The Sacred Boa (2012)
One of the rites of passage of our program is the second-year paper. Sophomore graduate students research and write a journal-article-length (and caliber!) article and present it in our weekly colloquium. Afterward, we unwind at The Brewer’s Art and partake of an ancient ritual.
In researching her dissertation on medieval theories of circadian rhythms, Tulley Long (PhD 2011) discovered that students in 14th century Heidelberg donned a Sacred Boa and sat in a public fountain upon receiving their degree.
This tradition was lost to our department until this spring, when students discovered a genuine Sacred Boa in a Baltimore archive called Sweet ‘n’ Sexee. In the same institution, they also unearthed an extremely rare example of a Tiara of Erudition. It, or a similar object may well have been used by the Chthonic people of Eruditea as late as last week. In tribal culture, men surviving to the age of 30 don the Tiara in a torchlit rite that evokes the power of wisdom and learning.
It is appropriate and good that our students don the Sacred Boa and the Tiara of Erudition to mark their entry into the ranks of those who have donned these hallowed though not necessarily hypo-allergenic artifacts. Scroll down for a full list of students and links to the individual pictures.
We had a large crop of second-year papers this year. Here is a complete list (you get to guess who's who):
• Eli Anders (History of Medicine)
• Julia Cummiskey (History of Medicine)
• Layne Karafantis (History of Science & Technology)
• Yixian Li (History of Science & Technology)
• Adrianna Link (History of Science)
• Richard Nash (History of Science & Technology)
• Jean-Olivier Richard (History of Medicine)
• Justin Rivest (History of Medicine)
• Marion Schmidt (History of Medicine)