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Meet Luke Morton, an English and Comparative Literature and Classics double major who published an article in the latest edition of UNC’s Journal of Undergraduate Research (JOURney) and recently presented for the Johns Hopkins Richard Macksey Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium.

Morton published “The Americanization of Manga: How Japanese Graphic Novels are Redefining Literary Genres” in the spring of 2022 edition of JOURney. This piece “argued that the recent popularity of Japanese manga in Western markets is a major milestone for graphic novels inclusion in genre studies.”

In speaking to what he found rewarding about his experience conducting research and being published, Morton said:

“I really enjoyed the opportunity to pursue a longtime interest in art and comics in an academic setting thanks to the freedom Professor Shand gave us in choosing our final paper topics.”

For the Humanities Research Symposium, Morton’s presentation was an extension of his JOURney article. He was drawn to presenting his research because he wanted to learn “more about the research process in the humanities and wanted a chance to interact with some peers on a similar track who also had similar interest.”

Morton was able to speak on a panel with a other undergraduates and share his interest in art and literature. He added, “It was a great experience to see what started as a passion project in class develop into a symposium presentation.”

In speaking to how his courses with the DOECL have prepared him for these research projects, Morton said:

“The opportunity to work with such supportive and accomplished educators helped to demystify the idea of submitting to an academic journal or symposium. I also think not enough can be said for how the English major’s broad education helps prepare you for a little bit of everything.”

Morton’s favorite courses in the DOECL include CMPL 489 (Empire and Diplomacy) with Professor Theodore Leinbaugh, CMPL 260 (Landscape: Re-Imagining the Natural World)

with Professor Janice Koelb, and his first-year seminar ENGL 89 with Professor Taylor Cowdery. Morton was drawn to “the common thread between these classes…[that] allowed me to apply what we studied to my understanding of modern problems and history.”

After graduation, Morton plans to attend law school:

“I’ve had my sights on law school for a while now and plan to pursue that after graduation. Lately my interests in politics and diplomacy have really gotten piqued by some guest speakers in Dr. Leinbaugh’s class, so I’ve been considering doing a master’s program in international relations between now and law school. After law school I’d like to pursue a career related to international law or government.”

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