Presenters

34th Annual GAFIS Symposium Presenters

Panel 1: Fragile Masculinities: Male Vulnerability and Sexuality in Media

Chandler Abshire is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in French at Yale University. She received her B.A. from Wellesley College.
Andrés Obando Taborda is an M.A. student in Spanish and Latin American Literature at Purdue University. He has been studying Gender and Queer Theory since he started his degree. Along the way, he went to the University of Caldas, a public alma mater, for his undergrad in Colombia, where he studied a B.A. in Modern Languages. He has attended several conferences as a speaker and interpreter, where he has been learning and building his academic career. Andrés has also been teaching the Spanish language at Purdue, which has offered him more teaching experience and how to approach critical thinking on both his students and himself.
Cody Reynolds is a researcher and educator based in Sydney NSW. He is Head of English at a leading independent school in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, and completing a doctoral research project in literary trauma theory and creative writing at The University of Newcastle. Cody’s primary research examines the relationship between non-realist narrative structures and the communication of chronic traumatic memory. He has presented his work at universities in Amsterdam, Boston, Sydney & Perth, and was the 2020 recipient of the Ikara-Flinders Ranges Scholarship; an honour awarded for his ongoing work parsing representations of Indigenous identity trauma. Cody has applied his theoretical framework to the design and implementation of undergraduate coursework in narrative medicine for health science students, affirming the application of literary theory as trans-disciplinary practice. He has a particular interest in contemporary non-realist fiction, and is writing his first novel as part of this ongoing investigation.

Panel 2: Of Monsters and Men: Dehumanization and the Taboo of the Unhuman

Giampaolo Molisina is a Ph.D. student in Italian at UW-Madison. He earned his B.A. in Italian Language and Culture from Università di Pisa and his M.A. in Didactics of Italian Literature from Università per Stranieri di Siena. As lecturer, he taught comparative literature and cinema courses at the Universidad del Pacífico in Lima, Peru, and worked as Didactic Coordinator of the Italian language courses at the Italian Cultural Institute of Lima. His research interests include comparative literature, critical and theoretical intersections between literature, cinema and philosophy, post-war Italian political cinema and literature, experimental cinematic and literary works of the twentieth century.
Sergio Schargel is a Master ‘s candidate in Contemporary Literature and Culture (PPGLCC / PUC-Rio) and Master’s candidate in Political Science (PPGCP / UNIRIO) with a Bachelor’s in Social Communication, Journalism (PUC-Rio) and Social Communication, Advertising and Marketing (PUC-Rio).
Nora Siena is a second year Ph.D. student in Italian Studies at Cornell University. She received her BA. and MA. in Philosophy from the University of Pavia, Italy, and her BA and MA in Human Sciences from the University School for Advanced Studies IUSS of Pavia, Italy. She is interested in the relationship between politics and aesthetics and works with (mostly theoretical) Italian and German texts. Her principal authors of reference are so-called Italian Thought, classical German Aesthetic, Benjamin, and Kafka.
Alex Taylor (University of Wisconsin-Madison, French) is a 4th year PhD candidate in French literature at UW-Madison. His current research focuses on sound and music in French Baroque literature and in the 17th century French novel. In the past, he has produced work on the films of the French new wave and French science-fiction.

Panel 3: Obscene in the Streets and in the Sheets: The Public and Private Faces of Taboo

Tanuja Bhakuni is presently pursuing a PhD in Women Studies from JNU, New Delhi, India after completing her M.Phil. in Women Studies from JNU, New Delhi in 2018. She is interested in themes of visual culture, sexuality and caste.
Debashrita Dey is an Institute fellow (PhD) and Teaching Assistant in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Patna. She is currently working on literary gerontology for her doctoral thesis and her areas of research interest comprise Feminist Studies, Disability Studies and Medical Humanities.
Priyanka Tripathi is an Associate Professor of English, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Patna. She has published extensively with Indian Literature (Sahitya Akademi), English: Journal of the English Association (Oxford Academic), Journal of Graphic Noves and Comics, Postcolonial Studies, Economic and Political Weekly amongst others. She is also the Book Reviews Editor of Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities. She works in the area of Indian Writing in English, Place and Literature, Graphic Novels and Gender and Sexuality Studies.
Amrapali Modal is a research scholar at the Centre for Women’s Studies, JNU. She has received Master’s degrees in Social Work (Women Centered Practices) from Tata Institute of Social Sciences and in History from JNU. Her MPhil research interest was on the depictions of sex and sexuality in low-cost Marathi and Hindi magazines in contemporary Mumbai. Her PhD research is around shaping gendered desires of young rural women in Maharashtra.

