Student of the Month: Vera Bell
Say Hello to the UC Davis English Department's April 2020 Student of the Month, Vera Bell! Vera, a passionate and hardworking second-year transfer student, is pursuing her English (Literature, Criticism, and Theory emphasis) major.
What is the most memorable English class you've taken at UC Davis? Why?
By far, it was ENL 154, the Graphic Novel with Dr. Matthew Stratton. I really love the intersection of visual media and literature and aside from video games, graphic novels like Alison Bechdel's Funhome and Emil Ferris' My Favorite Thing is Monsters invite the reader to an even more engaging, beautiful experience where a great immersive narrative is an added bonus. Dr. Stratton's passion about the comics made the class exciting and he's become one of my favorite professors since!
What essay/project are you most excited about right now? Why?
Frankly, everything I'm learning and what's yet to come in my ENL 41 class, "Black Feminist Cultural Production," with Dr. Erin Gray has me elated. Aside from exploring the intersections of multimedia and literature, I also enjoy the study of counter storytelling as a framework for proper representation of marginalized identities. I'm excited for both the readings (some from Morrison, Condé, and Lorde, to name a few," as well as the research essays that will come out of the course.
What is your favorite book/author? Why?
The Girl Who Played With Fire from the Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson is one of my all-time favorites. To me, it's like an action movie with a queer antiheroine at the forefront. An honorable mention is Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk, a non-linear story of how a permanently disfigured woman and a trans woman came to be who they are as friends. I adore stories written with strong female leads and take a step away from conventional means of structure, or how a "good story" should be written.
Why did you decide to major in English?
I have always loved reading and the feeling of being so deeply immersed in a story that you lose track of time and space. Good stories are like different worlds we can walk into and explore, which I've always been a fan of, and that's what got me into creative writing. I can't imagine a world where I am not surrounded by the art of literature and storytelling, so
it had to be English!
What is something you want other English Majors to know about your work?