My name is Joani Etskovitz, and I am a member of the Class of 2017 from the Philadelphia area concentrating in the English Department’s Comparative Literature Track.
Originally torn between my fascination with biological sciences and my love of literature, I embraced my passion for the humanities during my freshman year Humanities Sequence (HUM 216-219).
In sophomore year, I honed my interests in comparative analysis and folklore in the East Asian Humanities Sequence (HUM 233) with Professors D’Haeseleer and Wakabayashi. I chose to major in the English department in order to sharpen my analytical skills in my native language before applying them with equal vigor to my second languages, Spanish and French.
In addition to seeking organized interdisciplinarity in my concentration, I am pursuing certificates in Humanistic Studies, European Cultural Studies, and Teacher Preparation. These programs are helping me learn to undertake and lecture about independent research as a prospective professor of English or Comparative Literature.
My current independent research examines how curiosity is the heroine of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Working towards a thesis on curiosity in nineteenth century British and French culture, I will study this summer as a Princeton Bread Loaf fellow at Oxford University. This will be my second study abroad experience, following last summer’s Global Seminar in Thessaloniki, Greece, where I studied the history of the city since antiquity, took an introductory course on Modern Greek, and conducted independent research in Thessaloniki’s folklore museum. Last summer, I also worked at the Library of Congress with the support of a Ferris Grant from the Council of the Humanities, helping with the 2015 National Book Festival and the Library’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures and curating an Alice exhibition that will run in April 2016. I have continued my summer work with Alice’s Adventures not only in my fall JP but also as an assistant to the Director of Education and Outreach at Princeton’s Cotsen Children’s Library.
When neither at Cotsen nor buried in a book, I sing in the Glee Club, metal work, and tutor on campus.