Make The Connection

From ‘Nowhere’ to North American Conference

November 18, 2019 – by Maddie Marusek ’21

Anthony Padget-Gettys ’20 presents research at the 2019 North American Victorian Studies Association national conference. Only 20 undergraduates were selected to present at this year’s event. (Photo courtesy of Anthony Padget-Gettys)

Ohio Wesleyan Student One of 20 Undergrads to Present at Victorian Studies Event

Name: Anthony Padget-Gettys ’20
Hometown: Delaware, Ohio
Majors: English Creative Writing and English Literature
Minor: Spanish
OWU Connection Experience: Presenting original research at the North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA) conference, drawing scholars from the United States and Canada.

Padget-Gettys was one of only 20 undergraduate students selected nationwide to present research this fall at the 2019 North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA) conference, held Oct.17-19 in Columbus, Ohio. His research explored William Morris’s “News from Nowhere,” an 1890 novel about a character who falls asleep and enters the future – a socialist utopia. Padget-Gettys completed the work under the mentorship of Mark Allison, OWU associate professor of English.

Why I Chose This Experience

“The project started in Dr. Allison’s class called ‘The Aesthetics of British Socialism.’ We read William Morris’s ‘News from Nowhere’ in that class and because I took medieval classes beforehand, I caught on to a lot of the medieval themes. I ended up writing a midterm essay about it. Dr. Allison said he thought it was really interesting and I should think about refining it for the NAVSA conference, which was the first time I had heard of it.

“I didn’t expect [this essay] to become so big, but I ended up getting really into it. It was all very gradual. One thing led to another, and I thought I may as well go on to the next step because why not?”

Favorite Moment

“My favorite moment was definitely presenting. It wasn’t a ‘presentation’ in a normal sense; it was you standing there and people coming to ask you questions. I love talking about my work, so it was really fun to talk to people and have a bunch of professionals come and say ‘Wow, this is incredible.’ It was really gratifying.”

Lessons Learned

“Recognizing that even if you aren’t a professional scholar, if you have put time into researching something specific, you can become an expert on that subject. If a paper feels like it has legs to grow, you’ll be amazed at how far it can go.

“Scholars are both extremely nice, and extremely interested in what you have to say. It’s easy to feel like you don’t know where to start, but sources come like dominoes. ...”

My Plans After Graduation

“I’m probably going to be taking a year off to prep for grad school. I have to figure out whether I want to go for creative writing or continue this sort of scholarly route.”

Why I Chose OWU

“I started out as a physics major, and I was really interested in astronomy in particular. OWU has a great observatory, so I was really excited about that.

“OWU gives great scholarships despite being known as an expensive school, which made it affordable for me.”

Read Padget-Gettys’ paper, “Themes and Forms of the Middle Ages in William Morris’s News from Nowhere.” Read more about OWU’s English majors and minors via the department’s blog, “The Sturges Script.”