Critical Analysis

Catrina Porter is a native of Louisiana. She is what the university would call a mature “returning student”. She is a recent graduate of the University of California, Davis. In the spring of 2012, she received a BA in English with an emphasis in Literature and Critical Theory, and a second BA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies. She is currently a graduate student at CSUS, studying English with an emphasis in Literature. Prior to attending CSUS in the fall of 2013, Catrina volunteered as an Instructional Assistant at her old community college, where she, tutored students. She helped them learn how to formulate a thesis and structure an essay. Upon graduation from Sac State, it is her sincere desire to become a professor and teach others how not only to read literature, but also to love and validate what they derive from the text. In her spare time, she loves reading novels with lots of plot twists and writing creatively. She also loves cooking. Catrina likens the idea of an academic journal to the tapestry of Ovid’s character Philomena; the students tell their story by sharing their works, and the literary journal offers a visual representation of that story in print. In this way, a literary journal functions as the “thread” that weaves the student writers with the greater campus community. With this said, she intends to continue the legacy of Calaveras Station, and see that the connection between the student writers and their campus peers remain intact.


Excerpt from “Signifying everything and nothing at all: the Fallen Woman Narrative and the Fallacy of Stigmas and Confessions in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter”:

In his book Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity, Sociologist, Erving Goffman explains that a stigma is a signifier attributed to a person in society that falls short of social expectations or norms (Goffman 2-3). Goffman adds that a person with a stigma presents “an undesired differentness” (3) than expected by those that make up his or her society, hence the stigmatized person’s society implements a signifier for the stigmatized and then attaches a meaning to that signifier that characterizes the defect in question. Hester’s scarlet letter is a signifier of her falling short of Puritan social expectations and norms of a married woman. Pearl, her illegitimate child, also stands in as a signifier, like the scarlet letter, signifying her mother’s defect in character. The practice of stigmatization relies heavily on the certainty of clear observation of the stigma or defect, requiring there be an exchange of information based on a set standard signs or markers that indicate there is something amiss with the person being observed. [...]Hawthorne reveals American nineteenth century double standards on stigmatization, by illustrating that female sexual transgression is visible, making it a public matter, and must be dealt with by the public.

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