WHAT THEY LEARNED: Sarah Shatan-Pardo ’17

The English major’s creative writing thesis adds intersectionality to literature.

While most English majors write their theses on existing pieces of literature, Sarah Shatan-Pardo ’17, like all creative writing concentrators, created her own instead. Titled South of Broadway Bridge, her thesis project includes two stories: Don’t Shoot and Zaria.

Each thesis written by creative writing concentrators (who may only be English majors) must include a creative aspect and a critical afterword that theoretically analyzes their own work. Advised by Assistant Professor of English Asali Solomon, Shatan-Pardo went through a rigorous workshopping process that included feedback on each draft of her work.

“My work was inspired by being biracial and lesbian, as well as by writing by minority authors that I’ve read both in and out of school,” she said.

Shatan-Pardo, who worked as a peer tutor in Haverford’s Writing Center, has returned home to New York City to work at Writopia Lab, leading creative writing workshops for kids and teenagers. She eventually hopes to pursue an MFA in young adult fiction and to contribute LGBT+ perspectives to the genre.

What did you learn working on your thesis?

I learned how to write without feeling actively inspired. I also learned how rewrite my stories over and over again without staying stuck in one draft.

What are the implications for your thesis research?

My thesis does not have the same kinds of implications that the theoretical theses may. My main goal was to contribute creative writing to the world that addresses intersectionality and represents minority identities—such as gay women, black women, biracial people, and adolescents of any of these or other identities—that I have not experienced in most of my leisure or academic reading.

-Michael Weber ’19

Photo: Energepic

“What They Learned”is a blog series exploring the thesis work of recent graduates.