Jasmine Sinian Hu
Undergraduate Alumna in Comparative Literature
When I bring up my CompLit major in conversation, one question inevitably gets asked: “How are you going to eat?” My well-meaning interlocutors can’t understand that the DLCL has kept me full for the last four years—literally. Every time I enter its doors, I’m greeted by a spread of sandwiches and cheeses for some lunchtime talk. Every time I leave, I’m loaded down with leftovers for dinner.
But there’s also sustenance beyond the physical, and in that respect the DLCL has served a four-year feast. It’s here, within its porous walls, that I’ve learned to be open and curious about everything and anything, from classical Chinese poetry to Thomas Wyatt to Brecht to video games, because there are always connections to be made. And, conversely, it’s here that I’ve learned to be comfortable with all the things I don’t know, to get lost in the marginal and uncertain, to recover gracefully after mispronouncing “Benjamin,” to be completely baffled by Henry James’ pronouns but persist in reading anyways. It’s here that I’ve felt truly sustained intellectually.
For all this, I have to thank the many wonderful professors who have supported and challenged me inside and outside of class; in particular, Marisa Galvez, who made troubadour lyric come alive in so many ways, Héctor Hoyos, for his initial guidance through the Borgesian labyrinth that is the thesis-writing process, and Monika Greenleaf, who illuminated the beautiful details in everything from the Bacchae to Lolita. And I don’t know how to even begin to express my immense gratitude towards Roland Greene, except to say that he always made things fall into sense.
Of course I couldn’t have made it through these four years without my fellow students, who’ve kept me company during long paper-writing sessions and spirited discussions, and my loving and supportive family, who’ve just nearly stopped asking me about how I’m going to eat. In the fall, I’ll be starting graduate studies in comparative literature at Harvard, but I’ll always think of the Stanford DLCL as home. The food here was just so good.