Fordham PhD Alum Inspiring Undergrads Through Collaboration

Recent PhD graduate Kate Nash inspires students every day in Boston University’s General Studies Program. Collaborating with computer engineering and psychology undergraduate students on her various projects, Dr. Nash is leading the next generation of thinkers and researchers, while also gleaning new perspectives from students of a wide variety of disciplines.

Nash is currently working on a critical analysis of Muriel Spark’s 1963 novel, The Girls of Slender Means, and she’s employed the help of Psychology/English major Coleen Ilano, to collect research materials for the project.

 Kate Nash with Coleen Ilano.

Kate Nash with Coleen Ilano.

Ilano says she loves her classes with Nash—so the project was a perfect fit: “I am able to learn more about the subjects I love while also being able to assist a professor who I greatly admire and respect.” Ilano says that working on this project has taught her “the ways that women in fiction can exercise agency and maintain autonomy over their bodies” even when those acts might also conform to “restrictive social standards.”

Nash is also collaborating with her students on a book she’s writing “on how twentieth-century writers—among them Virginia Woolf, Betty Miller, and Muriel Spark—incorporated wartime food ephemera into their fiction. During the austere years of World War I and World War II, governments aimed to manage food consumption through mass-media campaigns. Nash looks at how women writers incorporate these propaganda materials—from posters to infant feeding manuals to domestic pamphlets—into their writing as they confront how the state regulates femininity and the female body in service of the nation. In the books that Nash studies, young women use chocolate as a form of currency during the hungry years of wartime London, and a restaurant meal becomes a symbol of racial discrimination.”

For more information on Kate Nash and her current projects go here:

https://www.bu.edu/cgs/2018/05/04/a-look-at-undergraduate-research-women-writers-food-and-wartime/