Frances Mangina

Philosophy, Class of 2022


I’m a Philosophy concentrator pursuing a certificate in Roman Language and Culture.

Role(s) held in the Humanistic Studies Program:

Humanities mentor

Activities on campus:

Glee Club, Early Music Princeton, Writing Center Fellow, Tortoise Journal of Writing Pedagogy


Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence

Why I decided to study the humanities:

As a Philosophy major, I tend to wonder about rather broad and difficult questions, such as what it means to be a human being and what an ideal life looks like. It is nearly impossible to answer such questions on one’s own. I thought that studying how other people have viewed their humanity throughout the centuries—whether expressed through literature, philosophy, or art—would be a good way of approaching some of these concerns.

What I have gained from the humanities:

Over the past two years, my appreciation of literature and my ability to analyse texts has greatly improved. I also recognize more connections between literature and my other interests, such as philosophy and music. I attribute much of this growth to my experiences discussing literature with fellow students and professors. In short, studying the humanities at Princeton has brought joy to my life and shaped the way I see the world. My mental reading list also becomes longer by the day, which is exciting (if slightly daunting).

Other experiences I can advise people on:

Language learning (including intensive Greek/Latin programs and Princeton’s German language sequence)

HUM Sequence fall break trip:

I attended the Greece trip in Fall 2019. I did my project on a small Byzantine chapel in Athens that was built using a fascinating range of spolia. The trip was an amazing opportunity to solidify my friendships within the HUM community and get to know some of the wonderful HUM faculty. Visiting places we had read about during the previous year was inspiring, and brought an entirely new dimension to our discussions. At the same time, there was a sense of continuity with the HUM sequence, in that we spent a large portion of the trip talking about texts and ideas that excited us.

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