Centre for Scottish Studies

Emma Henderson wins the Jennifer Prosser Wade and Family Annual Award in Scottish Studies

February 01, 2021

Emma Henderson, a fourth-year student currently completing a double major in English and history, as well as a certificate in Hellenic studies, has won the Jennifer Prosser Wade and Family Annual Award in Scottish Studies.

The $1000 prize goes to a third- or fourth-year student in good academic standing who:

  • Is majoring in a Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) program;
  • Has completed volunteer or community service that shows caring and concern for others;
  • Is enrolled in or has successfully completed a Scottish Studies undergraduate course

In Henderson’s case, she completed a directed studies course with the SFU Centre for Scottish Studies director, Professor Leith Davis, on the cultural memory of Mary, Queen of Scots in 18th-century literature.

“I am very proud of my directed studies project and enjoyed developing my interest in Scottish literature with Professor Davis,” says Henderson, who thanks her professor and the Centre for Scottish Studies not only for the award, but the opportunity to do the project itself while learning remotely.

“This past year hasn’t been what I expected it to be, but I am grateful for the opportunities that I have had when it comes to engaging with literature in a capacity that is very different to what I’ve previously done in my SFU undergrad, especially in a period like now,” she says.

While always having a strong interest in English literature, Henderson really only became interested and aware of Scottish literature in her third year.

“I decided to take an 18th-century English literature class, not knowing that it was focused on Scottish literature,” she says. “This is where I first met Professor Davis, and was introduced to Scottish writers, such as Robert Burns, James Macpherson, and Janet Little and completely changed how I looked at UK literature. I remember going to Professor Davis’ office one day about a paper and ended up having a long conversation about my interest in Mary, Queen of Scots and historical literature. That conversation became the basis of the directed studies course I’d later take.”

Henderson hopes that more students will explore Scottish literature and history courses in the future and discover, like she did, just how engaging they are to study.

In addition to her dedication to her studies, Henderson has remained committed to her volunteer work even through the current pandemic. She is an executive member of and secretary for the History Student Union (HSU) and also acts as a moderator for the HSU and FASS Discord channels.

“COVID-19 has changed how we interact with one another, particularly in volunteer work and connecting with other students,” Henderson says. “My main focus during remote schooling has been to try and connect with my fellow students and engage with them in a productive format online.”