Jessica Chace’s Work as 2012-2013 George Gamow Undergraduate Research Fellow

English Major Jessica Chace received a George Gamow Undergraduate Research Fellowship for the 2011-12 academic year. Like GW’s Luther Rice fellowships, the Gamow Fellowship supports an undergraduate researcher in ways that allow her or him to work closely with a Faculty Mentor.  The working title of Jessica’s research project is “The Humor Defense: Laughter as Therapy in Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.”   At this point, she has read all of the texts in her bibliography for the project; these texts focus on Kesey’s novel and related materials and on psychoanalytic theory. Over the summer, Jessica traveled to the University of Oregon, where she examined the  Kesey Collectiondirectly, focusing particularly on Kesey’s letters and manuscripts, as well as  on letters from some of his contemporaries, including Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.  In order to gain access to this closed collection, Jessica had to receive the permission of Kesey’s wife Faye.  She is currently working on the next phase of her research project. Her mentor for this project is Professor Kim Moreland.

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