Robert Drinkwater Contributing Writer
Symposium is right around the corner and that means many of the Wilson Scholars are preparing to present their research on that day, and Tegan Bradley, a junior at UMF is doing a project for symposium titled Hair: A Graphic Narrative.
For this project, she is making a personal narrative in the form of a graphic novel about hair and how women modify their hair for others approval. “It’s about a woman’s feminine identity with hair,” said Bradley.
When creating this graphic novel Bradley started with a twenty page rough draft. “It was important to get the words out,” said Bradley, “I had to choose out scenes and story board it.” Eventually her rough draft became fifty pages, “It took me three weeks for the first draft and two or three weeks to storyboard it,” said Bradley.
Bradley hopes that in doing this project women will analyze their own relationship with their hair. Bradley also said that men and women will wear their hair in a way that society will say is normal. “I want women to take ownership of it,” said Bradley, “Not because it’s what everyone else wants.”
The Wilson Scholarship is for undergraduates and requires students do a research project independent of a class. Every Wilson scholar has a faculty advisor, and Bradley’s is English professor Sabine Klein. “I think it’s amazing,” said Klein, “Her artwork is really good. She is working consciously, it is verbal and visual at the same time.” Klein also mentioned that Bradley writes from her own personal experience from shaving her head. “It tells a story well suited to the graphic narrative. It talks about how we look.”
Klein stated that she hopes that this project will make people think about how looks are heavily gendered and she also hopes that people will look at the graphic novel as a genre, “It’s interesting exploring the graphic novel as a personal narrative,” said Klein.
Bradley has expressed her excitement about the whole project, “You can’t just take a creative writing class and create a graphic novel,” said Bradley, “I’ve always wanted to do this.”
Some of the other symposium projects include Hope Lash’s The Power of The Prostitute and The British Empire, Forest Meader’s What magma chambers can do fo you – a geologic study of the Twin Lakes Pluton, Colorado, and James Fox’s Snowpack Measurements and modeling in Temple Stream watershed.
Symposium day will be held on April 24th. There will be no classes that day.