Alexandria Einspahr

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Temple University

Heinz Programming Area:
Arts and Culture
International Experience Summary:

Alexandria Einspahr spent six weeks in London, England where she attended two classes in British literature and modern culture. As an English major with a focus in British literature, London has always been a central point in her academic career. She was enrolled in a course entitled British Fantasy Literature and Magic Memory wherein she was able to conduct her own primary source research at several locations including Strawberry Hill Mansion, the home of Gothic literature, and the British Library. In order to expand her academic career, she spent her free time designing her own customized literary tour of different sites she has read about during the course of her study. Some of her favorite spots included visiting the homes of T.S Eliot and the Bloomsbury Group, a literary tour of Dublin where she visited the haunts of James Joyce, and a trip to Paris where she saw the home of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway and paid homage to the grave of Oscar Wilde. She experienced Shakespeare’s world through a trip to Stratford upon Avon, and took in Shakespearian plays, such as Julius Caesar at the Globe Theatre and the Trafalgar Transformed production of Richard III. Furthermore, her favorite trip was to the Bronte Parsonage Museum where she experienced the setting that inspired her favorite novel, Wuthering Heights. During her time abroad she interacted with other English academics, not only from different parts of the United States, but also students from London, Wales, and Australia. The exchange helped illuminate the differences and similarities between English speaking cultures that are often so closely associated with one another. Her hope is that the plethora of journal entries she took during her trip will be incorporated into her senior capstone project on modern British literature. By experiencing the sights, sounds, and smells of the multicultural mecca that is London, she can say with complete confidence that her passion for academia has been completely revitalized.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: It Never Happens Here: Student Stories of Sexual Violence

The Temple University Cohort's CEE was titled "It Never Happens Here: Student Stories of Sexual Violence." As the title suggests, we designed this CEE to create a safe place on campus where survivors of sexual violence could share their stories, and to demonstrate that sexual assault is both a local and global issue. We realized that every member of the cohort experienced some form of harassment both at home and abroad. Therefore, we wanted to take the conversation about sexual assault beyond hypothetical scenarios and tell our own stories. Together we created skits that portrayed different acts of sexual violence ranging from catcalling to assault in the workplace. We then asked our audience to guess whether this act occurred in Philadelphia or abroad. The quiz challenged our audience to reconsider the notion that sexual violence is something "that doesn't happen here," simply because it is not typically discussed. Furthermore, we debriefed each skit with a discussion session where students could share their own personal experiences while we offered safety tips and resources. The tickets for the event were actually business cards that included our logo and a list of domestic and international hotlines and organizations that help victims of domestic and/or sexual violence. In addition we also created a poster where the audience wrote positive messages designed to continue the positive dialogue beyond our one night event. The result was a night of awareness and camaraderie that offered a positive solution to the sense of helplessness that occurs when a woman feels as though she cannot retaliate.