Tuesday, November 27, 2018

by Kelsey Harrell, The Daily Iowan

After being named a Rhodes scholar, UI senior Austin Hughes said he “cycled through anxiety, joy, worry — the whole gamut of emotions.”

On Nov. 17, Hughes became one of 32 Rhodes scholars from the U.S. selected to study at Oxford University starting in October 2019. Hughes is majoring in English, creative writing, and Japanese language and literature.

The journey to becoming a Rhodes scholar began for Hughes at the end of the past summer. Throughout the application process, he acquired letters of recommendation from professors, wrote essays, was endorsed by the UI, and finally interviewed for the scholarship in Chicago, Hughes said.

Studying at Oxford is the perfect next step for him, he said. While there, he will be able to start learning classical Japanese, a rarer form of the language. Through learning the language, he will be able to read texts that predate the 1800s, he said.

By learning classical Japanese, he hopes to be able to compare the Japanese texts to English texts of the same time period, Hughes said. He hopes to do a comparative-literature dissertation through his studies in the English and Japanese languages while at Oxford.