Erin Lynch

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Photo credit: Tommy Larson

Senior Erin Lynch has been brainstorming ideas for English research since the end of her sophomore year, before the Independent Research Program in the humanities was created. Enrolling in this new course was a natural next step for her.

Erin decided to explore the way that technology intersects with the environment, hoping to learn as much as she could about “humanity’s impact on the environment.” 

Because she is writing an English paper, her research is largely centered around specific texts. Over the summer in preparation for the course, Erin read Paris in the Twentieth Century by Jules Verne and Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World by J.R. McNeill.

Both of these novels outline the way that technology has altered the environment. A crucial difference between the two, however, is that Paris in the Twentieth Century is a science-fiction novel that takes place in 1863 and describes the future of the 1960s, whereas Something New… is an analytical piece analyzing the way that the environment has been changed throughout the 1900s.  

In her paper, Erin will explore the unique intersection between the real and imagined influences of technology on the environment. 

Despite this compelling idea, Erin adds that it is “hard to say whether what you’re looking for is actually out there, and, if it is, whether there’s enough of it for you to research thoroughly.” Nevertheless, she is determined to succeed in her research endeavors. 

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