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Murder Goes to College: Representations of the campus in the American campus novel

A presentation by
Evangelia Kyriakidou, PhD
School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

When: Monday, May 29, 15:00 – 15:50

Where: Deree Faculty Lounge

Organized by: Faculty Research Seminars 2016-17 Series


Evangelia Kyriakidou, PhD
Part-Time Faculty, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Writing Program

Ptychion, University of Athens; MA in Literature, Culture and Ideology, University of Athens; PhD Candidate, University of Athens.

Evangelia Kyriakidou joined the Deree Faculty in 2014. She obtained her Ptychion from the University of Athens, Department of English Literature in 2005. She then pursued her studies on an IKY Scholarship (State Scholarship Foundation) getting an MA Degree in Literature, Culture and Ideology (2005-2007) from the Department of English Literature, School of Philosophy, The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She is currently working on her PhD thesis on “Space in the American Campus Novel.” Her research interests are spatial politics, space, and identity formation in American Literature.

She currently teaches three courses in the Writing Program: Introduction to Academic Writing, Academic Writing, and Academic Writing and Research. She annually attends several workshops and conferences to keep up to date with issues of effective classroom management, pedagogy, and academic writing.

Abstract

Evangelia Kyriakidou
ekyriakidou@acg.edu

Unhomely Maneuvers: Murder in the American Campus

Much has been written about the campus novel as a literary subgenre. Critics have mainly focused on campus novels as vehicles of social satire directed toward academia. However, in my presentation I will examine Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, focusing on the function of the campus as an uncanny, domestic space which, though “home” for students and faculty alike, does not always offer domestic security. In the current presentation, I will be looking into The Secret History, Tartt’s best-selling novel from 1992, analyzing how the domesticated campus, a place of knowledge and civilization can suddenly turn into a place where primitive instincts find vend thus unsettling a whole system of values. In The Secret History, as in other campus mystery novels, we find murder in the midst of a perfectly civilized and domesticated campus and that is when the ‘homely’ campus space becomes ‘unhomely’ and uncanny. In this presentation, I will attempt to unravel the intricacies of university spaces as both setting the rules of domesticity, and challenging them at the same time.