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Junior Fellows Program
  • Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Arts Cafe at the Kelly Writers House

As this years recipient of the Kelly Writers House Junior Fellows Prize, HANNAH WHITE has undertaken a project to make the Writers House a space where we can talk about issues of mental health and illness from a writers perspective. The first event, WRITING ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH, will be held on Tuesday, September 9, at 6pm. In traditional "7–Up" style, seven different people (students, professors, community members) will each select and then write/speak about an important novel, short story, or poem dealing with issues of mental (in)stability. "Important" can mean anything here: personally important, culturally important, historically important, obscure but interesting, challenging to the traditional ideas of illness and wellness, etc. We hope that a wide range of perspectives and literary works will bring together seemingly disparate subsets of the wider community—and will also reveal plenty of interesting ideas about health, culture, relationships, and what is "normal."

KATIE ANTONSSON is a current senior English major at Penn, a second-year transfer from Vassar College. Originally from Los Angeles, she is an avid reader and writer who has written three novels and several short stories to date. She is currently the managing editor of Philadelphia website Rock On Philly and hopes to continue editing for music-oriented publications after graduation.

  • Work: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

MAX CAVITCH (Associate Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA 19104-6273) is the author of American Elegy: The Poetry of Mourning from the Puritans to Whitman and of numerous articles on American literature and material culture, poetry and poetics, cinema, and psychoanalysis. He is co-editor of the book series, Early American Studies, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press and by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, wehre he is also a member of the Executive Council.

  • Work: "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

BRIANNA KREJCI is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania studying sociology and philosophy. She has gone through various struggles in mental health related to depression and eating disorders and this subject is something that she believes should be discussed openly within a campus community. She helped to co-found a group on campus called "Penn Poised", a group for body image positivity. Through this outlet, Brianna has been able to reach many people and help them find peace with themselves. She is also the Co-President of the Penn Vegan Society and on the boards of Penn Running Club and the Penn Consortium of Undergraduate Women. Through these involvements, she shapes her identity and finds a place to structure her mental health.

  • Work: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

ILYA VINITSKY is Professor and Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. His main field of expertise is nineteenth- century intellectual, emotional and spiritual history of Russia. His books include Ghostly Paradoxes: Modern Spiritualism and Russian Culture in the Age of Realism (University of Toronto Press, 2009; A Cultural History of Russian Literature (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2009; together with Andrew Wachtel), and Madness and the Mad in Russian Culture (Toronto University Press 2007; co-edited with Angela Brintlinger). He teaches courses on various aspects of Russian intellectual and emotional history, including "Russian Nights: Ghosts in Russian Culture," "From the Other Shore: Russia and the West," and "Madness and Madmen in Russian Culture." In 2010, Vinitsky received SAS Ira Abrams Award for Distinguished Teaching.

  • Work: "God Grant That I Not Lose My Mind" by Alexander Pushkin

PHOEBE WANG is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, and studies Psychology and Fine Arts. She currently works as a trauma interviewer for Penn Medicine, and a research assistant for the Positive Psychology Center. In her free time, Phoebe enjoys racing bikes and drawing old fruit in her house. She also recently learned (and confirmed) that eating chia seeds does not result in looking like a chia pet.

  • Work: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

SARA JAFFEE is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology. She studies how children are affected by abuse and neglect. When she is not working, she hangs out with her family, tries to keep up with her New Yorker subscription, and occasionally binge watches Netflix original programming.

  • Work: The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman

ANNIE PERSONS is a senior English major and creative writing minor at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. She is passionate about reading, writing, and discussing poetry.

  • Work: "The Worm" by Hilda Doolittle

JAMIE-LEE JOSSELYN is the Associate Director for Recruitment at the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing, an instructor of nonfiction writing at Penn, and a College House Fellow at Hill House on campus. She received her B.A. from Penn and her M.F.A. from Bennington College. She has also taught writing at the New England Young Writers Conference, at St. Paul's School's Advanced Studies Program, in Philadelphia public schools, and elsewhere. She has published writing on topics ranging from cat shows to bicycling across the country to her mother's life and death. She lives with her gentleman-friend, her 2 cats, and her dog.

  • Work: The Suicide Index by Joan Wickersham

watch: a video recording of this event via KWH-TV

listen: to an audio recording of this event

Learn more about this event online at the Kelly Writers House.