I analyzed the theme of psychological repression in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and Zadie Smith’s NW, exploring how, despite the apparent progress in British society during the nearly 90 years between their publications, the same problem still surfaces.
During the duration of her fellowship, Sam read and analyzed six of Shakespeare’s Roman and Greek plays. She also researched a variety of methodologies including, feminism, new historicism, and marxism. Her research into various methodologies showed her a variety of critical methods from which to approach writing her article, so that she could combine them to create her own unique methodology.
For my Fellowship this summer I produced and published a collection of four short fiction stories that explored the experience of a Romanian family as they immigrate to the U.S, assimilate, and grow apart as time passes. These stories were inspired by a piece I created for my advanced fiction class in the fall 2021 semester, as well as my own personal experience with my Romanian-American family.
The conception of this project came during a class about feminist theater. I found these plays (Goodbye My Fancy, The Children’s Hour, Machinal), which were supposed to represent feminism, lacking in many ways. I’ve been reading stories critically through the lenses of gender and sexuality studies throughout my education. I wanted to insert my own voice as a writer into the gaps I’ve identified in creative conversations about gender normativity.
Throughout the summer of 2020, I spent the majority of my time crafting my novel, Generation Beta. I read and researched an array of different topics from history, the craft of writing, all the way to the psychology of the human brain. I worked with my mentor, Professor J. Michael Martinez, who is also a published poet and has written many non-fiction pieces. He managed the vast amount of research and help connect all of it by directing where to go next. While during this research, I plotted and wrote away, applying the things I was learning every day.