Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Clara Jimenez Humanities and Social Science

Transforming Melancholia: Depression and Female Coping in Beloved, The Color Purple, and Corregidora

My research project focuses on three major works of twentieth-century African-American literature: Toni Morrisons Beloved and Alice Walkers The Color Purple. I seek to explore how the female protagonists at the center of these narratives embody chronic depression. My research intends to validate the trauma these women undergo, as well as delineate the coping mechanisms they create in response to the physical, sexual, and psychological subjugation they face. These characters are not only linked by the oppressive structures they struggle against, but also by their roles as daughters who experience and respond to the effects of intergenerational trauma. For this project, I will conduct original content analysis and engage with criticism specific to each of these three novels. In order to understand how these texts function within their respective sociopolitical environments, I will engage with key works of Critical Race Theory and Postcolonialism, in addition to considering intersectional scholarship such as Black feminist and queer of color critique.

Message To Sponsor

The SURF program experience helped me grow academically and personally throughout the summer. In pursuing my research project, I feel that I solidified my passion for contemporary, multi-ethnic, women-authored fiction and I appreciate that the SURF program, as well as the Anselm A&H Fund, were gracious enough to sponsor this work. This experience has also helped guide me as I navigate my future plans, which include applying to and attending graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in English. I feel much more confident in my ability to conduct independent research and I cannot thank the Anselm A&H Fund enough for supporting me throughout this process. As a low-income, first generation student of color, I've found it difficult in the past to feel that my experiences and perspective are valid. Having faced these obstacles, I especially appreciate how this program and the funding I received have encouraged me as a scholar who can make unique contributions to my field. Thank you so much for supporting my research and validating the presence of intersectional perspectives in undergraduate research!
Profile image of Clara Jimenez
Major: English
Mentor: Abdul JanMohamed
Sponsor: Anselm Fund
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