Mercedez L. Schaefer
What degree are you working toward?
I chose graduate school at IUPUI because of the exceptional faculty members. I was visiting programs in many mid-sized cities in the Midwest because I prefer city-life but wanted to be relatively close to home (Cleveland).
Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
I chose graduate school at IUPUI because of the exceptional faculty members. I was visiting programs in many mid-sized cities in the Midwest because I prefer city-life but wanted to be relatively close to home (Cleveland). When I met Dr. Jennifer Thorington-Springer, I knew IUPUI was the right place for me. Missy Dehn Kubitschek, Tom Marvin, Karen Kovacik, Steve Fox, and David Sabol are a few others who have confirmed my decision over my last two years in Indianapolis.
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
Last year, I earned the Barlow award for an article I wrote on Gayl Jones’s Corregidora, which I was then able to present at the literary conference down in Bloomington.
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
I am still getting to know the city, and that’s probably what I enjoy most – happening upon cafes, and restaurants that I had no idea about. The Midwest gets a bad rap for its lack of diversity and culture, but I think we have a lot to offer if you’re willing to look.
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
My research interests are in women’s literature of the 20th Century; my thesis examines representations of women’s resistance through the fiction of women authors spanning the 20th C. I am intrigued by the ways that we as women resist debilitation and silence through creation, through art and expression. In a world where you are supposed to be quiet, seen but not heard, or in cases of women of color and third world women neither seen nor heard, perhaps one of the most subversive things you can do is to create, to speak out, to tell stories that would otherwise remain unheard. My teaching interests focus more on writing – basic writing pedagogies specifically. I am interested in students’ transitions from high school to college writing and am fortunate to teach W131 here at IUPUI. Additionally, I assist students in our University Writing Center, participate in the Hoosier Writing Project, and volunteer with our fantastic Undergraduate Admissions department whenever the chance arises.