Panel 4: Obscenity Revisited: Tracing a History of the Taboo

Purbita Das After completing her Graduation and Post Graduation in English from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, respectively, she enrolled as a Ph.D. research scholar at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal. Her research domain includes Medical Humanities where she is specifically working on the representation of plague in colonial Indian narratives through the cultural and political discourses of contagion, community and nationhood. Her earliest experiences in the field of research work dates back to her dissertation project for her Under-Graduation which was titled- “The Sad Young Men of the Jazz Generation in Fitzgerald’s Short Stories: The Rich Boy, Winter Dreams, Bernice Bobs Her Hair, The Ice Palace”. This dissertation focuses on Fitzgerald’s portrayal of ‘the sad young men’ and the multitudinous crosscurrents defining the identity of the emerging young generation of the Jazz Age in the selected texts. Based on the inexhaustible opportunities of growth available in a virgin land, it reflects a conception of the self which affirms the individual capacity to believe in anything. Since the conception of the self and freedom is largely based on idealism, the inevitable consequence is confusion between illusion and reality. The dissertation interrogates the very basis of the dysfunctional nature of the American Dream through symbolic character depictions.
Rachel Green is a recent graduate with a Master of Arts in French literature, having previously graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education. She is currently undertaking independent scholarly research prior to commencing her doctoral studies. Her research centers on the intricate and symbolic relationship between domestic architectural configuration and French nineteenth-century literature.
Anthony Revelle is a 5th-year PhD student in French in the Romance Languages & Literatures Department of the University of Michigan. His dissertation project is named “Sharing Flesh. Carnivorism & Masculinity in Medieval French Literature,” and is interested in queer studies, critical animal studies, & deconstructing masculinity and eating habits.
Emily Waller is a current student in the Masters of Liberal Arts program at the University of Pennsylvania and a faculty member at Westtown School, a Quaker boarding school outside of Philadelphia. As a graduate student and an educator, Emily’s interests lie in classical reception, gender and queer theory, and the digital humanities. Her culminating research focuses on gender and sexuality in the ancient novels, and she has taught courses and developed curriculum in literature, film, and classical reception in Anglophone literature and popular culture. She is currently working with an interdisciplinary team on the project Classical Connections, a digital humanities resource for students and teachers of the classics.

Panel 5: Taboos along National Lines: A National Politics of the Obscene

Ninon Bartz graduated from Syracuse University with a MA in French and Francophone literature and is now finishing her second master in French literature at Virginia University, before becoming a PhD student. Her main interest of research is 19th century romantic and fantastic writers, but also women in the 18th-20th centuries and film studies around modern and ancient French horror.
Dr. Anas Tabraiz has been teaching English Literature at the Delhi University for the last eighteen years. He has recently (2016) been awarded a Ph. D. from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, titled “The Pursuit of Ethical Silence in the Works of J.M. Coetzee”. His interests include linguistics, gender studies, culture studies, film studies and psychoanalysis. One of the recent publications is an essay “The Underdog Bowling to the Cultural Field in Kukunoor’s Iqbal” in a book by Orient Blackswan, New Delhi, titled Fields of Play: Sports, Literature and Culture ed. Poonam Trivedi and Supriya Chaudhuri. The latest publication is an article published online by Brill in Matatu Vol. 50. Issue 1 “Drawing the Divine Seed: India, Alterity and the Real in the Works of J.M. Coetzee”.

