Texas Tech University

History Senior Wyland Wins British Studies Award

Heather Wyland

Written by Toni Salama

For History Senior Heather Wyland, calico has become more than the familiar cotton print. In Wyland’s hands, the history of how the manufacture of calico cloth replaced that of woolens in late-17th and early-18th century England became an award-winning research paper.

Wyland, a Copperas Cove native set to graduate in December 2014, is one of only eight students from the United States and Canada to receive the North American Conference on British Studies (NACBS) Undergraduate Essay Prize. Wyland said that she started her research by focusing on the riots that erupted with the ascendancy of calico—“Everybody loves a good riot,” Wyland observed—and combed British Parliament records for facts.

History Assistant Professor Abigail Swingen, who submitted Wyland’s paper to the NACBS, said that the award in a major accomplishment for an undergraduate and a high honor for anyone studying British history. Swingen described the NACBS as the foremost scholarly organization for British studies in history and English.

"What impressed me was her careful use of secondary and primary sources," Swingen said of Wyland's research. "And her paper was well-written, thoughtfully put together."

Wyland hopes to stay at TTU beyond graduation to pursue history through the PhD level and go on to teach. “I like the cooperative environment in the History Department here,” Wyland said.

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