Jess grew up on a farm in the Eastern Cape, near Kleinemonde, which she still calls home today. She had an unconventional school education with a mixture of formal and home schooling interspersed with periods of travel and farm work. Nevertheless, she maintained an interest in academics and, particularly, in literature. She began her undergraduate studies at Rhodes in 2011 and studied up to honours level before the travel bug bit again. After three years of living in Moscow teaching English, during which time she was also married, she returned to Rhodes in order to pursue an MA in the department. This thesis was submitted in July 2020 and she is now starting work on her PhD.

Jess’s MA project involved a reading of the novels of Irish author John Banville through a lens of post-Saussurean literary theory in order to interrogate the possibility of creating meaningful literature after the realisation that language is inadequate to the task of fully representing reality or experience. Her research has focused on the issue of excess, the sublime or the remainder which exists at all times outside of the text. In her PhD thesis, Jess aims to take this line of questioning further, in order to tease out the ways in which contemporary authors gesture towards excess in order to make their reader’s aware of the inadequacy of language.

Last Modified: Tue, 03 Nov 2020 21:30:24 SAST