Sean McLeary is a first-generation, low-income student whose education is top priority, despite the unconventional academic trajectory his life has followed. At fourteen years old, Sean began working full-time at a small, quaint used bookstore in the San Francisco bay area. By sixteen, Sean had moved away from home and began traveling the world shortly thereafter, returning to bookstores and the comfort he found in reading as often as he could. Sean McLeary’s young adulthood was spent enriching his intellectual and emotional life. Sean would read Don Quixote de la Mancha for the first time while living with the Zapatista rebels in Chiapas, Mexico, devoured the works of Knut Hamsun and studied utopian fiction while working as a tree surgeon in Ireland, took a course on Primate Behavior and Ecology on the rainforested Nicaraguan volcanic island of Ometepe, and explored Latin American history and politics while traveling through Cuba in 2001. It is these experiences, among many more like them, which have allowed Sean to understand his academic interests, proclivities, passions, and trajectory.
Sean’s primary field of interest is Colonial Mexican History (especially 17th century intellectual figures within the clergy), with a secondary interest in Intellectual history (the history of human ideas-and the social circumstances which both facilitated and hindered those ideas). Sean McLeary has completed two years of both French and Spanish, and is a lead figure in Southern Oregon University’s Spanish Club. At the 2013 Southern Oregon Arts and Research event, Sean presented “Gustave Doré – An Artist and Intellectual in Multiple Genres” and was one of three students chosen for the honor to present their research findings at an event for the Southern Oregon University’s “President’s Circle.” During the summer of 2013, Sean McLeary researched representations in the media of three immigrant groups in American history-the Irish, the Chinese, and Latin Americans. Sean presented his findings at the 2014 Southern Oregon Arts and Research event. During the summer of 2015, Sean McLeary traveled to the Bancroft archive at UC Berkeley for a research paper, “Creating the Tenth Muse: The Intellectual Passions of Sor Juana Ines la Cruz.” Later during the summer of 2015, Sean would progress his research on colonial Hieronymite nun, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. To assist with his capstone research project, Sean traveled to Mexico City and visited Sor Juana’s 17th century convent. Sean researched documents from various archives, including the National Archives in Mexico City. This student is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of graduate school and the discipline it will give him in enriching his intellectual life. Topics of great interest to Sean within his discipline are: periods of high transculturation, revolutions/rebellions, institutional “lag”, and religious syncretism.
Sean McLeary’s long-term educational goal is to earn a Ph.D. in History, with a focus on 17th Century Mexican History, or other comparable and exciting program. Sean has had a lifelong interest in human history, the arts, politics, and evolutionary biology. Sean McLeary is predominantly interested in becoming a college professor after graduate school and looks forward to positively contributing to the social community and adding his voice to the legacy of American Intellectual historians.
Mentor: Dr. Sean F. McEnroe, Associate Professor of History
2014 McNair Scholar Symposium
PowerPoint Illustrated Presentation:
SOU McNair Scholars Journal 2013