Andrew Dawson

Andrew is studying for a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English.

Andrew is studying for a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English.

“I have always been fascinated by how societies use stories and literature to make sense of ourselves and our world. Literature captures a unique aspect of human experience, and gives us a view into the pasts that have shaped the world we live in today.

“I am currently writing a dissertation on William Langland’s Piers Plowman, a magnificent dream-vision poem from fourteenth-century England. It is one of the most important cultural products of the high Middle Ages.

“The Medieval world has always fascinated me as a part of history that has endured in our cultural consciousness. In many ways, the prominence of the Middle Ages in popular culture and movies is a testament to how indebted we are to this era of history.

“Medieval literatures reveal a peculiarly ‘modern’ world that defies many of the stereotypes of the era as a ‘backward’ time. Chaucer and his contemporaries, like Langland, grappled with many fundamental questions of human existence and experience that we are still making sense of today, and provide insights that are tremendously relevant to the modern world.

“An advantage of being a postgraduate student is the more concentrated class sizes, allowing you to work more closely with other students who are similarly interested in English literatures. Every conversation you have with your peers is a learning experience where both sides develop in their understanding of each other’s research and academic interests.

“The skills you learn as a postgraduate Arts student will be valuable wherever you go, and the knowledge gained will make you a well-rounded individual, ready for the ever-changing nature of the modern workplace, where versatility and adaptability are paramount above all other skills.

“Academic research is an exciting and intellectually engaging endeavour which I hope to continue throughout my life, perhaps as an academic myself. I also love teaching students, so I hope to teach English in the future, either at secondary or tertiary level.

“There is nothing quite as satisfying as helping a student to appreciate the impact and importance of literature as a critical part of our culture, which must be supported to ensure a flourishing society.”

Find out more about studying English.