The College of Arts and Sciences is a hub of innovation and creativity and a continuous source of original contribution to the world of academia.  A good deal of that contribution stems from the work done by undergraduates.  ArtSci Council draws attention to some of the most stellar work done by undergrads in order to promote their efforts and encourage other students to follow in their example.

Featured Researcher

Clayton Covington

Meet Clayton

Clayton Covington is a current junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, majoring in International and Area Studies with a minor Sociology. Clayton’s research examines the history of homoeroticism in Jamaica beginning in the era of slavery.

 As a first-year student, Clayton attended the Midwestern Queer and Indigenous People of Color Conference, sparking an interest in him that would later cultivate to his own undergraduate research. He heard a speaker discuss how norms of sexuality in black spaces had been colonized by historical actors. In his first-year, Clayton took Introduction to Africana Studies, explaining, “It was very impactful for me because it helped me think about blackness in more of a diasporic sense … that’s why I felt like my research didn’t need to be confined to just black people in the United States, and that’s how I got into the area of Jamaica.”

His sophomore year, Clayton applied for and was accepted to the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellowship, under the guidance of Professor Monique Bedasse. Clayton’s research critically approaches a common, misinformed stereotype that Jamaica is one of the most homophobic places in the world.  

Clayton felt very well supported by Washington University in St. Louis throughout his undergraduate research experience. He would like to see improved outreach efforts towards first-year students reminding them that our institution supports and encourages research in the humanities.  

Clayton hopes to carry on researching and learning about the topics that drove his initial undergraduate research. After graduating, Clayton plans on attending graduate school, possibly earning a PhD in History, Sociology, or Africana Studies.

To contact Clayton or for more information, please contact us!