Host institution: Maria Skłodowska-Curie University, Faculty of Humanities (Institute of English Studies)
Grant category: English Teaching Assistant
Academic year: 2016-2017
Grant start date: October 1, 2016
Grant end date: June 30, 2017
McKenzie Hightower recently graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in English and Film. Her research interests are diverse. She particularly enjoys researching the linguistic study of heteroglossia pioneered by M.M. Bakhtin, the Czech concentration camp Theresienstadt (Terezín), and the resurfacing of grotesque fairy tales in contemporary narratives. A recipient of a 2014 US-UK Fulbright Summer Institute Scholarship, she studied abroad at Notthingham-Trent University the summer after her sophomore year. While there she immersed herself in the history, heritage, literature, and art work of the United Kingdom in order to produce a final fiction and art piece that was displayed in a public gallery. Her interest in creative writing intersected with her desire to teach when she co-founded the Rogue Workshop—a program that integrates the undergraduate and graduate creative writing programs—and the Young Writers Workshop—an outreach creative writing initiative at the Robinson Community Learning Center for middle and high school writers. The US-UK Fulbright Summer Institute fostered a desire to explore other countries within McKenzie, but her interest in Poland had begun far earlier, when she encountered Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “Three Colors Trilogy” in high school. From there, she immersed herself in Polish art and hopes to learn enough Polish while on her Fulbright to read some of the texts in their native language. When she is not writing creatively or researching, McKenzie enjoys watching foreign films, cooking, and playing soccer. After her Fulbright experience, McKenzie hopes to receive her MFA in creative writing and become a professor.