Hands-on introduction to the world of book arts.
Intersectionality in literature throughout history.
Translating French poetry and its role in the modernist movement.
Cuteness is an aesthetic response between a viewer and an object. There is a spectrum of cuteness that allows the viewer to feel a variety of emotions based on the object they are interacting with. What is the power behind these objects that makes the viewer develop feelings for them? Cute items in Japanese society are closely associated with the feminine and the vulnerable. The largest consumer of cute products in Japanese is the shōjo (young lady). The shōjo uses cute objects to create an atmosphere around herself, allowing her to be empowered in the patriarchal society of Japan.
William Faulkner’s chaotic Yoknapatawpha was translated into Spanish and distributed throughout Latin America for the first time in 1932. Faulkner’s short stories and novels reached the hands of aspiring writers, amongst them Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Colombia, Mario Vargas Llosa in Peru and Carlos Fuentes in Mexico. My senior thesis focuses on the role of William Faulkner’s work in the formative years of the writers of the Latin American Boom. I begin by thinking about theories of influence and the power dynamics involved in cross-cultural literary inheritance. I then consider the ways in which the translators of Faulkner modify his sentences and what elements of these translations, if any, are present in the early work of the Boom. With a focus on the early work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his first encounters with Faulkner, this project hopes to better understand the place of William Faulkner in the Latin American Boom.
In the past years, much has been written about Miguel Cervantes’ experience as a captive in Algiers. With the rise of academic interest in Africa—especially in the Maghreb as a hub of Mediterranean cultures—many scholars have studied Cervantes’ time in captivity (1575-1580) to explore its impact on his life and literary work. For Cervantes, an itinerant migrant throughout his life, his experience in the Maghreb represented his first real encounters with “otherness” in a national, religious, and ethnic context. This thesis, therefore, explores the complex role of migration in the works of Cervantes though the voices of his female characters. This analysis illustrates female migrants in the process of self-discovery, searching for a better life through their migratory routes and utilizing their agency to move beyond the geographic and ideological frontiers that seek to restrict and define them.
Fire and Flour is the result of over 30 hours of oral histories conducted with my family in Martinique. I was awarded the Schiff Fellowship in order to pursue research for my creative writing thesis, and used the money to fly to Martinique to conduct my interviews in person. A creative “novella”, Fire and Flour compiles and remembers a history of deep personal importance.
For my senior thesis, I explored a striking group of paintings produced by the School of Fontainebleau in the second half of the sixteenth century which depict nude and half-nude women bathing or at their toilette. These paintings are exceptional for the period in that nudity was primarily reserved for allegorical or mythological contexts. The identity of the women depicted in these mysterious paintings has been a continual source of fascination for scholars who have suggested a wide array of royal mistresses and queens. Beyond the women’s precise identities, however, the paintings elicit many questions. My thesis begins to explore their meaning, their function, and what they reveal to us about women of the period. It argues that the painting's unusual combination of the ideal nude and portrait reflects the creative and performative nature of women's identity and sexuality at the French Court.
During World War II, France’s rapid and unexpected defeat was followed by the German occupation of the northern half of the country. The Occupation (1940-44) was marked not only by the daily stress of living alongside the German enemy, but also by a civil war within the French population. Existing critical works on Irène Némirovsky, a Russian-Jewish author writing in France during the Occupation, focus on fitting Némirovsky’s wartime writing into a certain political and ideological framework; however, these attempts to label Némirovsky’s political stance are far too reductive. In my thesis, I have taken the opposite approach, seeking to bring to light the complexity of Némirovsky’s ambivalent representation of Germans, as well as of French elites and women. Rather than producing unequivocal propaganda works, Némirovsky portrays these external and internal enemies to French national solidarity in order to consider timeless ethical questions regarding individual responsibility and collective identity.
My senior thesis examines the lives and music of Sofia Gubaidulina (b. 1931) and Galina Ustvolskaya (1919-2006), two prominent women composers from the Soviet Union. As women composers in the Soviet Union, they occupy a unique niche in twentieth-century music history. Living in an ostensibly egalitarian society, Gubaidulina and Ustvolskaya were treated as equal to their male counterparts and given greater access to education than many women in the West. Both Gubaidulina and Ustvolskaya developed compositional styles which are neither traditional nor avant-garde, but strikingly unique. Studying the lives and music of these women raises broad questions about gender, identity, and freedom from oppressive ideology. In the face of a regime which attempted to limit their artistic expression, these women sought spiritual independence through their music.