After completing her undergraduate degree in English Literature at McGill University, Claire returned to her hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she spent a few months preparing for the LSAT before she realized she didn’t want to go to law school. In Gallatin, she found an interdisciplinary program that has allowed her to construct an academic path that combines her interests in gender and legal studies, and specifically rape culture and reproductive rights in the U.S. Her dissertation will examine how problematic assumptions on the part of American legal and medical institutions about female bodies are revealed by looking closely at rape and right-to-die cases over the last fifteen years.
Claire has enjoyed the flexibility afforded by Gallatin’s program, and the unique way in which it allows a student to combine creative, academic, and activist pursuits. The course Prison Nation, taught by Professor Bryonn Bain, allowed her to reflect on how her background in theater could be employed to illuminate social justice issues. Professor Scott Korb’s course Telling the Truth opened up a new framework for understanding how creative writing can be woven into research.
The Gallatin student community represents a broad cross-section of inspiring and hard-working individuals, says Claire. She observes that even entering a roomful of graduate students is an act of engagement in a productive learning process. In the fall of 2014, she will be involved with the inaugural year of the Gallatin Graduate Student Organization where she hopes to build new ties with her Gallatin colleagues.