"I applied to the scholars program because of a deep interest in cultural studies and a fascination with what literature (and other media) produced for children reflects about the culture that produced it. In recent years, children’s literature increasingly has become the preferred genre for authors seeking to represent historical trauma. This problem of representation has raised numerous questions: How can historical trauma—specifically, The Holocaust—be adequately represented in works for children? Must works on trauma necessarily be traumatic? In light of these incisive representations, what is to be made of the large body of children’s literature that insists children must be given hopeful and redemptive endings? Is it possible to create a work that is accessible without attempting to totalize experience? It is my hope, through my research, to answer some of these questions. My goals are to build on my research abilities, improve my analytical writing skills, and prepare myself for graduate study in the fields of English and Cultural Studies."
English, Political Science
Writing Honors Thesis in the Department of English. Research Interests: children’s literature and trauma, Holocaust studies, gender and sexuality Relevant Coursework: Children's Literature; The Picturebook; Literature for the Adolescent; Queer Literature; War in Literature and Visual Media; Representations of Nazis in Film and Literature; and Remembering, Repeating, and Working Through the Past.
Academic and Other Awards
- University Scholars Program Scholarship (2011-2012)
- Anderson Scholar with Distinction (2010)
- Dean's List (2010-2011)
- UF A.F. Wentworth Honors Scholarship (2008)
- National Hispanic Scholar (2008)
- Florida Academic Scholarship (2008-Present)
- UF Honor's (2008-Present)
- UF University Press
- Phi Alpha Delta
Adopt-a-Street city beautification program through Phi Alpha Delta. I was also involved in the Phi Alpha Delta Charity Date Auction, through which our organization raised over $1000 for Guardian ad Litem.
Hobbies and Interests
- Reading, writing, popular culture, discussion media, and Gator football.
From Grimm to Chelmno: Subversion of the Fairy Tale Narrative in Contemporary Holocaust Children’s Literature
In recent years, children’s literature increasingly has become the preferred genre for authors seeking to represent historical trauma. These traumatic narratives of trauma that have emerged, however, are not the definitive means of representing historical atrocity in works for children. In Briar Rose, Yolen breaks from the conventions associated with children’s literature, denying Bruno Bettelheim’s claim that if one “steadfastly meets unexpected and often unjust hardships, one masters all obstacles and at the end emerges victorious." This line of traditional thinking in regards to the usefulness of the fairy-tale format has no place in Holocaust narratives. Instead of allowing the happily-ever-after tale of Holocaust survival to stand, she undermines her work, stating, “This is a book of fiction. All the characters are made up. Happily-ever-after is a fairy tale notion, not history. I know of no woman who escaped Chelmno alive." My research project would thus seeks to explain why Yolen chose the fairy tale format, ultimately arguing for the importance of subverting meta-narratives in Holocaust work. I will pay particular attention to the two main subversions within Yolen’s fairy tale: the entering of the gas chamber and the use of a homosexual prince. I will evaluate archival work I performed this summer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Visiting the archive allowed me to study the testimony of a Chelmno survivor, Shimon Srebnik. I will analyze his narrativization of memory, with the goal of elucidating Yolen’s decision to enter the gas chamber and provide female (as opposed to male) testimony of this space. Through the homosexual prince, Yolen further undermines the fairy tale by denying the formation of a romantic prince-princess relationship. In queering the narrative, she ultimately undoes the idea of inevitability and natural progression, so often the language of the Nazi perpetrators.