Mannigfache Wege gehen die Menschen.
Wer sie verfolgt...wird wunderliche Figuren entstehen sehen.
Jenny Strakovsky, Ph.D.
Humanist, Educator, Career Coach,
and Researcher of the Meaningful Life
People take a multitude of paths.
Whoever follows them...will see wondrous shapes unfold.
I research the meaningul life in fiction, media, philosophy, psychology, and education. I believe that when it comes to the question of well-being and flourishing, the humanities and sciences must learn from each other and work together. My work is informed by my background in German literature (especially romanticism and realism), my work with resilience-based pedagogy and higher education innovation, and an insatiable curiosity for positive psychology and research on optimism, communication, community, and human flourishing -- which have come together in some of the projects below:
Joyful, Engaged, Sustainable: Reimagining Graduate Education for a Thriving Humanities Ecosystem
MLA Press, co-editor Stacy Hartman (under contract)
Inspired by both positive psychology and the career diversity turn, Mission Driven seeks to reimagine the humanities’ potential to thrive in the twenty-first-century. We envision the humanities as a sustainable, engaged, and joyful endeavor, and seek models of success that realize the potential of the humanities ecosystem in the information age.
The Search for Happiness: Gottfried Keller's Psychology of Flourishing
The field of positive psychology is a testament the 21st century's preoccupation with finding happiness, fulfillment, and well-being. How do the humanities complicate, complement, and converse with scientific approaches to the well-lived life? In this project, the optimistic fiction of 19th century Swiss novelist Gottfried Keller provides a point of departure to how story-telling can help us design a meaningful life. The book aims to imagine a model of personal growth that is informed by both science and the arts, bridging the humanities, psychology, and education.
Career Design for the Wandering Humanist (new, in progress)
Based on my courses, Career Design for Global Citzenship and Career Portfolio, this is a textbook for humanities students preparing for the precarious 21st century job market. This book departs from typical career services literature because it is grounded in the humanities and arts. It explains careers from the perspective of culture, history, and language, and it also shows students how to leverage their humanities skills in the professional world -- both in specific job roles and in the job search. This book can be used as the main text of a career course or as a complement to a humanities seminar.
The Maintenance of Clocks: Mastery and the Art of Waiting (new, in progress)
Inspired by experiences during the 2020 pandemic, this is a book of essays about waiting, and the resilience of persisting in the face of uncertainty. In the world of innovation, disruption and rapid iteration drive many of our decisions. This book explores the moments of creativity that require patience, where the answer is not yet certain, and the finish line is not yet in sight. This is not a scholarly book. It falls in the category of creative nonfiction.
"Atlanta Archivist", Podcast and Multimedia Platform
co-PIs: Sebnem Ozkan and Anna Stenport, Atlanta Global Studies Center
Atlanta is undergoing a fundamental sea change in its emergence as a global city in the American Southeast. Through multimedia story-telling and ethnographic research, this project documents the cross-cultural diversity of the city, engaging with heritage, immigrant, foreign-born communities and individuals that contribute to the transformation of Atlanta and Georgia. The project also seeks to reimagine American cultural identity for the 21st century.
“Radical Interdisciplinarity: Science, Technology, and the New Humanities in the 21st Century,” A. Stenport, J. Strakovsky, R. Gemilere. ADFL Bulletin, forthcoming 2021
"Trauma and the Promise of Modernity in Gottfried Keller's Dietegen." Monatshefte. Forthcoming September 2018. Available here: http://mon.uwpress.org/content/110/3/344.short
"Agency and Political Engagement in Gide and Barrault’s Theatrical Adaptation of Kafka’s The Trial." CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture. Volume 19, Issue 3. September 2017. Available here: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/clcweb/vol19/iss3/6/
"Radical Interdisciplinarity: Building Sustainable Models of Collaboration with STEM,"
with Anna Stenport (Georgia Tech), MLA Convention 2019.
"Career Design for Global Citizenship: An undergraduate course for FL majors" ADFL Summer Seminar, 2018
"Marriage as Migration in the Adultery Novel" (Talk); "Globalization in the 19th century" (Seminar); Seminar co-organizer with Jinyi Chu (Stanford Univ), Northeast MLA 2018.
"Fact and Fiction: Soviet and East German Espionage" James Bond Convention, Atlanta, 2018.
"The Conscience of Russian Spies in From Russia with Love and The Americans. South Atlantic MLA 2017
Hacking the Communicative Modes (Online Tools for Language Instruction), ACTFL Conference 2017
Writing in the Intermediate Classroom. AATG sponsored panel, ACTFL Conference 2017
"Empathy and Moral Judgment in Effi Briest" (Talk); "Comeuppance" (Panel), co-organized with Fritz Breithaupt (Indiana Univ Bloomington); Annual Neurohumanities Conference, Kent State University, 2016.