Alicia Higginbotham is an undergraduate researcher with initiative. After completing a paper in Thomas Cerbu’s comparative literature class last year on British poet, writer and actor Christopher Logue who has been translating the Iliad since 1959, Cerbu encouraged Higginbotham to apply for a CURO summer fellowship this past summer. The fellowship allowed Higginbotham to continue her studies on Logue’s work which includes unusual translations since he has no knowledge of the Greek language and includes references to current events. After speaking with Logue by phone and receiving financial support from the comparative literature and English departments, Higginbotham was able to travel to London to interview him during the winter break. She plans to present her research at the CURO symposium and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in the spring.
Stone Mountain, Georgia
DeKalb School of the Arts
A.B. in English and A.B. in Comparative Literature
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
My sophomore year, I was on the Stillpoint Literary Magazine staff and was fortunate enough to be published in that year’s issue. My junior year, I was Stillpoint’s admissions editor, increasing my interest in current poetry trends. This led to my participation in VERSE, a national poetry publication which unfortunately moved from UGA to UVA last year. Wanting to explore all of the depths of publishing, I also took an internship at the University of Georgia Press spring semester. The summer following my junior year, I was awarded the CURO summer fellowship, which allowed me to continue research on a poet I became interested in the previous fall. This research has culminated in my current project, an Honors thesis about that poet, when previously I had no Honors credit.
I work at Brumby Hall as a desk assistant. It is an ideal campus job, if you don’t mind late night hours, because when that residence hall lobby is empty, you are free to study and read. I also work at Baxter Street Bookstore occasionally as a cashier.
Family Ties to UGA:
My sister received her B.S.Ed. from UGA in 1992. After earning a master’s degree at Brenau, she also received the Leadership in Education certification in 1998 from UGA .
I chose to attend UGA because…
My sister’s influence plays a huge part in my decision to come to UGA. For some reason my senior year of high school, I really thought I wanted to be an architect, so I applied to all technical schools. Ginger tried to remind me that English has always been my calling, and she also constantly talked about how great Athens is for student life. Finally, I got the message, and applied at the last minute. Fortunately, I made the cut. Without her, I am not sure where I’d be now.
My favorite things to do on campus are…
…going to the Memorial Garden behind Joe Brown Hall and lounging. Thanks to a good friend, I also have come to love going to the music hall for orchestral and vocal performances. The movies at the Georgia Museum of Art are always great, too, when they are having a foreign or classic film series.
When I have free time, I like…
…catching up with my friends at Georgia State. I also love to read, write, and scrapbook. I haven’t had time to develop many hobbies because free time is so rare at this point.
My favorite place to study is…
…my apartment. The place where I am most productive, however, is Jittery Joe’s, especially the one on the East side. I lived there this past summer.
My favorite professor is…
…James McGregor in the Comparative Literature department. He has the best sense of humor. I was always intimidated by the thought of reading Dante’s Inferno, and I avoided it like the plague. I found myself in Dr. McGregor’s class, and of course I had not read the syllabus before I enrolled. This was one of the course readings! I was fortunate to have him as a guide during my first encounter with the epic. He even brought in a cartoon version in Italian to make it less intimidating.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…
This is difficult. Do I pick someone in literature because I am curious? Do I pick someone in music because they could open me to new worlds? Do I pick a philosopher because, well, doesn’t everyone want to pick a philosopher’s brain? For this reason, I make it a point not to live in hypotheticals. I’ll say Hermes Trismegestis. He may not be real, but if he is, he knows something about the universe.
If I knew I could not fail, I would…
…develop the skills of Martha Stewart. I am envious of anyone who can cook, garden, and manage a business all equally well and amazingly. Yes, I am an old-fashioned woman at heart, and I just want to make a decent meal without frustration.
After graduation, I plan to…
…take a year off. I don’t want to leave my family just yet. My sister, Ginger, lives in Atlanta, where she is raising her new daughter, and my brother is turning twelve this year. After the break, I am going to graduate school for a master’s degree and then a doctorate in English. I’d like to go to Boston University or York University in England.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…
…this past summer when I had the CURO fellowship. It was the highlight of UGA for me. Working with Thomas Cerbu on a project that I began and being able to see it through was amazing. Not only that, but having worked with so many departments in an effort to be thorough and discovering the resources UGA offers, as well as the eagerness of people to help, truly enhanced my experience here. I know it sounds cheesy, but that summer was the fulfillment of what my ideal of “college” was before I ever actually arrived, and that experience convinced me that I want to continue research throughout my life.