SURF

Robyn Taylor

Taking Up Space, Locating Poetics by Place

What does it mean to find oneself “On the Road?” What is the significance of traveling east to west? By traveling across the United States and examining the rhythm, kinetics, and visual movement of particular locations, I can try on the philosophical lenses of three American writers who were greatly influenced by place. Jack Kerouac, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman were not only affected by their surroundings, they made a presence in American literature by promoting self participation in life. They did so each in their own unique rhythm correspondent to their cultural and geographical environment. As I participate in my own experience of being on the road and amongst the American landscape, I will gain insight into the authenticity of self in relationship to place, and by doing so I can better understand what Whitman meant when he said, “I celebrate myself, and sing myself.”
Robyn’s Research Blog

Message to Sponsor

SURF has given me the opportunity to find out what I am capable of as I explore my area of inquiry from an interdisciplinary approach. At an undergraduate level, SURF is allowing me to familiarize myself with academia in a safe supportive community. The proposal writing process in itself allowed me to work with my peers, learn writing strategies from the undergraduate research workshops, and develop a relationship with my sponsor. I have learned how to sharpen my focus on the research that I feel deeply passionate about, and as I begin my journey into the field, I am seeing that this is an invaluable opportunity, one that reveals new connections, and new opportunities.
  • Major: American Studies, Performance Studies (minor)
  • Sponsor: Wishek Fund
  • Mentor: SanSan Kwan, Theatre Dance and Performance Studies