Reading in Tamagawa Garden

Katelyn Horsley

Katelyn Horsley, English 135, Best Essay 2016-17 

Meet Katelyn. The Awards Committee was immediately impressed with the theoretical sophistication of her first-year paper, “The Erotic Transformation of Little Red Riding Hood from an Object to a Subject: Metatextuality Within ‘The Company of Wolves’ and ‘Little Red Riding Hood.’” When we asked Katelyn what drew her to the essay topic, she described her reaction to encountering multiple versions of the classic fairy tale: “I started to notice that most often Little Red Riding Hood was characterized as a passive object that set herself up for her eventual death. I found this portrayal to be completely unrealistic and somewhat insulting towards women. After reading Angela Carter’s ‘In The Company of Wolves,’ I realized that females do not have to be presented as simple characters that possess no other qualities besides beauty. In fact, females deserve to be seen as subjects that are intelligent, animal-like, sexual, and free. As writers, we have the choice to enforce or ignore the gender limitations imposed upon us by our patriarchal society.” 

Katelyn is pursuing her B.A. with a major in Psychology. She admits to taking ENGL 135 primarily because English courses are a requirement of her program. However, as she explains, “I have always loved writing, particularly from a critical perspective. I am always looking for ways to better my critical thought process and my writing abilities.” The combination of writing and critical thinking skills gained in both psychology and English has served her well, especially in her approach to theory. Katelyn has “always been fascinated with critical analysis, particularly feminist and psychoanalytic perspectives.” In ENGL 135, she found Professor Terri Doughty’s approach to the course “very interesting” because it “allowed the class to compare and contrast the differences between modern and historical fairy tales.” 

Katelyn values the opportunity to apply critical analysis to all texts. She wants students to understand that “truth” is subjective, no matter the professional qualifications of a text’s author. “[N]ever accept writing as it is presented to you,” she advises other students; instead, “[p]ut effort into anything you analyze and think critically.”

Katelyn says that her primary interest lies with “the brain and the neurological influences it has on behaviour.” She is involved with Elliott Marchant’s Sleep and Rhythms Lab, where she is “currently conducting research on time-place learning and food anticipation in drosophila.” Her top three “must reads” are In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Maté, The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter, and The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud.