Senior to Study at Oxford via Keasbey Scholarship
Issue   |   Wed, 04/27/2011 - 12:41
Sam Masinter '04

Senior Music and English major, Christopher Spaide was recently awarded the Keasbey Scholarship, an award that will allow him to study for two years at the University of Oxford.

The scholarship will fund Spaide’s program of study in arts criticism, by the the end of which he plans to receive a Masters of Studies in English Language and Literature and a Masters of Studies in Music. Although Spaide thinks that everyone now lives in “a time devoted to technological and scientific innovation,” he believes that “art not only affects us in profound ways but also links us to other consciousness’s.”

“When it is through with us, we have become more aware, more understanding, more conscientious people,” he said.

Marguerite Keasbey, an unmarried and childless heiress, established the Keasbey scholarship in 1953. She had great respect for British education and wanted to establish private support for it through the Keasbey Memorial Foundation. The Keasbey scholarship provides scholarships to American students from 12 universities for study at a British institution of higher education. Every three years, Amherst is allowed to nominate two students.

Spaide’s interest in musicology began with Music 33 (“Repertoire and Analysis”) taught by Professor Klara Móricz.

“I finally felt that I was really listening to music and in a position to write about it cogently. I knew within a month that I was going to write a musicology thesis.”

Although most students, even if double-majors, choose to only write one thesis, Spaide decided to write two. In addition to his musicology thesis, written under his now-advisor, Móricz, Spaide has also done an English thesis, a portfolio of his original poetry, under the guidance of Daniel Hall of the Creative Writing Center.

Spaide eagerly anticipates the years he will spend in the United Kingdom. He hopes that his work on two senior theses will have prepared him well for the tutorial system of learning at Oxford.

“I’m looking forward to introducing everyone in the United Kingdom to the cultural cornerstones of my American childhood, like Monty Python, the Beatles and Harry Potter,” he said.

After Oxford, Spaide plans to pursue a Ph.D with an interdisciplinary focus that reflects his interest in both music and English. He hopes to become “the professor I have always dreamed of studying with.”

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