Featured Student: Joslyn Smith

Junior, English major Joslyn Smith’s archival research has deeply impacted her as a student and a citizen. She discusses that work here:

Joslyn Smith PhotoI began conducting research on the Atlanta Child Murders and the effects that a missing child has on a mother and the family in my English 314 class. While researching, I instantly made a connection between the mothers of the Atlanta Child Murders and the mothers of slain children such as Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin. This archival work allowed me to explore ongoing issues such as racism, white supremacy and police brutality through the lens of absence. I saw that the death of these children marks racial violence as the absence of humanity, of decency, of compassion. It is clearer to me now that my work examines the “missing” qualities of human character as they are set against the physical absence these extreme forms of violence often generate. Furthermore, I want to know whether these holes make healing impossible.  Doing this research has impacted how I read. My reading more closely examines the implications of what I might be missing.


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