Meet Marcy Pedzwater! Pedzwater is a third-year PhD student and teaching fellow in the Department of English & Comparative Literature. As a part of the new Graduate Student Spotlight series, we asked Pedzwater a few questions about her research and intellectual interests.
Can you tell me a bit about your research? How have your intellectual interests within Latinx studies evolved?
My research focuses on depictions of dictatorship in works by contemporary (~1990-present) Latin American and LatinX writers. I’m especially interested in how these writers represent archives (including written documents, media, and journalism) and interrogate
the patriarchal violence that is carried through archives’ content, subtexts, and silences. I examine how these writers use the lens of dictatorship to not only interrogate the violence of the past but to challenge structures of imperialism, racism, and sexism in the Americas. When I started at UNC, I knew I was interested in studying Latin American and LatinX writers together, and I knew I was interested in how these writers responded to issues of immigration, patriarchy, colonialism, and imperialism. As I read more creative works and scholarship within my field, I realized that I was interested in the way that dictatorship and archives intersected with these issues.
What has been intellectually inspiring to you lately during this difficult time?
I’ve been really inspired by the novels I’ve been reading as I study for exams. I think that the insights I’ve gained from interacting with these works inform the way that I move through the world. A handful that come to mind are Angie Cruz’ Let it Rain Coffee, Carolina de Robertis’ The Invisible Mountain, Cecile Pineda’s Love Queen of the Amazon, and Mayra Santos-Febres’ Sirena Selena vestida de pena.