For those who didn't attend the final of the Thesis in Three and are
curious who won:
*FASS* student wins University's Thesis in Three Competition
English Renaissance drama is full of death and some of the most
memorable deaths are prefaced by marvellous speeches. Waikato University
PhD student Fiona Martin is researching dying words in early modern
English drama and earlier this week won $5000 to put towards her study.
Martin was the winner of the University's Thesis in Three competition
where, as part of Postgraduate Research Month, doctoral students had to
outline their theses in three minutes. Sixty students took part in
early rounds and the best eight presenters came together in a final
competition, judged for their ability to communicate their research and
"It was a good experience, to condense and compact what I'm doing into
such a short time and showing a single slide."
Fiona Martin says she's looking at death speeches delivered before
onstage murders, executions, and suicide and says while the plays of
Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe and John Webster are obvious choices
she's also managed to find some more obscure writers who give their
characters interesting last words, such as Thomas Middleton, John
Marston and William Sampson
"I'm interested in the historical events and cultural trends as
background to the plays, looking at how they influenced final speeches.
Certain motifs tend to be repeated and playwrights often adapted their
source material to give their players greater impact."
Chief judge of Thesis in Three, Professor Doug Sutton, said all the
presentations were clever and clear. He praised the presenters for
their use of humour and theatre and the passion they showed for their work.
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