Janice Cheon

German, Class of 2020

I’m a German major with certificates in Humanistic Studies, Medieval Studies and Music Performance (Modern and Baroque Violin).

Role(s) held in the Humanistic Studies Program:

Certificate Student

Activities on campus:

Princeton University Orchestra (Violin and Social Chair), Princeton Chamber Music Society (Vice President), Early Music Princeton, Tour Guide for Art Museum, Undergraduate Course Representative for the German Department, Research Assistant for Music Professor Wendy Heller


Department of German Book Prize for Excellence in German Studies

Why I decided to study the humanities:

I’ve always found history and story-telling absolutely fascinating, and also loved studying languages as a bridge to understanding a new culture. Furthermore, as a musician and artist, I was always looking for ways to inform my playing and to pursue an interdisciplinary approach to performance. Studying humanities was a natural and easy happy medium to all my interests and passions, academic and extracurricular.

What I have gained from the humanities:

Of course, studying humanities and the arts has enabled me to fulfill my ravenous appetite for good books and good art as well as inform my musicianship in playing violin. However, more importantly, I have been able to develop a deeper appreciation, and ultimately empathy, for recurrent and concurrent themes of happiness, suffering, love, and the search for truth found throughout philosophical, literary, and artistic works that I find to be crucial in becoming a more compassionate citizen in today’s incredibly contradictory society.

Independent work:

My independent work explores fragmentation — more specifically fragmented beauty and speech found in Late Medieval and Modernist mystical literature and art — as a cross-temporal aesthetic category and experience ultimately tied to and necessary for depictions of the ineffable.

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