Constance Hackler

Constance Hackler
Mentor: Dr. Tace Hackler
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
 
"Well, as far as my personality is concerned, I've always been a curious person who loves to analyze anything I can get my hands on. I knew I wanted to do research related to some Spanish-speaking country because I myself speak Spanish, but I wanted to choose a place that didn't have as much academic representation as others. Nicaragua became that place for me, and I hope that by reading my research other people will learn more about U.S/Nicaraguan relations than they knew before and will have a more varied understanding of the contemporary plight of immigrants."

Major

English

Minor

Spanish

Research Interests

  • Literature
  • Culture
  • Law

Academic Awards

  • UF International Center Study Abroad Scholarship
  • Southwest Florida Community Foundation Scholarship
  • Ding Darling Wildlife Foundation Scholarship
  • Voice of Democracy Speech Contest

Organizations

  • English Language Institute Conversation Partner

Volunteer

  • Consistent Intern at U.S. Senator Bill Nelson's Office in Fort Myers, Florida
  • Intern at Immigration Law Firm
  • Harvest of Hope Non-profit Foundation to Aid Migrant Workers

Hobbies and Interests

  • Thinking
  • Reading/Writing
  • Friends
  • Meeting People

Research Description

Missing the Boat: A Literary Analysis of Francisco Goldman's The Ordinary Seaman
I aim to investigate literary representations of United States/Nicaraguan relations in the contemporary novel, Francisco Goldman’s The Ordinary Seaman. I will focus on the ways in which this work of literature uses genre and other literary strategies to represent the realities of the past twenty-five years of relations between the U.S. and Nicaragua. In other words, I will focus my research on the ways in which The Ordinary Seaman seeks to represent historical events through fictionalizing. For example, I will trace through these novels their depiction of the exportation of violence to Nicaragua from the United States, and the migrations of Nicaraguans to the U.S. and away from the violence in their home countries.As a University Scholar, I traveled to Nicaragua during the summer of 2013 as part of a study abroad program through the University of Florida Honors Program. There, I investigated the aftermath of the Nicaraguan revolution. Thirty-some years after the civil wars in Central America, these countries are still negotiating the socioeconomic and political effects of these wars. In Nicaragua itself, I examined one contemporary method to reverse prior instability and inspire social and cultural change: multinational, nongovernmental organizations’ grassroots developments. I believe that my thesis is unusual in that it seeks to combine a literary analysis of a novel concerned with U.S./Nicaraguan relations with on-the-ground observations of the effects and aftermaths of those relations in Nicaragua itself. I chose a novel because, often times, authors operate within fiction to express thoughts that would have otherwise been suppressed. Therefore, this post-Nicaraguan revolutionary novel which acts as a “safe space” for expression is a direct testament to the Nicaraguans’ perception of what was, what is, and what they hope will be. Ultimately, through the production of the thesis, I intend to discover: do grassroots developments function as a way to recover from international predation? Are the non-governmental organizations I will observe organically motivated or motivated by people in the United States? What cultural expectations are either actively or passively transferred from the agencies to Nicaraguans during this rehabilitation and assistance? How do the Nicaraguans seem to respond to this ‘helping hand’ compared to the American volunteers’ perspective of their influence? I hope to connect these queries to my reading of The Ordinary Seaman in thinking about what is, and is not elucidated about U.S./Nicaraguan relations in the literary work. Within the story itself, how does operating within a particular genre restrict or unlock these realities? And, finally, if this class of literature strives to epitomize societal paradigms, then what purpose do these narratives serve within the real-world context of U.S./Central American relations as a whole? Through this scholarly analysis, I strive not only to ask a research question, but to conduct an international project to look for answers. I believe this research can yield a better understanding of U.S./Nicaraguan relations as depicted in literature and reality, an awareness of Nicaraguan efforts to combat years of political upheaval, and, finally, a cognizance of international nongovernmental organizations’ attempts to contribute to global progress.