Julia Gerhard

I entered the Master’s program in English at CSU, Chico in Fall 2010 with a BA in English and this is my last year in the program. I am originally from Russia and prior to coming to the United States I attended Voronezh State University in Russia where I double majored in Slavic Philology with an emphasis on Russian Literature and Romano-Germanic Philology with an emphasis on English. After coming to Chico and obtaining my Bachelor’s in English, I fell in love with the area and the English Department and knew that I had to continue my education here.

My research interests include dystopian literary tradition, dissident literature of the Soviet Era, Naturalism, Marxist and Postmodernist literary theories. I am especially interested in the intricate relationship between politics and literature mainly in the way writers respond to historical events and incorporate them into the literary canon. My current project/thesis examines dystopian genre through the lens of Foucauldian concept of discipline—mainly how the government employs discipline to control human body and mind in dystopian novels. I also explore ways in which writing in dystopian society functions as a means of resistance to the oppressive mechanism of power and allows people to gain agency, rediscover their identities and reclaim their bodies.

These two years in the program have been an incredible experience for both my professional and personal growth. Not only did I have an invaluable opportunity to teach Academic Writing for three semesters as part of the Teaching Associateship Program and be a part of an English Graduate Student Council, I was also honored to work closely with the English Department Faculty whose passion and commitment to spark interest among students on most complicated issues I find simply extraordinary. I hope to take all the knowledge and experience I gained through this program and continue my education and academic research by applying for a Doctorate Degree in Comparative Literature.