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English major presents at national honors conference

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Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2021

A Westminster College English major presented research to the National Collegiate Honors Conference (NCHC) in Orlando the last week of October 2021.

Molly Frank, a senior honors student from Stow, Ohio, presented her research “Magic, Mayhem, and Womanhood: The Reclamation of the Witch in Modern Retellings by Woman Authors.” Frank was accompanied by her adviser, Dr. Kristianne Kalata, director of Westminster’s Honors Program and associate professor of English.

Frank’s research involved three different theories: the feminist theory, gender representation in literature; feminist narrative theory, how women’s voices in a novel are displayed; and monster theory, how a monster can represent a cultural or societal fear or taboo. These theories helped her explain how witches served as a boundary for women’s behavior and a warning about what happened when a woman strived against the “norm.”

During her portion of NCHC, Frank examined what elements must be present in a story for such a reclamation to be successful in empowering women—ultimately leading her to the goal of her research, which was to show how women authors are reclaiming this figure, why they are doing it and why it is important that these reclamations exist.

“It was such an enriching experience to listen to and present alongside fellow honors students from across the country, especially seeing that they were as engaged in their research as we were,” said Frank.

After graduation Frank plans to attend graduate school.

The NCHC is a unique educational organization designed to support and promote undergraduate honors education. NCHC has nearly 900 member institutions and several hundred individual members, impacting over 330,000 honors students.

For more information about Westminster College’s Honors Program, click here.  To learn more about Westminster’s major in English, visit

Above, Molly Frank with adviser Dr. Kristianne Kalata. Below, Molly Frank presenting at the National Collegiate Honors Conference.

~ Mackenzie Basalla' 19