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Faculty and staff of the Comparative Literature program congratulate our graduate students on completing their M.A. degrees! They have contended with the pandemic, isolation, and tumultuous politics, in addition to the intensity of the nine-months program. We are so proud of what they have done and are enormously excited about their plans for the future! There is so much to celebrate:
Elizabeth Cornick has studied English and Spanish modernisms under the expert guidance of Professors Antonio Gómez and Melissa Zeiger at Dartmouth this year. In addition to investigating the influence of Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse on Carmen Martín Gaite's modernist prose and themes in El cuarto de atrás for my MA Essay, she greatly enjoyed continuing to improve my Spanish in elective courses on Frida Kahlo and love in Hispanic film. Elizabeth's other courses allowed her to explore American modernism and the roots of feminist theory for which I earned a course citation. Outside the classroom, she served on the Graduate Student Council (GSC). There, she worked with the Communications Committee and handled the GSC's social media platforms to promote various graduate student events, programs, and initiatives, earning the GSC Member of the Month award. She also worked as a teaching assistant in two courses and as a research assistant for Professor Melissa Zeiger's forthcoming publication on the poet Anne Spencer. In addition to all this, Elizabeth has done public writing for the nonprofit journalism website WhoWhatWhy; one about the impact of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court vacancy on the Jewish vote in Florida during the 2020 presidential election and the other about switching from banks that finance fossil fuels to green banks that support sustainable investment practices. She now looks forward to teaching upper school English and coaching girls lacrosse at the Ransom Everglades School in Miami, FL.
Sophie Frank spent much of her year exploring twenty-first century comics through her MA essay on the French graphic novel Blue is the Warmest Color and its film adaptation. She completed this project under the kind and insightful guidance of Professor Annabelle Cone, of the French department, and Professor Paul Young, of Film and Media Studies. In addition to her research, Sophie continued her study of the French and Italian languages, and on a whim, she took an eighteenth-century English literature course (just for fun). She also served as a teaching assistant for the undergraduate introductory comparative literature course and as a research assistant for Professor Yuliya Komska on her current project about Margret and H.A. Rey, creators of Curious George. And finally, Sophie mastered the art of Zoom knitting. This fall, she will join the upper school English faculty at the Milken Community School in Los Angeles, and she looks forward to bringing a comparative literature perspective to their "Marginalized Voices" course.
James Johnson did research in medieval Latin and Italian before eventually focusing his M.A. essay on the didacticism of a twelfth-century Latin story collection called Dolopathos. In addition to the graduate theory seminars and workshops, he took courses on Vergil's Eclogues and Georgics, medieval Latin, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Russian fairy tales, and introductory Arabic. He also served as a TA for two classes, an introductory course on Comparative Literature in the fall (together with the cohort) and the Brothers Grimm and the European folklore tradition in the spring. Despite the challenges of pursuing graduate study during the pandemic, he was fortunate to spend this year at Dartmouth with a wonderful cohort, to work with Professors Nancy Canepa and Monika Otter, and to get invaluable guidance and support from the program's graduate faculty. He plans to devote the coming year to research and study, doctoral applications, publishing, and professional apprenticeships.
Caroline King has recently completed her master's essay at Dartmouth with a focus on becomings in Paul Preciado's Testo yonqui. She holds a master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of Oxford and graduated from Johns Hopkins University with majors in Psychology, Writing Seminars, and Spanish. Her writing has been published in various academic and literary journals and she has completed a novel which she seeks to publish. The Co-founder and editor of the Napkin Poetry Review, Caroline hopes to continue growing this platform and begin a creative career in media after graduating from Dartmouth.
Nathan Leach spent the year studying the fiction of Fyodor Dostoevsky and James Baldwin, with a focus on lived ethics and the theme of suffering. His M.A. essay treated Baldwin's reception of Dostoevsky, exploring how Dostoevsky served Baldwin's model for how suffering can be transformed into art and human togetherness. Nathan's foremost passion is education, and in the Fall he will start working in Baltimore City Public Schools as an elementary school teacher. Through teaching, and perhaps one day through administration, he hopes to make joyful, liberatory education available to all.
Victoria Pipas has continued to focus on poetry of the English Renaissance, and particularly on the works of Edmund Spenser, paying close attention to the reception of classical genres in the medieval and Renaissance periods and also the French humanist influences. In her M.A. essay Victoria explored how early sixteenth-century humanist descriptions of Rome's decay shaped Spenser's poetic conceptualizations of matter. She looks forward to continuing to pursue this line of inquiry as I begin a PhD in English at Harvard University this fall. The variety of courses and research experiences this year at Dartmouth struck her as endlessly fulfilling, and she took classes on Dante, Chaucer, medieval Latin, and Renaissance and Baroque sculpture. She was a teaching assistant for the introductory Comparative Literature lecture course"Read the World" and assisted Professor Noelia Cirnigliaro in her research into early modern dance in the English, French, Italian, and Spanish Baroque periods. Additionally, throughout the year, she continued as research assistant and project manager to Professor James Hankins (Harvard University) on his "Patrizi Project," helping modernize an Elizabeth English epitome translation of Francesco Patrizi of Siena's De institutione reipublicae (1465/71), a humanist "virtue politics" text. In March, she presented a portion of my Oxford MSt dissertation on the "Petrarch Beyond Subjectivity" panel of the 2021 NeMLA Convention and then gave a paper "House, Gardin, and chambre: Tapestry Form and the Construction of Courtly Space in Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene," at the slightly more intimate Renaissance Conference of Southern California. She looks forward to revising her Dartmouth M.A. Essay for submission to a publication this summer.
Stephen Valeri's work at Dartmouth centered on his M.A. essay about how a French translation of James Joyce's Finnegans Wake reveals the influence of word formation on the internal relations of the work's content. He has also worked on his French and German through courses on modern authors including the 20th-century French intellectuals, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Kafka, and Brecht. Independently, he is approaching reading knowledge in Spanish and Russian. During the pandemic, he could continue researching in the James Joyce Digital Archive, examining changes in Joyce's compounds during his writing of Ulysses, and the Samuel Beckett Collection, investigating how early Beckett work reflects the influence of Joyce. In June, he will present a paper derived from my M.A. essay at the "Telling the Time: Modernism and Time" symposium hosted by "Modernist Studies Ireland." Over the summer Stephen will be taking an intensive French course at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris, and in the fall, he will continue his ongoing project on the evolution of Joyce's neologisms at the Zurich James Joyce Foundation with the support of a scholarship from the Foundation. He has also received a DAAD One-Year Research Grant for research at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany during the next year.