Jaya Bharne

How did you come up with the idea for your research?
Sophomore year, I took a class in twentieth century women’s literature taught by graduate student Elizabeth Bredlau. I found myself inspired by the work of modern women writers, but Jeanette Winterson’s Written on the Body changed the way I read entirely. I was in awe of Winterson’s captivating and stylish poetics and how deeply the themes of the novel were woven into its language. My thesis examined Winterson’s attempt to write a love story that both embraced and rejected the linguistic clichés that preceded it, as well as her experimentation with the physical properties of language.

In conducting your study, what experience have you had with the faculty at Rutgers?
After taking a class on twentieth century poetry with Professor Harriet Davidson, I knew that her expertise in the field would help me in my very specific analysis of Winterson’s linguistic experimentation. I was very lucky that she was the director of the Honors English Program, and that she agreed to be the reader for my project. Both she and Elizabeth Bredlau suggested that I speak with Professor Marianne DeKoven, who had worked previously on Winterson. They were the perfect compliments to my research, and allowed me to work at my own pace and in my own style.

How has Rutgers prepared you for life after college?
Tutoring has impressed upon me the endless and overwhelming opportunities that education can afford a person, in both roles of teacher and student. I decided to join Teach for America not only to perform service to a system badly in need of support, but also to satisfy my own desires for personal fulfillment through continuing education.

When you are not studying or tutoring, how do you enjoy your free time?
I love going into New York City. My favorite way to spend a day is to go to museums and talk about art with my friends. I think this fascination with experimental and avant-garde art has informed my literary taste in a fantastic way.

What is one of the most memorable experiences you have had through Rutgers?
I studied in Florence, Italy, for a semester through the Rutgers Study Abroad Program. While abroad, I learned to adjust my lifestyle to suit my environment, and I learned to cope with stress and to take care of myself. While I was there, I traveled all over Italy, as well as to Amsterdam and Barcelona, all places where art is an integral part of daily life.

How has tutoring at the Plangere Writing Center helped you as a student-writer?
I have read student work in such an objective way that I now understand what works in academic writing and what doesn’t. Student writing is almost impossible to understand without exposing yourself to it constantly. Writing well is one of the most essential skills to have upon graduation, and I’m grateful that my tutoring experience helped me improve my own writng skills.