Amplifying Marginalized Voices: Postcolonial Literature and Creative Writing

Alexis
Mentor profile
Alexis
Duke University, Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
Stanford University, PhD
PhD
Project description

In this project the student crafted their own story with about their experience being queer and marginalized by society. This was the culmination of a close study into post-colonial literary works written by African, Caribbean, and Polynesian writers. Lily was particularly inspired one story they studied “House of Skin”, and their own creative writing is largely inspired by this work. Lily subsequently also created a piece of digital art to accompany her story. The painting she did is featured on the right.

Amplifying Marginalized Voices: Postcolonial Literature and Creative Writing
Project outcome

The student took inspiration from one of the short stories she studied throughout the program and wrote their own semi-autobiographical narrative. This piece is titled “On Skin and Its Uses”, and the student is preparing to submit it to various literary journals.

Read the story
Student background

15-year old from Pikesville, MD

Student review
Alexis

“Alexis was an amazing mentor. She really helped guide me through understanding these stories without holding my hand, but still being there when I was stumped. I’m so glad I got to know her, and I’m really grateful that she wants to stay in touch!”

Mentor review

I have taught mostly language classes in the past, as well as co-taught a literature course, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. My favorite parts are always witnessing student growth and getting to know my students better, as I am constantly amazed at all their hard work and life experiences. Polygence has allowed me to hone in on what I love most about teaching: fostering lifelong curiosity in a one-to-one setting that allows me to really get to know the student and their needs and strengths. I loved designing a ten lesson syllabus based on what my mentee was interested in. We focused on non-canonical World Literatures in which I designed four modules based on different regions. I sought to make the experience as collaborative as possible and encouraged my mentee to think critically and read analytically. As she was only in ninth grade, I expected I would have to walk her through the basics of literary criticism, but was I ever in the wrong! My mentee was truly outstanding, and we both learned and grew from the experience, not only in thinking through and with literature, but especially about gender, sexuality, and religion. We worked together as a team, picking apart one story at a time. I believe it was a truly enlightening experience for us both, though I do feel particularly lucky to have worked with someone as thoughtful, dedicated, inspired, talented, and respectful as my mentee. I would recommend Polygence to anyone who has a profound interest in working with brilliant students from around the world. Not only did I work on my teaching skills, but I also grew in curriculum development and lesson planning. Furthermore, Jin and the whole Polygence organization are extremely supportive and do everything they can to make one feel welcome, valued, and part of the team. I was even able to take a free session on how to succeed in job interviews. I had such a positive first experience that I am really looking forward to the next opportunity to work with Polygence. Thank you!

Read blog post about Lily

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