Allie Mangel

Comparative Literature, Class of 2022


I am a Comparative Literature concentrator pursuing certificates in Humanistic Studies and Violin Performance.

Role(s) held in the Humanistic Studies Program:

Humanities mentor and symposiarch, Certificate student

Activities on campus:

I play violin in the Princeton University Orchestra and am assistant conductor of Princeton Camerata. I volunteer as a private lesson teacher for the Trenton Youth Orchestra and am a Returning Advising Fellow for Matriculate. I also write for various publications on campus and serve as the Web Editor of the Nassau Weekly and a Copy Editor at the Daily Princetonian.


I received the Haarlow Prize in the Humanities for one of my freshman year Humanities Sequence papers! I was also chosen to speak at the Mary George Research Conference for the Princeton Writing Program.

Why I decided to study the humanities:

I chose the humanities because I fell in love with words. I realized through the Humanities Sequence just how much is possible with language – how writers can vary their own voices, mimic one another, and communicate such complex details through such tiny alterations in sentences. The humanities encourage deep, attentive thinking about topics that drive so much of human culture and society.

What I have gained from studying the humanities:

For me, the humanities are a conversation with the past. I have studied so many theories on what it means to lead a good life, some of which I agree with, some of which I do not. I have read so many stories of other peoples’ lives and experiences, and I have sought to understand their perspectives in order to better listen to their voices. I have encountered so many powerful moments of human existence—bitter wars, sweet love, devastating plague, economic frustration, artistic innovation, cultural revolution—and seen them echoed in the modern day. Studying the humanities is a truly personal experience, and it has allowed me to discover the making of the self-image of humanity and the conflicting ways in which we record ourselves and our histories.

Independent work:

My first JP was on exploring the role of musical sound in a poem by Paul Verlaine. My future independent work will (I hope!) explore the relationship between music and literature, particularly how musical form can be translated into, or represented through, language.

HUM Sequence fall break trip:

The HUM trip to Greece was an incredible experience! All of the students and professors on the trip grew so much closer because of it. The research project was a fun opportunity to explore something I had not studied before—architecture—and I learned a lot from it. Our tour guide, Aristotle, was not only very knowledgeable, but very funny. It is a wonderful way to see history in person and to experience the layering of past and present in real life, not just in books!

Other experiences you can advise people on:

Music opportunities, living off campus / independent, and Oxford study abroad application process!

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