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Two East Central University English majors – Sidney Lewis and Daniel Bonar – presented insightful papers at the recent 12th Native American Symposium, a professional academic conference held at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant.

Lewis, from Velma, Oklahoma and a member of the Choctaw Nation, presented “Stead as a Beating Drum,” which dealt with patterns of presentation of Native Americans in film.

Bonar’s “Accidental Preservation” discussed the way in which indigenous words have been preserved through their phonetics adoption in French, which facilitated their acceptance into the English lexicon. Bonar is from Ada.

“It was a professional academic, so it is quite significant that the work of undergraduates was accepted for presentation,” said Dr. Jennifer McMahon, professor of English and languages at ECU. “Sidney completed an honors thesis last spring and is preparing to go on to graduate school. Daniel is currently not just a student completing his degree in English, but he is also a freelance technical writer for the Chickasaw Nation.”

The two students’ work will be eligible for publication in the conference proceedings, which will be published next year.

McMahon also presented a paper at the conference which analyzed the artwork of contemporary visual artist and recent ECU graduate Summer Zah.


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