Student Spotlight: Jacklin Bolduan

July 24, 2019

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Jacklin Bolduan is a PhD student in American Studies who entered the department in Fall of 2016. She earned her bachelor’s degree from The University of Wisconsin Madison in Gender and Women’s Studies as well as a Certificate in LGBT Studies. In her graduate studies, she seeks to craft projects that will investigate the diffuse networks through which visceral entanglements like fear and paranoia extend beyond personal life and into the public sphere. In particular, she is interested in research questions that focus on incarceration, national security, and notions of freedom in the post-9/11 United States. 

Where did you go for undergrad and what did you study?

I graduated from The University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BA in Gender & Women’s Studies and a Certificate in LGBT Studies.

What are you studying now?

I have a lot of potential interests, however I find myself interested in post 9/11 studies, more specifically I wonder if and how our emotional capacity has changed towards a whole host of things in our culture because of the fear and anxiety produced by events like these.

What brought you to GW to continue your studies?

I was lucky enough to study under a graduate of this PhD program at UW Madison, who became a mentor to me during my time in undergrad. The classes I took with him helped to cultivate my interest in interdisciplinary work and got me excited about the possibility of pursuing my ideas at the graduate level. He pointed me in the direction of GW and I’m so glad he did. The faculty here is outstanding.

What makes you passionate about your studies?

I’m really interested in what’s happening emotionally right now in American culture, however you define it. I’m so interested in how our psychic lives come to bear on our political engagements and investments. I think so much of that is tucked beneath pieces of culture and convention and it feels exciting to unearth some of those meanings so we can try to understand ourselves a bit better.

What's your favorite part of/place in DC?

Well, I haven’t lived here very long at this point, but I really love this little cafe I happened upon one day near DuPont Circle. I had such a nice little moment there. I think it’s my spot. But I’m also pretty fond of the Air and Space museum.

What's your favorite film?

This is the worst question! Hayao Miyazaki films are high on my list. I think that’s a good place to start.

What is your dream job?

I don’t think this is a job but I’d like to be a professional whale watcher. And occasionally swim with them. Think the open ocean, not SeaWorld.

What advice would you give to students interested in American Studies?

I would say be open to discovering new interests and new ways to approach what you are already interested in. The advantage of studying in a field like this one is that you can be creative with your work and there are so many methods available that could move you in so many exciting directions.