Marie Schoups obtained her Master’s degree in English & Spanish Literature and Linguistics at the University of Antwerp (2019) and an Advanced Master’s degree in Literary Studies at KU Leuven (2020). Currently, she is working on a PhD in Hispanic literature at Ghent University, where she studies the role of children in contemporary US-Mexican border literature. The aim of the project is to determine the image of childhood as well as the function of the child character in a transnational corpus of border novels. To do so, the references to the senses (sight, sound, smell, taste and touch) and their connotations in relation to the figure of the child and the border are examined. The representation of the border affects how the child is depicted and vice versa, and consequently, existing conceptualizations of childhood innocence and border violence can be revisited. Given the affective and sensorial intensity of children’s experience, the child as a literary construct becomes an effective tool for narrating border trauma and expressing a message of socio-political critique. The representation of the child is thus closely connected to its function. This project seeks to contribute to our understanding of childhood and/at the border, as well as the complexities of their literary representation.
Department of Literary Studies (Spanish) Ghent University