Jenna April Liuzzi

Graduate Prize Fellow
East Pyne Building

Jenna April Liuzzi is a doctoral candidate in the Department of French and Italian. Combining the fields of literary and cinematic studies, gender and sexuality studies, victimology, and trauma studies, her dissertation focuses on representations of female victims of sexual violence in contemporary French literature and film, most notably in formally experimental works by authors such as Virginie Despentes, Vanessa Springora, and Hélène Duffau. Jenna argues that the works she examines transmit and transform knowledge about victimhood by undermining audience expectations regarding this perennial figure. More specifically, her dissertation demonstrates how these works strategically utilize narrative, formal innovation, and aesthetics to render a nuanced and dynamic portrait of victimhood, inviting audiences to sharpen their empathetic practices. She ultimately establishes that these works are audience-oriented artifacts that unsettle in order to challenge misconceptions of the figure of the victim while underscoring the ethics and complexity of survival. Through her research, she seeks to widen public understandings of how we regard, judge, and often dismiss the accounts of those to whom sexual violence has been done. In addition to completing her M.A. in French at Princeton, Jenna holds an M.A. in French with a specialization in Literature from Middlebury College. She received her B.A. in French from Agnes Scott College, graduating summa cum laude.