7.
Organized and presented by the graduate student cohort of the Medieval Academy of America, Vagantes is a traveling conference presented annually at various universities. Papers are selected via a competitive, blind peer review process. Ridley-Elmes's essay is one of twenty-four finalist papers chosen from several hundred abstracts submitted by graduate students throughout North America.
Ridley-Elmes will also present research findings related to her thesis at the 44th Annual International Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, May 7-10. Entitled, "King of the Who?: Theories of the Collective Unconscious and the Concept of National Identity in the Arthurian Tradition", her paper will appear in a panel on cognitive approaches to medieval literature.
The International Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo is one of two such conferences held each year, the other being at Leeds in England. This year's congress boasts over six hundred panels, sessions, roundtables and workshops, and more than 3,000 international scholars and professors in medieval studies are expected to attend.
A full-time literature and Art History instructor at the Carlbrook School in Halifax, Melissa Ridley-Elmes graduated from Bruton High School and the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, and completed extensive studies in medieval subject matter at American and Catholic universities in Washington, D.C. before beginning a graduate degree program in literature at Longwood University.
During her studies at Longwood, Ridley-Elmes has published several articles in general research books as well as fiction pieces at the local, regional and national level. Her article, "Bridging the Gap: Using Young Adult Literature with the Classics in the Secondary Classroom" appeared in the Fall 2006 volume of the Virginia English Bulletin. She has delivered prior papers at the Virginia Association for Teachers of English conference, the "Meeting in the Middle" conference at Longwood, the Regional Medievalisms conference and the U.Va.-Wise Medieval Studies Conference.
Ridley-Elmes expects to complete her thesis and graduate from Longwood University with a Master's in Literature in May.

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