La Salle Students Perform Independent Research
Salle Student W. Thomas McAllister Conducting Independent Study
on "Literary Representations of the Holocaust"
literature about the Holocaust has two points of view. One side
maintains that to fictionalize the Holocaust is to trivialize it.
On the other hand, there are those who claim fiction is the only
way to get people to understand and comprehend such a terrible event.
Thomas McAllister, a Writing Major at La Salle University, is conducting
an independent study to analyze and examine both sides of the argument.
To do that, he will review Holocaust literature (both fiction and
non-fiction) and examine its underlying historical, political and
economic factors. McAllister's project seeks to determine what is
the role of the creative writer in providing an essential understanding
of the Holocaust.
had the opportunity to teach him once, and he is a wonderful student,
very dedicated and talented," said Dr. Marjorie Allen, a La
Salle English professor who will oversee McAllister's work.
interest in the Holocaust began when he took an earlier course with
Dr. Allen. "I went from knowing almost nothing to learning
a lot about the Holocaust," he said. When the opportunity came
to prepare his proposal for an independent research study, he immediately
thought of the issue of fiction vs. non-fiction.
more about the Holocaust made a profound impression on me,"
he said. "Reading the disturbing testimonials of the survivors
is something you cannot forget easily. We have not finished yet
with this study, but I am inclined to say that creative writing
is the most appropriate way to represent such horrible events."
Salle Student Joshua Schneiderman Conducting Independent Research
on Mysterious American Author Thomas Pynchon.
Pynchon is an enigma covered in a mystery veiled by anonymity. He
is among America's most significant writers. The challenge of Pynchon's
enigmatic reputation and the aura of mystery that surrounds him
caught the attention of Joshua Schneiderman, a senior English major
at La Salle University, who is conducting an independent study during
this semester on Thomas Pynchon's five novels.
of the purposes of Schneiderman's study is to prove if the early
evaluators of Pynchon were correct in their assessments of him.
Schneiderman's faculty mentor is Brother Gabriel Fagan.
project consists of a long paper based on Schneiderman's readings
of five novels, evaluating the author's place in novels of absurdist
literature and searching for a common theme in Pynchon's novels.
is one of most difficult of contemporary American writers. He achieved
recognition for his 1963 novel, V, and his subsequent works, The Crying
of Lot 49, Gravity's Rainbow, Vineland and Mason &Dixon.
is also noted for being one of the world's most famous literary
recluses," added Fagan.
work attracted me because I like challenges, and if you read his
work, you will see that he writes about intriguing issues, like
paranoia and revelation," said Schneiderman. "I have been
intrigued by his intentionally unintentional mystique. He's worth
Salle Student Jason Ager Conducting Independent Research on Poetry
of German Author Else Lasker- Schüler
an exiled writer, Else Lasker-Schüler went to great lengths
to rescue her memories from Germany, which was a constant test of
her resilient soul.
writer, and artist, Lasker-Schüler was an influential member
of the Berlin artistic community that emerged in the first years
of the 20th century, creating and fostering innovative and experimental
poetry, literature, theatre, and art.
by the passion of Lasker-Schüler's writings and by the tragedy,
loss, and feeling of betrayal that characterized her life, Jason
Ager, a junior German major at La Salle University, is conducting
an independent study this semester on the poetry of the author.
is examining Lasker-Schüler's unceasing notion that Jerusalem
was the promised land for her and her people. She also felt that
neither Germany nor Palestine was the place she would call home.
study requires him to write an essay on the image of Jerusalem in
Lasker-Schuler's poetry. He is reading Lasker-Schüler's work
in German and exploring the images related to the term "Jerusalem."
