A&S Student to Deliver Gaines Center’s Breathitt Lecture


By Whitney Hale

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 29, 2021) — Emily Andreasson, a University of Kentucky interiors and modern and classical languages, literatures and cultures/French and Francophone studies senior in the College of Arts & Sciences and Lewis Honors College member from Williamsburg, Michigan, has been selected to deliver the 26th Edward T. Breathitt Undergraduate Lecture in the Humanities beginning 7 p.m. Thursday, April 1, on Zoom. Andreasson’s lecture will focus on use of space for expression and healing brought on by displacement.

Established to honor an eminent Kentuckian and an outstanding UK alumnus whose interest in higher education and the humanities was exceptional, this lectureship is awarded to an undergraduate whose qualities of mind and spirit have been expressed eloquently on one or more of the basic concerns of the humanities.

Andreasson’s Breathitt Lecture is titled “Ellipsis: Creating Space for Expression and Healing Amidst the Liminal Experience of Displacement.” Ellipsis is a dynamic community project in the north of Paris that seeks to address issues of isolation, rejection, and liminality in order to ameliorate and bring awareness to the experience of displacement.

Ellipsis establishes a community arts center, La Langue de Lien (the Language of Connection), to provide both practical support to asylum seekers and space for them to create, express their experience, and have opportunities to make connections with other asylum seekers, refugees and members of their host communities. Art — from painting, to cinematography, to sculpture, to dance — acts as a vehicle for processing the adversities of displacement and sharing those challenges and experiences with a larger community. Through the collective experience of creating and also engaging with artistic creation, Ellipsis inspires the development of empathy for asylum seekers and seeks to heal the divide between communities, challenging misconceptions and negative perceptions.

“Undergraduate participation in research can be a transformative experience because of the connections made between the lessons taught and the world in which those lessons operate. Now in its 26th year, the Breathitt Lecture continues to be a unique award that allows exceptional students to share their hard work with the broader intellectual community,” Gaines Center Director Melynda Price said. “The previous students who have given this lecture have gone on to be successful professors, graduate students and leaders in their community. I have no doubt this year’s lecturer will do the same.”

Andreasson credits UK School of Interiors faculty Lindsey FayPatrick Lee Lucas and Helen Turner for support on her research for this project and lecture.

Pre-registration for the 2021 Edward T. Breathitt Undergraduate Lecture, “Ellipsis,” is required at www.eventbrite.com/e/breathitt-undergraduate-lecture-featuring-emily-andreasson-tickets-144087761373.

The Breathitt Lectureship is presented by the Gaines Center for the Humanities. The student speaker is chosen through an application process that includes a lecture proposal submitted by the student to an independent committee of readers. In recognition of her selection for the Breathitt Lectureship, Andreasson will receive a commemorative award and a $500 honorarium.

Founded in 1984 by a generous gift from John and Joan Gaines, the Gaines Center for the Humanities functions as a laboratory for imaginative and innovative education on UK's campus. The center is devoted to cultivating an appreciation of the humanities in its students and faculty. The Gaines Center embraces varied paths of knowledge and particularly strives to integrate creative work with traditional academic learning.

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