Tori Dikeman '17
Major: English - literary studies
Hometown: Emmaus, Pa.
Before coming to Bucknell through the Bucknell Community College Scholars Program in 2015, Tori studied humanities and arts at Lehigh Carbon Community College. Tori enjoys leisurely hikes, reading in her hammock, and occasionally strumming a guitar. Her favorite pastime is indulging in a strong cup of tea. Tori is studying abroad in Bath, England for the 2016 fall semester.
Current Research Project
The Landscape of Exile: An Ecocritical Approach to the Exeter Book Elegies
This project employs ecocriticism, ecosemiotics, and ecofeminism to explore the the ways in which nature influences, informs, and is represented in the text. As of June 2016, the Exeter Book, a tenth century anthology of vernacular English poetry, gained status as a UNESCO Memory of the World heritage document.
It is an inarguable fact that abuse and neglect have left the natural environment degraded the world over, thus it is the responsibility of academics to utilize an earth-centered approach wherever possible within their studies, regardless of academic discipline. In literary studies, approaching a text ecocritically helps to reduce anthropocentrism from the academic reading of the text, in favor of a more holistic, comprehensive, ecological, and earth-centered approach. — Tori Dikeman '17
Dante Fresse '18
Majors: English - literary studies and English - film/media studies
Hometown: Oakland, N.J.
At Bucknell, Dante is pursuing a double major while expressing his interest in a variety of other disciplinary fields including: philosophy, psychology, anthropology, politics, language and law. He is president of the Bucknell Film Club, holds an officer position for the Literary Studies Club, writes for Et Cetera magazine, works as an editor for the upcoming Bucknell Humanities Review, and is a member of the Sigma Delta Tau English Honors Society as well as the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity.
Current Research Project
The literary works of Fyodor Dostoevsky and Dante Alighieri
Dante's research is oriented toward developing a more intimate understanding of the implicit philosophical, theological and psychological concepts propounded by these writers in their two seminal works: The Divine Comedy and Crime and Punishment. By examining these texts in conjunction with several scholarly publications on ritualistic significance, linguistic expression, religious ceremony and courtly love, his work has sought to illustrate the ways in which Alighieri's and Dostoevsky's characters have managed to collate and traverse secular and spiritual thresholds of existence through the innate human mechanisms of language, ritual and intimacy.
More specifically, his project focuses on the writers' ability to amalgamate the corporeal acts of confession and human intimacy with the metaphysical concepts of spiritual transcendence and divine agape, prompting moral refinement and self-enlightenment in each of their central characters.
It is at the core of Alighieri's and Dostoevsky's great works that we find a unified perspective on human nature, one that seeks to fuse aspects of the physical, mental, and spiritual orders through a series of rites which align the fields of sanctity and profanity within human society.
The work of Dutch ethnographer, Arnold Van Gennep, has helped me understand the profound significance of ritual rites in social groups; it is through the structures of secular and mystical human rituals (religious ceremony, marriage, liturgies, funeral, communion, birth rites, and so on) that individuals and societies are able to maintain a symbiotic relationship. — Dante Fresse '18
Laura Lujan '17
Majors: English - literary studies and sociology
Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
Laura Lujan grew up in a household that was filled with the vibrancies of Nicaraguan and Mexican heritage. She was taught to have a deep love of learning and has carried that with her into her adult life. In 2013, she was accepted as a Posse Scholar and traveled across the country in order to continue that same quest for knowledge.
Research and Creative Projects
The love of a good story and human interaction led Laura to a student run project, the creation of a documentary called Utopian Dreams.
Laura continued to explore film as a medium of storytelling by spending a summer working with ABC News on collecting and filming different stories around the city of Los Angeles to document the things that make it so special. Her interests don't stop there but she has a soft spot for environmental and social justice issues and tries to do what she can. She has also a lover of theatre and encourages everyone to go see a play when they can. She believes that sometimes life gets too real and things like movies, stories, a play helps us cope with reality in a fantastical kind of way.
Research in Nicaragua
During the spring semester of 2016, Laura studied abroad in Nicaragua, spending the final month doing research on her own on an adviser approved theme.
Honors Thesis: Historical Narrative of Taino Indians from Puerto Rico
This project is about the importance of the indigenous voice (for now). I hope to be able to speak with the translator of the novel and to incorporate some of the knowledge I have learned while speaking to the indigenous groups of Nicaragua.
I traveled to the Caribbean side of Nicaragua to the city of Bluefield, where I studied the 7 different ethnic groups that live on that coast. I looked into the folklore that they are told as children and how it may affect their identities today. I was privileged to see fellow humans smile as they told me stories about their pasts - about how their grandmothers or grandfathers would tuck them in and pass on their heritages through oral stories - stories so ingrained into who they are as people and as a culture. While a research paper was written about them, I want to create a podcast to be the people's voice for themselves. I have yet to publish it onto any website, but maybe in the future. — Laura Lujan '17