Bernhardt Blumenthal, chairman of the Foreign Languages Department
at La Salle, will assist Ager with this project. "Jason will
put together an essay that will be original, creative and informative,"
said Blumenthal. "Lasker-Schüler was one of many sophisticated,
cosmopolitan Jews who took part in and helped give birth to German
Expressionism, creating and fostering innovative and experimental
poetry, literature, theatre, and art."
is a very good student of German," said Blumenthal. "He
has the ability to appreciate German poetry."
said, "I became interested in Lasker-Schüler's poetry
last semester, because I had to write a 55-page paper dealing with
Austrian-Jewish authors and their new sense of identity in the exile,
and Lasker-Schüler was one of them," said Ager.
literature captivated me because even though her audience wanted her
exterminated because she was Jewish, she still wrote for them, trying
to reach them," said Ager.
of Laker-Shüler's poems dealt with love. Her lyrical, expressionist
poems are well known, but her other literary works, such as novels
and plays, are unfortunately often ignored.
21, chose La Salle because he attended La Salle College High School,
and coming to La Salle was a "natural progression of my student
life. Also, I felt comfortable being around campus, and I like the
educational program of this university," said Ager. He is captain
of one of the school's intramural rugby teams, a member of the La
Salle cheerleading squad, and is in the University's Honors Program.
am enjoying this research project. I love the German culture, and
this is so far is a stupendous project," said Ager.
DeMuth Conducting Independent Research
on the Development of Emotional Perception in Infants
it possible for an infant to know what their parent is feeling by
the look on their parent's face? Most parents would say that their
child can tell the difference in their mood by their expression.
But for scientists trying to prove this, getting evidence is difficult.
La Salle University students are helping to get this evidence by
watching films of young children to see if the infants' perception
of their parent's emotion expressions can be verified.
La Salle students, Lindsay DeMuth, of Cape May Court House, along
with Jennifer Higgins and Jolene Westraad, are conducting an independent
research project focused on infants' perception of their parent's
Muth and the other students are working with Dr. Diane Montague,
an Assistant Professor of Psychology at La Salle, who has been doing
research about understanding infants' perceptions of other's emotion
am quite excited about involving La Salle students in my research
program," said Montague. "Student research involvement
is an important part of the educational experience at La Salle and
is essential for those students who are interested in gaining acceptance
to graduate school. Lindsay, Jennifer, and Jolene are learning about
infant development while gaining valuable research skills as they
engage in this project."
part of the project, they are observing videotapes of infants who
participated in a study of intermodal perception of the facial/vocal
expressions of their parents and unfamiliar adults" Montague
research on infants' visual attention to others' expressions has
demonstrated that infants as young as three and a half months of
age look differentially at the expressions of familiar adults, particularly
those with whom they have had greater involvement," said Montague.
" The current project is designed to gather data on infants'
own emotional responses to the filmed expressions to provide converging
evidence of infants' abilities."
semester and next summer, DeMuth will be reading journal articles
and research materials, and analyzing films of babies interacting
with their parents. She will use this information to write a paper
for her independent study.
A junior majoring in Psychology, DeMuth has taken a previous class
with Montague, and found herself fascinated in "how the human
body develops and the depths of the human mind."
was interested in obtaining experience with the various phases of
the research process, and Dr. Montague had mentioned she was recruiting
students to gain experience by participating in her own ongoing
research. I really enjoyed her class, so I decided to join in this
research study," said DeMuth.
is an unique opportunity to learn and to test my skillsvery
different from a regular class. I have found the research stage
very frustrating, but I am learning from my errors and finding new
ways of doing things. Also, having Dr. Montague is helping a lot,"
DeMuth said with a smile.
became interested in La Salle after taking a tour of the campus
and she immediately "felt part of the community."
Salle is a great place where you can get individual attention and
have a fabulous learning experience," said DeMuth.
is Vice-President of Internal Affairs for the resident Students
Association; a member of the Judicial Board; a Peer Educator and
she belongs to the Health Occupation of Students of America. She
is also a member of the Gospel Choir, the Honors Student Board,
and is a member of "Los Niños," a community service
trip that will travel to Mexico this summer to assist needy children.