UI Creative Writing Major Austin Hughes named Rhodes scholar

Congratulations to Austin Hughes, a creative writing major at the University of Iowa, for becoming a Rhodes Scholar!

From IowaNow:
Newly named Rhodes scholar Austin Hughes, a University of Iowa senior from Arlington, Texas, is ready to represent his two home states on the international level.

“Honestly, that is the part I’m most psyched about,” says Hughes. “I think both of those places—Texas and Iowa—have shaped who I am.”

Hughes was selected as one of 32 American Rhodes scholars on Nov. 17 out of 880 applicants representing 281 American colleges and universities. The American scholars will join scholars from more than 60 countries around the world. Hughes and his fellow Rhodes scholars each will receive about $70,000 a year to study at Oxford University in England beginning in October 2019.

UI senior Melissa Lauer, an honors student from Des Moines, Iowa, majoring in English and creative writing as well as studio arts, was a Rhodes scholarship finalist.

At UI, Hughes is pursuing majors in English and creative writing, and Japanese language and literature. He is a member of the UI Honors Program, co-president of the English Society, a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Tau Delta and the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including the Beinecke Scholarship, a highly selective fellowship offered to students to pursue advanced degrees in the arts, humanities, or social sciences.

Hughes is the 21st UI student awarded a Rhodes scholarship since 1905. The university’s most recent Rhodes scholar was Jeffrey Ding, in 2015.

At Oxford, Hughes will study pre-modern Japanese literature and representation of Japanese culture in English literature over the same historical period. He ultimately hopes to become a professor in comparative literature, Japanese or English, as well as a writer.

“I want to write poems for a global audience and try to find a way to integrate the humanities in a way that goes beyond academia and gets more people excited about the things I’m excited about,” he says. “I want to be an educator and a connector.”

Read more: UI senior Austin Hughes named Rhodes scholar

Also, check out our 5Q Interview with Austin Hughes last year!