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Editor's note: This is part of a series of profiles of fall 2017 incoming ASU students.
When he wasn’t voraciously reading during his undergraduate years at the University of Chicago, Jimmy Garcia was lending his time and energy to bettering the community. He served as a member of both a student LGBT advisory board and R.I.S.E., a student committee charged with the creation and introduction of new diversity initiatives. Garcia also taught for AmeriCorps and worked as a tutor for the St. Aquinas Literacy Center, teaching weekly ESL courses.
It makes sense, then, that he chose to pursue his doctorate in English literature at ASU, which he calls “the people’s school.”
Reading has always been Garcia’s passion. Over the next few years, he plans to continue his committed study of it, with a particular focus on formalist literary analysis, a school of literary criticism and theory that has to do with the structure of a particular text. It’s an area that’s currently making a resurgence in literary studies and one that his recommenders at the University of Chicago say he shows great promise in.
Despite such praise, Garcia’s hopes for his time at ASU are simple: “I hope to read a good number of excellent stories.”
Read on to learn more about this incoming literary grad student.
Question: Why did you choose ASU for grad school?
Answer: ASU is the people’s school; it’s public, it educates tens of thousands of students a year and it offers all the Ivies do without the pretension.
Q: What drew you to study English literature?
A: Simply put, I’m a reader. Always have been, always will be. I study my passion. Outside of my personal feelings for literature, it is evident to me that storytelling is an inherent feature of human nature (whatever that may be). The stories we tell undergird our very perception of reality. As such, it is of great importance to study — to endeavor to understand — stories and how they reflect, construct and resist the world we think we live in.
Q: What are you most excited to experience at ASU?
A: I’m ready to meet and be challenged by my fellow ASU students.
Q: What do you like to brag about to friends about ASU?
A: Temperate winters (sorry, Chicago).
Q: What talents and skills are you bringing to the ASU community?
A: I can sometimes see things as they are … I also make some mean comfort food.
Q: What’s your favorite TV show right now?
A: "Trailer Park Boys."
Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your time at ASU?
A: I hope to read a good number of excellent stories.
Q: What’s one interesting fact about yourself that only your friends know?
A: I prefer old styles.
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem in our world, what would you choose?
A: I’d need $100 million more to fund the National Endowment for the Arts, but $40 million could cover some lavish arts programs for Arizona students.
Q: Predictions on the final score for this year’s Territorial Cup game?
A: Win or lose, it better be close.
Top photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now