Student Research

When Heather Pate (C’09) and Cate Norton (C’10) enrolled in Assistant Professor Barry Huff’s Wisdom of Israel course, they never anticipated that their final class projects would be reviewed by anyone other than their professor. But he was so impressed by their superb scholarship that, with their permission, he submitted their projects to the 2009 Central States Regional Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature.
Clearly, he wasn’t the only one impressed—both papers were accepted by the conference chair. Heather’s paper, “Women in Proverbs,” not only critiques the portrayal of women in Proverbs but also connects their portrayal to that of women in contemporary films. Cate Norton’s project, “Job’s Wife: What to do when everything falls apart and your husband goes off on an existential journey, a survivor’s guide,” rewrites the prose tale of Job from the perspective of his wife and examines the Biblical scholarship informing her creative interpretation. It has also been selected for publication in the second volume of Women in the Biblical World: A Survey of Old and New Testament Perspectives.
“It’s a testament to both Heather and Cate, as well as to Principia College’s liberal arts education, that the work of these two students––who are not religion majors––was of such high caliber that it was accepted for a conference where the vast majority of presenters are Biblical studies professors and graduate students,” says Huff.