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5 Questions with Assistant Professor Katie Trostel

September 28, 2017

Get to know our faculty, staff and students. Five Questions With is a series of occasional Q+As highlighting members of the Ursuline College community, starting with new faculty members.

Q: Tell us about yourself.

A: I grew up in the Cleveland area in Shaker and University Heights. I graduated with a BA in English and anthropology from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and recently completed my PhD in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Last year, I was an adjunct professor at Ursuline and taught courses in first-year composition, mythology, and European and Asian literatures. My research interests include 20th and 21st century Latin American literature, women’s writing, Jewish studies, memory and trauma studies, memorials and monuments, city spaces, haunting, and ruins.

Q: Tell us about a professional (or other) accomplishment of which you are most proud.

A: I am a co-director of the Venice Ghetto Collaboration (www.veniceghettocollaboration.com), which is an interdisciplinary group of humanities scholars who look at the site of the Venice Ghetto "at 500" (it was founded in 1516). It was the world's first ghetto - the word "ghetto" comes from the name of this specific place - and so the group considers the legacy of this compulsory, segregated, and enclosed space. As part of the group, I've had the opportunity to work with Chilean author and human rights activist, Marjorie Agosín, who also visited Ursuline last year. We're currently working on a digital mapping project of her work, Cartographies - a collection of prose-poems about Jewish spaces globally that centers around the site of the Venice Ghetto.

Q: What drew you to Ursuline College?

A: I was drawn to the women's focus, the small class sizes, the amazing sense of community and focus on social justice, and a desire to return home to Cleveland.

Q: What are you most excited about in this year at Ursuline and/or what new ideas or initiatives are you looking forward to implementing?

A: I'm really enjoying getting to know all of the freshmen in my English composition and research course. It's great to get a chance to be part of that first-year college experience, and to learn more about each student through their writing! Their first essays are personal narratives, and I love to watch them bring their stories and experiences to life. I hope to recruit a few more English majors, too.

Q: Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

A: I am a new mother! My daughter, Gemma, was born on July 1, 2017.







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