Graduate Student, Spanish
Katryn Evinson is a Ph.D. student in Romance Studies (Spanish Section). She is originally from Barcelona (Spain) where she completed a Licenciatura in Humanities with a concentration in Philosophy (Pompeu Fabra University, 2009). After working in an International Education program for six years, she completed an MA in Aesthetics and Contemporary Art Theory (Autonomous University of Barcelona, 2013) from which she graduated with a thesis on Failure as an aesthetic category titled Failure as an Aporia: The Politics of a ‘Disobedient Structure.’
On a theoretical level, Katryn’s interests revolve around questions related to the intersections between aesthetics and politics within the debates encountered by post-structural theory, post-operaismo, feminist theory and new materialisms. The object of her research is 20th and 21st century Peninsular and Latin American literature. More specifically, Katryn is drawn to questions in literature that explore ways to challenge the logics of representation, as well as questions of propriety and impropriety when considering forms of political subjectivity, or matters of communal life and its quarrel with sovereignty.
Graduate Student, French
Jackqueline Frost is a Ph.D. student in the Romance Studies Department of Cornell University. Her work centers on francophone Caribbean literature and intellectual history, and in how poetics (broadly conceived) informs and is informed by social life and collective memory, particularly among Atlantic World intellectuals in the era of formal decolonization. Her specific interests include non-European surrealism, conceptions of poetic violence in ‘Négritude’ thought, colonial psychiatry, revolutionary romanticism, and creolization. Hailing from Southern Louisiana, she is a heritage speaker of Cajun/creole French and teaches standard French at Cornell.
She is author of several collections of poetry in English, and is active in the world of anglophone experimental writing.
Ph.D. candidate, Italian
I am a PhD Candidate in Italian at the Department of Romance Studies at Cornell University. I am currently working on my dissertation titled “Children’s Utopia / Fascist Utopia: Ideology and Reception of Children’s Textbooks Under Italian Fascism.” Within the scope of my project, I concentrate on the way in which the Libro unico dello Stato contributed to the Fascist subjection of children in Italy between 1929-1944.
As questions of ideology and subjection concern the historical and theoretical aspects of my work, I chiefly use Louis Althusser’s “Ideology and the Ideological State Apparatus” as a framework for my analyses. I ask: What kind of a role did children assume within the apparatus of Fascist education and how might that have paved the way for Fascist subjection, if at all? How are these children taught to identify with such ideas vested in the images present in textbooks? Were there different and competing narratives of nationalism or perhaps regionalism that downplayed the ideological formation of Fascist students? Finally, how might a child’s age, gender, social status, geographic location, or emotional and mental development prevent or allow him or her to grasp and respond to the images conveyed in didactic material?
In addition to my duties as an Italian instructor at Cornell, I am conducting dissertation research both within the US and abroad. With the short-term research travel grant awarded by the Cornell University Graduate School in the 2013 spring semester, I consulted the Guido Mazzoni Pamphlet Collection on Italian education and pedagogy at Duke University’s Rubenstein Rare Manuscript Library and Archive as well as the Constantine M. Panunzio papers at Stanford University’s Hoover Library and Archives. Both in the summer of 2013 and at present, I am visiting and working with scholars Anna Ascenzi and Roberto Sani at the University of Macerata’s Centro di documentazione e ricerca sulla storia del libro scolastico e della letteratura per l’infanzia in Italy, thanks to the generous Michele Sicca grant and academic year, 2014-2015, Luigi Einaudi Fellowship for Dissertation Research awarded by Cornell University’s Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies.
I received my B.A. in English from UCLA in 2005 with a concentration on British Literature. In 2009, I received a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Classics with an emphasis on Latin from UCLA. My coursework at Cornell includes: The “European Civil War”: Violence, Politics and Culture in Europe from 1914-1945, War and the Italian Experience, Urban Consumerism under Fascism, the Modern Roman Novel, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Heidegger’s Literature, History of Romance Linguistics, and Italian Dialectology. I am fluent in English, Armenian, Italian and hold advanced knowledge of French.
Ph.D. candidate, French
I was drawn to Cornell for its commitment to internationalism and interdisciplinarity, as well as for its rich history of literary theory and criticism. I arrived at Cornell in 2012 from Tufts, where I studied French and International Relations, and coordinated summer programs for its European Center, a satellite campus located in the French Alps. I previously worked for the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard, and instructed French for a high school study abroad program in Switzerland. I pursued a fellowship at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, where I examined international law, global health diplomacy and human rights. I am currently exploring intersections of law and literature, cosmopolitanism, sovereignty and the philosophy of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution.
Graduate student, Spanish
I am a Ph.D. student in the department of Romance Studies in the Spanish section. I hold a Licenciatura in Hispanic literature (Autonomous University of Chihuahua, Mexico, 2012), and an MA in Spanish with specialization in Latin American literature (The University of Texas at El Paso, 2015). In my master’s thesis, “Literature on the northern Mexican border: An analysis of the pragmatic discourse,” I compare literary works that include the northern border of Mexico in their narrative. My analysis is based on the intellectual and/or affective connection of the authors with the border zone. Speech pragmatics, politics of affect, space representation, and potential audience effects are the main areas I developed.
Still focused on the field of border studies, at Cornell my research is centered on the intersections and divergences between the northern and southern borders of Mexico. Border technologies, environmental disturbance, human losses, migration policies, and the networks of meanings that literature, cinema, and mass media bestow upon the border realities, are elements that shape the core concerns of my research. Since day one, Cornell has given me the opportunity to advance in an interdisciplinary approach dedicated to the study of the intertwinement of the Mexican borderlines.
Graduate Student, French
After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2012, I spent a year at The Institute of French Studies at New York University to earn a Masters degree. Since then, I have been continuously drawn to the intersection between history and literature, that is, examining the cultural and political vestiges of French colonialism manifested in literary expression. Some questions that shape my research direction include: What are the political implications of using a language that is one’s own and one that isn’t? How did French and Western thinking influence Vietnamese intellectuals, before, during and in the wake of claiming Vietnam’s independence? And more specific to literature; how does writing archive or displace experiences that are in-between these transitions, these geographical boundaries, these languages?
I am fortunate that Cornell supports an interdisciplinarity that has encouraged me to become a part of the Southeast Asia Program, in which I am concentrating my minor. My extension beyond the department has given me the opportunity to not only work with scholars in other fields, but also to foster my personal interests through extracurricular discussions on Asian-American identity, contemporary Vietnamese studies, and creative writing.
For more information on my research and teaching: yennvu.com