Junior | Brooklyn, NY
Why did you decide to become an English major?
I entered college knowing I'd be an English major, even though at the time I didn't know it'd be at NYU. After attending a technical high school, one of the only things I was sure I enjoyed was reading and writing. From there I really could not have done anything else.
What is your favorite class taken in the department thus far?
My favorite class so far was the first class I took when I entered NYU as a second semester sophomore last year: Reading as a Writer with Nicholas Boggs. It was based in Creative Non-Fiction and Queer Literature, both which I had never focused on in an academic setting. The pieces we read were introspective and sexually radical, made the personal political, and emphasized the importance of story in anyone's life. Boggs' class literally taught me how to read.
What are your fields of interest?
I love Ancient, Classical, and Hellenistic period writings and religious literature. Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, and The Bible are amongst my favorite texts. It is fulfilling how much can be understood through reading and rereading literature that is mythical and even cliched at this point. On the other end of the spectrum my favorite authors directly challenge these texts; Post-Modern and Contemporary writers like Salman Rushdie, Junot Diaz, and Zadie Smith.
If you could create a class in the department, what would it be?
Although Nicholas Bogg's class was Contemporary Literature and Queer Theory, I would actually love to see a class entirely focused on either. Or, being from Brooklyn, a class built around writings about New York City.
What are you reading right now?
Aside from British Literature and other works for class, I just finished reading Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien and Swing Time by Zadie Smith. I loved Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie and I am currently reading Invitation To A Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov to further explore writing introspective texts that alter reality.
What role does literature play for you outside of the academic setting?
Some things are cliched because they are true, so I truly believe literature can get me through anything. From a delayed train to a daily reward, literature allows me to take fulfilling breaks from everything I have to do while simultaneously progressing constructively. Reading offers a critical lense of the outside world and an engulfed experience of alternate realities, characteristics, and experience It's almost impossible to sum up what literature could mean to me.
How would you describe your time spent studying abroad in London?
I studied abroad in London during my 2nd semester at NYU and it was an enlightening experience the entire time. I loved everything about London but the most fulfilling aspect was travelling. I went to 10 different countries. My mind completely opened, my worldview changed, and I still have friends abroad that I keep in touch with. Studying abroad is one of the things I'm most grateful I did and I hope to travel again.
What advice would you give to students considering majoring in English at NYU?
If you actually can do what you love, why do anything else?