Luther senior Patyk selected to research Theodore Sturgeon during summer


"Live long and prosper" the phrase from TV's "Star Trek" was written by Theodore Sturgeon, a science fiction author and editor from the late 1930s who wrote several episodes for the popular series, though he is renowned for his many short stories and acclaimed novel "More Than Human." Katie Patyk, Luther College senior of Milladore, Wisconsin, is researching Sturgeon's works and letters to discuss the parameters of the science fiction genre for her summer research project at the college.

Patyk, the daughter of Jeff and Tracey Patyk, of Milladore, is a 2014 graduate of Auburndale High School. She is majoring in English and history at Luther.

"By far the most fascinating part of the research has been getting my hands dirty in the archive. Sturgeon wrote to some very famous authors, such as Bradbury and Vonnegut. Being able to touch the very letters that Ray Bradbury doodled on or that Kurt Vonnegut clacked out on his typewriter has been one of the major capstones of my Luther English career so far," said Patyk.

Patyk is working with Andrew Hageman, Luther assistant professor of English, on her project "Exploring the Archives of Science Fiction: Theodore Sturgeon."

Through exploring the personal papers of Sturgeon in the Spencer Research Library at Kansas University, Patyk is gaining a rare view of conversations between several of the giants of science fiction as they discuss what the genre can and should do and how it reflects and/or shapes real technologies and sciences outside of fiction. She chose Sturgeon because he was an influential contributor to such conversations and kept a treasure trove of letters, notes and ephemera that are all accessible in the archive.

The group's collaboration is one of 26 summer student-faculty research projects funded through Luther's College Scholars Program and Dean's Office. The Student-Faculty Summer Research projects provide students an opportunity to research topics of interest alongside Luther faculty. This program is one of a wide selection of experiential learning opportunities at Luther intended to deepen the learning process and that are part of Luther's academic core.

The results of the project will be presented at Luther's Student Research Symposium in 2018.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,150, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.