Taylor Parker

Taylor Parker
Mentor: Dr. Gayle Zachmann
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
 
In today’s time, many countries are witnessing a large, sudden influx of people displaced by conflict, especially war and terrorism. These countries are also witnessing a rise in conservative policy, nationalist and nativist sentiments in response to stimuli in the form of migrants and refugees. However, as all of these issues are simply reoccurring in our contemporary period, the new question becomes in what ways do the stimuli and the reactions compare to those of the past? Getting involved with research allows me to understand these complex and dynamic issues that continue to affect countries everywhere. The objective research process may contribute a modern critique or solution to the contemporary aspects of these issues."

Major

French, International Studies

Minor

Jewish Studies Certificate

Research Interests

  • Immigrant Figures
  • French Literature
  • Political Rhetoric

Academic Awards

  • Bryn Mawr L'Institut d'Avignon Summer 2016
  • Wentworth Honors Scholarship for Study Abroad Summer 2016
  • International Center for Study Abroad Fall 2016
  • University Scholars Program 2016

Organizations

  • UF French Mentorship Program
  • International Scholars Program
  • UF Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society

Volunteer

  • French Mentorship Program- Eastside High School
  • Health Occupations Students of America

Hobbies and Interests

  • History
  • Studying Languages
  • Reading
  • Rhetoric Techniques

Research Description

The Jew and the Immigrant: A Tale of Two "Others"
By focusing on a corpus of literary, historical, and journalistic texts written between 1928 and 1950, this project will explore sociopolitical concerns and perceptions of the figure of “the other.” My thesis will explore the relationships between the figure of the Jew and the figure of the immigrant, as well as how literary texts may document, contest and/or reinforce prevailing views in French society.

Analysis of key immigrant figures from literary texts by French authors such as Vercors and Jean-Paul Sartre will reveal former conceptions of immigrants in France during the selected period. This analysis will provide two main perspectives: the first from the Jewish immigrant protagonists; and the second from non-Jewish, non-immigrant figures in these texts. After this analysis, a comparison of the political climates documented within the literature and the historical context of the period supported by journalistic texts and political documents will show to what extent this literature engaged or reflected sociopolitical concerns of the period. The following part of this research will examine current reflections and interpretations of the period 1928-1950. This work will be derived from observations of immigration museums in France, archives that document anti-Semitic media, and various memorials that bear witness to the existence of a group made distinct from France’s general population. The extent to which France’s representation of its Jewish population and its representation of its immigrants during the selected period will be distinguished in terms of political and social exclusion. Finally, the relationship between literary and historical depictions of France’s Jewish population and France’s immigrant population during 1928-1950 will then be contrasted with France’s current immigrant crisis and political responses. These results may inform how current immigrant figures are portrayed not only in present-day France, but in other countries experiencing immigration crises as well.