Through Young Eyes is an undergraduate research showcase sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center Research Focus Group on Global Childhood Ecologies, as well as the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies and Comparative Literature Program. It features multidisciplinary presentations of thesis research related to childhood by senior majors Victoria Korotchenko in Russian and East European Studies, Nicole Smirnoff in Comparative Literature, and Zoie Orth in English. The panel of presentations and subsequent discussion will focus on children’s and young people’s agency and activism; construction and liberation; and active role as audience in order to offer a multidisciplinary examination of the co-creation of childhood and youth even in the face of opposing forces, as shown by examples from history, literature, and culture. The event will take place in Phelps 6320, while attendance via Zoom also will be possible for those who cannot attend in person.
Through Young Eyes: Undergraduate Research Showcase
Chair: Sara Pankenier Weld (Germanic and Slavic Studies, UCSB)
“The Fate of the Motherland’s Children: Youth Action, Trauma, and Experiences”
Victoria Korotchenko ‘23 (Russian and East European Studies, UCSB)
Victoria Korotchenko’s research is focused on children during the Russian Revolution (1917-1923), specifically the diversity of their experiences and participation within the tumult. Within her thesis, she discusses their role as target, activist, victim, and chronicler, while simultaneously writing about the child as the protagonist within these stories, rather than purely individuals who had the revolution thrust upon them.
Reframing the Flaneur: the Child and the City through Thresholds, Windows, and Paintings
Nicole Smirnoff ‘23 (Comparative Literature, UCSB)
Literature of the flaneur is preoccupied with the representation of the city in its complexities and realities, oftentimes applying its perspective toward the child. Nicole Smirnoff’s thesis follows the motif of the framed spaces to these child characters; exploring how the image of the child is constrained and set free, constructed and construed, and reflected and reimagined through the vignette of the frame.
Into the Osemanverse: The Dynamics of Young Adult Literature
Zoie Orth ‘23 (English, UCSB)
With her thesis, Zoie Orth hopes to understand the current state of Young Adult Fiction and its readers, framing YA literature as not just a genre, but as a culture that is driven by—if not entirely dependent on—its audience’s unique relationships with the works that define it. The goal of her research has been to go beyond traditional scholarly approaches to literary analysis, which tend to treat works as if they exist in a vacuum, often ignoring the many other forces that affect its production and consumption.