Undergraduate Alumni Stories

Erin Murphy '95

I'm an Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley School of Law. I absolutely used my Comp Lit degree — mostly to prepare me in ways I did not anticipate for law school. Comp Lit is of course all about understanding and studying texts, and about searching for meaning and defending an interpretation — exactly like law. The fact that I learned how to study text, and pay close attention to various modes of interpretation (literal words, contextual history, political meanings, etc.) well positioned me for law school success, because that is EXACTLY the project of legal interpretation.

Georgia Reid '97

"My Comp. Lit major opened doors and interests which only a major as complex and personal as this one can do."

I majored in '97 in Comparative Literature 19th-20th Century French Literature and Art History. My advisor was Kate Conley in the French Department. After graduation I participated at a conference in Cerisy, Normandy. An incredible experience where I had the opportunity of meeting great French theorists of Art History and Literature. It was organized and directed by my Advisor Prof. Conley. In Sept. 97 I started working at Leo Burnett in advertising in Chicago. While in Chicago I not only worked in a very creative environment where I could do a lot of writing and researching, but I was also a volunteer for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and became a licensed tour guide for the Robie House, a house built at a time in history that I had loved studying about during my time at Dartmouth. I then got my masters degree at the London School of Economics where I focused on Social Policy, Planning and Participation in Developing Countries.

Cecily Garber '03

"My more general experience as a comp lit at Dartmouth major has been invaluable in preparing me for academic work; writing the thesis was an especial boon. Looking back, I am amazed by the amount and degree of personalized attention I received there. I am sure it has given me a leg up in later studies, particularly in a place like London, where so much of the coursework is "hands off."

In London I completed a Masters in "National and International Literatures in English," meaning more or less postcolonial literature, which was the focus of my major at Dartmouth. While I enjoyed the year of coursework, I decided I wanted to turn to British modernism for my thesis, which is the focus I'm currently pursuing at Illinois. While I've sadly not been able to keep up the foreign language skills central to my BA, I am glad that I pursued them while I could as an undergraduate.

Nancy Kricorian '82

Nancy Kricorian, '82 (wrote in July of 2008), is a writer and political activist. She has published two novels (ZABELLE and DREAMS OF BREAD AND FIRE) and is at work on her  third. She is a member of the national staff and New York City coordinator for CODEPINK Women for Peace (www.codepinkalert.org). At Dartmouth, Nancy majored in Comparative Literature (French and Women's Studies) and did a Senior Fellowship in Creative Writing (Poetry). She has an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University's Writing Division.

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