"I applied to this program because it is the premier opportunity for undergraduate research at the University of Florida. It not only allows you to conduct funded research - it provides you with the chance to create meaningful associations with scholars who share similar interests. Most importantly, the student can work personally with an experienced faculty member of their choice. It has allowed me to study under Christopher Caes, who has furthered my interest in Slavic studies and inspired me to push the boundaries of my academic fortitude. I strongly recommend this program to any student who wishes to conduct meaningful research within a challenging environment."
Cultural literature studies and film studies within the English program. Specific interests include: experimental cinema, Hebrew literature, and Slavic literature.
Academic and Other Awards
- University Scholars Program Scholarship (2011-2012)
- Mock Trial Award: Fall 2010 Best Defense Award
- Visions Film Conference (2011)
- Undergraduate Film Conference at the University of North Carolina
- Lipsky Books Awards (2011)
- UF President's Honor Roll (2009-2010)
- Dean's List (2010-2011)
- National Collegiate Honor Society
- Pre-Legal Honor Society
- Sigma Tau Delta
- Tea Literary Magazine
- Ubernothing Literary and Art Review
Melika volunteers at the Sunset Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. She also frequents the Civic Media Center poetry circle.
Hobbies and Interests
- Classical piano, guitar, creative writing, editing, working with 16mm film, traveling, Polish history, and direct animation.
Lem's Literary Technology and the Objectivity of Modernity: A Critical Examination of Polish Occupation and Modernization Through Literature
Stanislaw Lem, a Polish novelist, playwright, and critic, is an exemplary figure of the contemporary science fiction community. This project combines critical literary analysis and the sociological examination of anti-expansionist/modernist Poland using various texts from Lem, science fiction journals, and theorists. Lem’s works pervade the global market, yet his manipulation of SF is unique. SF is almost ubiquitously derived from nations with empirical agendas. Poland’s history as an annexed nation and a common target of empirical expansion has transformed its approach to the issues of human progress. I argue that this is visible through Lem’s writing, which depicts technological modernity in light of the moral dilemmas born out of the second world war. I argue that Lem introduces heightened and alternate subjectivity in societies infected by mechanical models of objectivity. Consequently, Lem rejects the trend in SF of displaying the ultimate aim of technology as a total understanding of the cosmos. By addressing issues of progress, cultural subjectivity, and the human through the conduit of technical interaction, Lem reflects on modernity as a mirage of human progression and certainty. Technology, as a branch of knowledge stemming from seemingly objective science, is represented through the inventions (structural and mechanical) it fosters. Machinery, political bureaucracy, and urban structures in Lem are reflections of technology. How have they influenced Polish culture? How have they evolved to alter the intentionality of creational programming? How do societies function given mechanized contact with foreign influences? Lastly, I will examine Lem’s SF as a type of literary technology. SF’s relations to the industrial revolution, and to urban ideals of intellectualism and modernity allow modern texts to become increasingly dependent on the reader. By experimenting with authorial intent and narrative structure, Lem elicits a type of textual framework that mimics technology and complicates objective modernity.