PhD graduate | French Studies

Having started out as a Psychology major, Rosanne switched to French Studies but kept a minor in Psychology. Her interest in abnormal psychology and mental illnesses has carried on throughout her MA and her PhD and she is finding interesting ways to combine the two fields. “I am researching the representation of depression and melancholy in contemporary French literature. Specifically, how does an author depict depression, and how does that then compare to the clinical definition and presentation of the illness.”Rosanne Abdulla

“It’s challenging to combine the two themes. While I am incorporating psychological themes, I am ultimately still writing a thesis in French literature.” While Rosanne reads psychology journals for personal interest, she is mindful to use traditional literature as the predominant source for her thesis. Having recently completed the first chapter, she is currently working on the second, and preparing to jump back and forth once she receives notes on the first. “It’s a long process but I enjoy the research and enjoy the balance between research and teaching that is associated with academia.”

“After my MA, I already felt as though I knew what my PhD would look like. I felt comfortable and at home in the department.” The work/life balance of a grad student is very different to that of an undergraduate, Rosanne explains. “You’re able to attend conferences, department meetings, and hold office hours, but at the end of the day, you’re still a student.”