The Dolphin

Student Scholar of the Week: Emma Porter

Allison Dolzonek ‘16, STAFF WRITER

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What is your class year and major?

I am a sophomore majoring in political science and English with a literature concentration, with a minor in philosophy.

Could you please briefly describe your current research work?

Right now I’m in the process of doing research for my IRP (Interdisciplinary Research Project) for Honors. My research is on the fairy tale tradition. I am looking at the psychological impacts fairy tales have on the gender development of children and the sociological impact these tales have. Fairy tales encourage female subordination by telling women they should be taking the passenger seat in their own lives. These tales do not represent women well, and their representation of women is often focused on white, straight, cisgender females. In conjunction with my research, I am rewriting several classic fairy tales (Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Snow White) with empowered women of color, gay women, and transgender women who display female agency.

Were there any prevalent influences that gave you the idea for your project?

Issues of feminism are very important to me. This project seemed ideal for me because I am able to engross myself in literature and comment on a social justice issue at the same time. It’s my two favorite things put together! Dr. Miles Taylor in the English Department helped me begin my research into the different fairy tales, recommending several books to use to start my project.

What do you hope to accomplish with your research?

I hope to bring awareness to the fact that the fairy tale representation of women is damaging, especially to children. These tales are famous; everyone knows the stories of Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, etc., and these stories discourage female agency and independence. I hope to use my research to guide my rewriting of famous fairy tales and allow me to represent diverse women exhibiting female agency.

As a student athlete, do you find it hard or strenuous to manage your time?

Being a student athlete forces me to manage my time. I have to plan things well because I’m so busy! It can be difficult at times, but I have learned how to become better at time management because I’m an athlete.

Are you involved in any clubs or campus organizations? What do you enjoy most about them?

I am an active member of C.A.R.E., Amnesty International, English Club, and the Pheminists. C.A.R.E. and Amnesty are social justice groups focused on creating safe spaces and working towards justice for oppressed groups of people. I feel that social justice work is very important, and it is wonderful to be surrounded by like-minded people who have the same goals I do. English Club is a lot of fun! It’s great to be able to discuss literature with people who love it like I do. My favorite events have been the author birthday parties. The Pheminists are my favorite group to be a part of because they are a wonderful group of people working to create change on campus and in the community.

What do you like to do with your free time?

I like to read novels, write, and draw.

Favorite books?

One of my favorite books is Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath are up there as well.

Do you have any plans for after you leave Le Moyne, and if so what are they?

Right now I don’t really have a specific plan, but I would love to continue social justice work and be a writer.


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Student Scholar of the Week: Emma Porter