Faculty and Staff Biography
I received a B.A. in English (second major in French, minor in Economics) from Grove City College. I received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, with a Ph.D. minor in Southeast Asian studies, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I have also taken courses in Middlebury College's French immersion program in Vermont and in Paris, and at the Southeast Asian Summer Studies Institute at the University of Wisconsin.
I specialize in the modern novel and graphic novel, and focus on the interactions of power, violence, and visuality in these texts. I work in English, French, Spanish, and Tagalog, and focus primarily on Francophone and Southeast Asian literatures, although my teaching and scholarship also take me elsewhere. I am also interested in the ways mental illnesses are portrayed in comics, and in Christianity in literature.
I am currently working on an article about how violent interactions in two graphic novels ("The Rabbits" and Déogratias) cause the creation of a new world in each society (I take as my starting point the trope of the "new world" used by European colonizers, pointing out that the creation of a new world often rests on the violent destruction of the previous one). I am also working on a book review of Vicente Rafael's new book, Motherless Tongues: The Insurgency of Language amid Wars of Translation.
For more information about my research, please see my academia.edu page: https://stlcop.academia.edu/JessicaGross
Current Courses, Activities, and Scholarly Interest
At STLCOP, I teach the Freshman Writing Sequence (WRIT 1101: The Effective Writer and WRIT 1102: The Writer as Advocate), as well as a sophomore-level literature selective, LITR 2250: Comics and Mental Illness and a junior-level Writing Intensive, LITR 3310: Comics and Conflict.
I am an advisor for the International Student Organization, Campus Crusade for Christ, and the Art Club. I grew up in Singapore, the Philippines, and Wisconsin, and also studied abroad in Paris when I was an undergraduate. The Eutectic is my favorite animal!