Stefanie Sobola :

Stefanie Sobola


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I received my B.A. in English and American Studies and Linguistics in 2015 from the University of Stuttgart, Germany. My thesis examined Gloria Anzaldúa’s concept of hybridity, divergence and new mestiza consciousness in Ana Castillo’s So Far from God. Currently, I’m working on my M.A. in Digital Humanities at the same university. As part of my DH studies, I collaborated in a project with three students to create the online database “Commemorating the Disabled Soldier”. The database compiles various media, ranging from art works to letters, from 1914 to 1940. (The project originated from research in the field by Dr. Martina Salvante, University of Warwick, England) In addition, I’m working on a project, which will visualize character interactions in Dave Eggers’ The Circle in a network, using interaction counts as a measure.

My research for my master’s thesis focuses on tracing different types of enemy images and stereotypical depictions of American Indians in 19th century newspaper articles. I will contrast my results with the images described in classical literary histories and literary studies. I’m interested to see how common stereotypes were perceived and whether they were in line with the general “anti-Native American” sentiment – perhaps even used to influence public opinion at the time. This is of interest, since, as result of the Indian Removal Act in 1930, American Indians were forced to leave their land and pushed westwards. My work will entail training a model to recognize stereotypical views, for instance “noble savage” and “brutal savage”, of American Indians in 19th century newspapers. Three key events in 19th century American Indian history will serve as case studies in my research: (1) Trail of Tears, (2) Geronimo’s War and (3) Wounded Knee Massacre.

 

For more on the NULab/DSG Visiting Scholars Program, see here.