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Alumnae Spotlight: Blossom Jeong '20

March 14, 2024
Blossom Jeong '20
Photo by Oliva Xing ’20

Can you tell us about what you studied at Bryn Mawr and why you chose it?
I majored in Comparative Literature and Mathematics with a minor in Chinese. I had been interested in studying literature even before coming to Bryn Mawr, and when I learned that Comparative Literature could accommodate a variety of languages and interests, I decided to go for it. I also declared my major in Mathematics after taking several courses in my first year – I loved the community and developed strong connections with my professors and classmates.

How did you get involved in your current field?
I am currently a Ph.D. student in East Asian Studies at UC Irvine. I took several courses from the EALC department at Bryn Mawr for my Comparative Literature major, but it was during the process of writing my senior thesis that I began to seriously consider studying East Asian literature in graduate school. I enjoyed researching and writing, and I felt that there were so many intriguing questions left for me to explore. Hence, after completing my master’s in Comparative Literature in South Korea, I decided to return to the States to start my Ph.D.

How did your years at Bryn Mawr prepare you for your professional life?
Had it not been for my years at Bryn Mawr, I would have never considered the possibility of graduate school. My time at Bryn Mawr not only sparked my interest in the humanities as a profession but also equipped me with the ability to engage in productive discussions and foster meaningful relationships. As a graduate student, I read and write critically every day – and I credit Bryn Mawr for helping me cultivate that proficiency.

Why did you decide to major in Comparative Literature?
When I finally decided in my sophomore year that I wanted to study literature as a major, I had already taken a variety of courses across departments and disciplines. I liked the flexibility of Comparative Literature as a major, as it allowed me to continue pursuing my interdisciplinary interests. As I now look back at my senior thesis (“The Butterfly Effect: Relocating Gender and Race through the Art of Male Dan”), it is surprising how it turned out to be an accumulation of the various interests I developed over my years at Bryn Mawr – gender and sexuality, critical race theory, film studies, performative arts, to name a few.

What advice do you have for current undergraduates?
Enjoy your time at Bryn Mawr, and don’t be afraid to pursue your passions and embrace opportunities. I can’t help but laugh when I recollect my years at Bryn Mawr – I was all over the place doing so many different things! But it all worked out at the end, and I love the person that the years have carved me into.

Comparative Literature