Amanda Licato is a PhD student in the English department at Stanford University.
She is focusing on 19th and 20th century American literature with concentrations in African American modernism, interwar avant-gardism, poetic theory, ecocriticism, and visual and gender studies. She received her B.A. (summa cum laude) in English and Creative Writing from UC Berkeley in 2013. Her honors thesis, entitled “‘Life Itself Comes Alive When We Meet’: The Shared Journeys of Jean Toomer and Georgia O’Keeffe” is an original archival project from Yale’s Beinecke Library that takes up the later careers and personal relationship (as lovers) between Toomer and O’Keeffe, who both redefined themselves as artistic figures throughout the 1920s and 1930s.
As a doctoral student, Amanda is interested in the work of biography and in connections across artistic mediums including writing, photography, and painting, attempting to engage heavily in her criticism with the gendered, racial, and classist spaces of the art world. As a literary cultural historian, she often looks to the life of the artist vs. the work of art itself to reveal how the complexities of the artist’s life translate, with all the shifts common to any act of translation, into the complexities of his or her art. She has written on the poets Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, as well as the writers Jean Toomer, Charles Brockden Brown, and Nella Larsen, and visual artists Alfred Stiegltiz, Georgia O’Keeffe and William Fox Talbot.