I entered my undergraduate career at the University of Michigan thinking I knew exactly what I wanted to do: Chemistry. Yet, here I am at the doctoral level in a history department. How did this happen? I suppose it happened through my intense love of Germany and Europe during a study abroad experience. A switch to the Classics Department, courses on Greek and Roman architecture, and I was forever hooked. My love of Europe from a cultural perspective sent me to Trinity College in Dublin for a major in European Studies. This program included courses for which I produced work on such topics as Sephardic Jews and Music in relation to culture and identity retention, the crisis of masculinity depicted in eastern European film after the fall of communism, and vampirism and myth in Romanian identity formation, to name a few.
However, to jump back to the architecture that claimed my attention in my undergraduate studies and the themes of identity construction and memory that permeated the Master’s courses, my thesis developed a focus on architecture, a place of memory and identity in the urban landscape of Dublin and the narratives created around it. More importantly, I became acutely aware of how these buildings were the embodiment of the struggle of an oppressed people. I became interested in the ways in which these people were able to take matters into their own hands and fight against subjugation. On a personal level, my family’s background is made up of groups who were oppressed and colonized. Working on such subjects has given me a new appreciation for my heritage.
Thus, I am now at Western Michigan University and I hope work on a project dealing with memory, identity, and urban spaces closely related to sites of rebellion in the early 20th century Ireland, Germany, and Poland or Italy. Potential particular rebellions are the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland or the 1944 Warsaw Uprising in Poland.
When not obsessed with what narratives and histories are hidden in buildings, I love spending time with family and friends, and playing into my creative outlet of dance with choreography of the musicals for my high school.