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The 2017 Seventeenth Annual UMM Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) celebrates student scholarly achievement and creative activities. Students from all disciplines participate in the URS. Types of presentations include posters, oral presentations, and short or abbreviated theatrical, dance, or musical performances. 

Presentations are accompanied by discussions and multimedia.


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Saturday, April 22 • 3:50pm - 4:10pm
From Murders to Miracles: The Tale of Canterbury Cathedral

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Canterbury Cathedral, located in present day Kent, England, has a long history of both murders and miracles. My research argues that Canterbury’s infamous history is best understood using a metaphorical comparison to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). DNA has a unique double helix structure that intertwines and requires two strands to support the structure of the entire helix. A similar structure can be found throughout Canterbury’s history. These two strands make up the political and architectural history of Canterbury Cathedral. My presentation will discuss how the political history of the cathedral has driven the physical evolution of the building through four main phases. The first phase began when Pope Gregory erected the first version of Canterbury Cathedral in 596, with the political support of Rome. The second occurred after the Norman invasion in 1067, when William the Conqueror chose Canterbury as his center of religious power. The third was the martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket and after the 1174 fire, the murder of the archbishop had a lasting impact on the cathedral and its popularity as a place of pilgrimage and miracles. The final instance was when King Henry VIII initiated the Reformation which targets Canterbury and the memory of Saint Thomas Becket. Just as DNA could not be structurally supported with a single helix, without the added context of the political history, the architectural history alone fails to provide complete understanding of the complex history of Canterbury. It is through the double helix metaphor, with both politics and architecture incorporated together, that we can fully appreciate the physical appearance of Canterbury Cathedral today.


Saturday April 22, 2017 3:50pm - 4:10pm
John Q. Imholte Hall, Room #113 600 E 4th St., Morris MN 56267

Attendees (1)