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Alexis Ferguson

Department: English
Faculty Adviser: Deborah Nord
Year of Study: G4
Undergraduate School: Cornell University
Undergraduate Major: English

Personal Bio

I love to bake, garden, and watch very bad reality TV. Some of my proudest achievements have been successfully baking a number of the technical challenges from Great British Bake Off! Since my current research involves thinking a lot about gender, bodies, and transness, I draw frequently from my experiences doing drag and being a part of vibrant QT communities. My own undergraduate research experience involved thinking about gender and reading in 19th century novels--my honors thesis was about how Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë create pauses and space for introspection within their narratives, playing both with and against their culture's understanding of how and what "women" read.

Fun Fact

Although I ended up in English, I began undergrad as an honors chemistry major!

Research Pitch

My research explores the ways in which 19th century gynecological physiology and sexology (areas of medicine that concerned themselves with the physical function and mental effects of the uterus) inflected literary depictions of gendered bodies and experiences, and how these ideas still inflect our current understandings of sex, sexuality, and gender. Broadly, then, the fields I am interested in are: literary criticism and analysis (specifically 19th C novels), gender & sexuality studies (queer and trans theory), and medical humanities. Not only does this type of research show how complex gender has always been, throughout history, and that transness is certainly not new, it also gives context for the logics and language we still use today to self describe or discuss gender itself.

Plans for Summer 2022

Confirmed pairing; no longer looking for a mentee.

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