Reading in Tamagawa Garden

Lachlann Glennie

Lachlann Glennie, Essay Contest Winner in the Third-Year Category for Innovation, 2020-2021

Lachlann Glennie

Lachlann Glennie recently completed his BA in English, with a minor in Languages and Culture. He was drawn to English studies because of the course work’s capacity to encourage personal growth: “I have developed the skills, compassion, and emotional depth to meaningfully engage with social issues. I have English to thank for that.”

Indeed, the class that led to his Lachlann's ward-winning essay -- ENGL 390: Topics in Word and Image with Professor Sandra Hagan -- provided an opportunity for Lachlann to explore his interest in multimodal literacy, where “images, sounds, and even tactile experiences” are included as part of the reading experience.

His essay, “Feminism, Tragedy, and Felt: Adapting Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd into a ‘Cozy Classic,’” brings together his storytelling and felting talents.  While Lachlann freely admits that part of the driving force behind this choice was to “have a laugh” during COVID times, the work is also informed by his own interests in accessible education (he will be continuing on at VIU to pursue a post-bacc in Education). Applying the genre of the Cozy Classic – twelve-word adaptations of literary classics for children under the age of three – to Thomas Hardy’s feminist engagement with Victorian patriarchal structures in Far From the Madding Crowd, Lachlann created his own adaptation of Hardy’s novel, using images of beautifully felted characters to accompany his selected key words. While he feels that “visual elements, even in intensely academic contexts, can support and even strengthen the explorations of literature that take place in classrooms at all levels,” he notes that “a translation of [the novel’s complex] themes into physical materials is incredibly challenging.” [include clickable link to cozy classic?]

Lachlann encourages readers to engage with multimodal story-forms, recommending the novel Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri, the video game GRIS by Nomad Studio, and the animated film Song of the Sea by Tomm Moore.

His advice for English students is “to always see the value in what you are studying. The world needs more people who see the value of a story and are willing to connect with narratives and perspectives that expand beyond their experience.”