Award-winning student, Charlotte Taylor, is graduating with a BA (Hons) in English Literature.
English Literature graduate Charlotte Taylor won the Roger Ebbatson Prize for Research in English Literature 2020 for her work on novelist Margaret Atwood’s bestseller The Handmaid’s Tale.
“It’s fantastic, amazing, surreal and scary,” said Charlotte. “The 2020 graduates have been waiting a long time to be able to celebrate their achievement and I think I speak for everyone when I say that it feels pretty darn good to have a graduation date, time and place.”
Charlotte chose to focus her dissertation on political invisibility in the famous novel, which earned her the prestigious award. “This was a huge honour for me,” she said. “Receiving this award really shifted how I saw myself academically. It gave me a confidence in my ability to write and research academically.”
Although the end of her degree was not the way she would have wanted it, not being able to celebrate with friends or thank her supervisor in person due to the pandemic, Charlotte said it had not impacted on the quality of her work. “The English department at Worcester have given me so much more than a degree,” she added. “They have given me a confidence in my academic abilities; an unconditional support system; the chance to have fun and experiment with my work, to be creative and think outside the box; and they have cemented my desire to be a lecturer.”
Since completing her undergraduate degree, Charlotte has started her Master’s in English at Worcester, which she is due to complete in September 2021. But she has recently been awarded a place on the University of Leeds PhD programme to research the work of the American contemporary novelist, Elizabeth Strout. Charlotte has already presented her research at two academic conferences. Her ultimate dream would be to work as a lecturer, but for now she has been looking into post-doctoral research positions and international research facilities to pursue in the future.
Charlotte still remembers her first steps towards her academic future. She said: “I’ve always been an anxious person, going to university always filled me with that pit-in-your-stomach fear. Living in a rural village, and having attended small educational institutes thus far, looking for a university that offered the course I wanted and accommodated that rural, homely feel I felt I needed was difficult. Until I found the English Literature course at the University of Worcester. I remember coming to an Open Day with my parents and instantly knowing that this was the right fit for me; I felt comfortable and welcomed.”