Panel 6: Invisibility to Hypervisibility: The Representation of Marginalized bodies in Media

Tiffany Bailey is a second-year Ph.D. student studying French Language & Literature at Boston University. After earning a BA in French and History and an MA in French & Applied Linguistics from the University of Alabama, she decided to attend BU to study contemporary French literature. Her research interests include 20th /21st century literature, popular culture, women’s studies, youth narratives, and personality studies.
Sarah Gamalinda is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on representations of race and racial il/legibility in contemporary French and francophone literature and cinema.
Griffin Reed Having received her undergraduate degree in Comparative Literature from Washington University in St. Louis, including a year abroad at the Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris III, Griffin spent time before her graduate program at an archive dedicated to materials cataloging the criminalization of marital rape, working at an independent bookstore, and as an editor at Boulevard Magazine. Her research primarily focuses on aesthetics and politics, 20th century Francophone and Anglophone literatures, film and art history, transmediation, and feminist and queer theory.
Kaitlyn Waller is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in French Literature at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Her research, under the direction of Dr. Julia Frengs, will focus on the intersection of young adult literature and themes of migration in the francophone world. Kaitlyn previously earned her Master’s degree in French Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and her Bachelor’s degree in French Language and Literature from Grinnell College. She currently works as a scholarship coordinator at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Panel 7: Transgressing the Margins: Deconstructing the Other as Taboo

Bennet Brazelton is a 10th Grade history teacher in Boston Public Schools and an independent scholar. His research focuses on education, Black studies, and anticolonial thought and history. His work has appeared in journals including Cultural Geographies, Fire!!!: The Multimedia Journal of Black Studies, and Third Stone, as well as forthcoming work in The Educational Forum, Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies, Hollywood or History?: An Inquiry-Based Strategy for Using Film to Teach African American History (Eds. Gregory Simmons and LaGarrett King), and Critical Understandings of Latinx and Global Education (Eds. Yolanda Medina and Margarita Machado-Casas).
John Paul Calavitta-Dos Santos earned his MFA in creative writing and his MA in English from the University of Washington. His current work draws upon Yelp and Tripadvisor reviews to problematize travel narratives of cultural heritage sites rooted in privilege, power, class, and colonialism.
Corie Marshall is a PhD student in the Department of French & Italian. She defended her dissertation on the representation of women in the tragedies of Vittorio Alfieri this past December. Her research interests include eighteenth-century Italian drama and literature, Italian and European theatre, feminist and dramatic theory, and Italian American studies.

Panel 8: Not Your Mother’s Texts: Demystifying the Female Body

Marina Cervera Teruel completed her B.A in English Studies at University of Barcelona and holds a M.A in Education by the Autonomous University of Barcelona specialised in teaching English as a second language. She has taught Spanish in middle and high school level in Edmonton, Canada. She is currently studying a M.A in Hispanic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) where she also works as a GTA teaching Spanish for the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Her areas of interest are Comparative Studies between Literature, Visual Arts and Music, Postmodernism and the Avant-Garde, and Ethnic Studies.
Daria Kozhanova holds a BA in Journalism from the Lomonosov Moscow State University (2016) and a MA in Strategies of Communication from the University of Padua (2019). She is currently attending courses on contemporary Italian literature at the University of Bologna (MA in Modern, Postcolonial and Comparative Literatures). Her main interests are Contemporary Italian literature, Women and Gender Studies, Representations of Motherhood. She is the editor of a special issue on contemporary Italian literature in Russian translation for the online literary magazine Prochtenie (2020). Her current book project analyzes how the works of the Strega Prize winners in the last two decades reflect the major trends in twenty-first-century Italian literature (co-authored with Dr. Tatiana Bystrova, Russian State University for the Humanities).
Gala Patenkovich is a PhD student at the University of Michigan, pursuing her graduate degree at the French Program of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Growing up in Belgrade, Serbia, and moving to the States for her studies, she feels connected to the issues of immigration, assimilation, and integration. Her current interests center around representations of marginalized societies in Francophone Bandes dessinées, and the concepts of identity, shame, and agency of displaced subjects.
David Lerner Schwartz teaches at the University of Cincinnati, where he is a doctoral student and the recipient of a graduate enhancement scholarship. His work has been published in Witness, the Los Angeles Review, SmokeLong Quarterly, Literary Hub, New York magazine, and The Rumpus. He served as the 38th writer in residence at St. Albans in Washington, DC and works as the fiction editor of Four Way Review. He holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars, where he was supported by an MFA Alumni Writer’s Grant.