Congratulations to our Graduating Specialists of 2015


As Spring quarter wrapped up this year, students graduating with a specialization in Literature and the Mind gathered with affiliated faculty and graduate students of English and Comparative Literature.  Each of these students took at least four courses affiliated with the study of mind, brain, and literature, or worked on an independent project related to our areas of interest.  Their specialization will be listed on their diplomas, fulfilling our department’s mission to give students multidisciplinary approaches and upper-division focus.  We are very proud of all our students’ accomplishments, and look forward to celebrating a new cohort of students in the coming year!

This year, we would like to congratulate the following specialists: Antigone Bowden, Nadya Bravo, Julian Bustos, Ashlyn Cornes, Jasmin Diaz, Lizbet Flores, Cassandra Gonzalez, Jessica Hyde, Giselle Jaude, Ian Jones, Celine Khoury, Victoria Koenitzer, Jessica Mendez, Alexandra Nicholson, Natalie O’Brien, Emily Ogle, Liana Scarsella, Alexandra Splan, Andrea Vallone, and Aimee Wong.

Below, you will find some photos from our gathering, as well as thoughts from undergraduates on the specialization and its impact on their lives on- and off-campus.  If you recently graduated with a Lit and Mind specialization, and would like to add your own thoughts or tell us what you’re up to now, please email Rebecca Chenoweth here.  If you’re interested in learning more about this specialization, and currently-offered courses that will help you to earn it, see our site’s description of the Undergraduate Specialization.

Thoughts on Literature and the Mind from Ian Jones:


“I was in the Literature and Mind specialization for both of my years at UCSB (as a transfer, I only had two). I began the specialization thinking it could be, at least for me, a happy marriage of literature and philosophy, and it was, at least in part. Lit & Mind is interested in psychology and neuroscience in relation to literature more than it is in metaphysics, but there’s room in the specialization for all that and more. Through my courses in the specialization I developed an interest in relationships and other minds. The problem of other minds is exactly that: a problem. We are separated, as people, in some ways immutably. Literature, like psychology and philosophy, grapples with this. The specialization was, for me, a place to explore the space between people and the ways we try to connect to one another, and why it matters that we do so at all. The specialization is much bigger than that, but it is a vital piece that I carry forward.”

Pictures of the group:




Aimee Wong


Victoria Koenitzer


Cassandra Gonzalez


Celine Khoury and Stephanie Lambert