Olga Faccani Selected as a 2019 National Humanities Without Walls Predoctoral Fellow

Olga Faccani (Classics) was recently selected to participate in the 2019 Humanities Without Walls Pre-doctoral Career Diversity Summer Workshop.  This project aims to help prepare doctoral students for careers both within and outside the academy through a series of summer workshops. Graduate students selected for this program engage in intensive discussions with organizers of public humanities projects, leaders of university presses and learned societies, experts in the various domains of the digital humanities, representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations, and holders of important non-faculty positions in colleges and universities (academic administrators, student services professionals, librarians and archivists, development officers, and so forth).

Faccani received her B.A. in Modern and Ancient Literature and her M.A. in Classics from the University of Bologna, where she was able to spend two years abroad during the course of her studies, at University College London and at Dickinson College. As a graduate student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, she became passionate about the language of friendship and empathy in Greek tragedy, both because of its interdisciplinarity and because of its resonance in our public sphere today, where issues of discrimination and human sufferings can often rise to dramatic proportions. While she started focusing on empathic bonds in the private and public sphere in ancient Greek drama, she wanted the significance and resonance of her research in the humanities to encompass different times and audiences and to become accessible and relevant to diverse backgrounds and realities. As a Graduate Teaching Fellow with the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, for a correspondence course for people incarcerated in North Kern State Prison, she became more aware of the intersections between her research and issues of civic engagement and social justice.

Faccani says of her interest in participating in the Humanities Without Walls Program:

“My research interests and my experiences with public humanities projects align with the wide range of activities, talks and field trips provided by the Humanities Without Walls program. I am eager to offer my background in academic work related to social justice and civic engagement to a network of people with diverse interests and points of view, and to be part of a mutually beneficial exchange of perspectives and approaches to topics of shared interest. By being part of this program, I hope to gain greater insight into how to become a more engaged scholar and how to explore different resources that can help me navigate the broad rubric of “the public humanities.” My passion for ancient Greek drama and the way it challenges our understanding of interpersonal bonds in the public and private sphere lends itself to different platforms for discussion and research. Whether it be through academic articles about empathy in the ancient world, or through engagement with non-traditional students, questions about the nature and importance of interpersonal bonds resonate from the ancient Greek past to our very present.”