Olga-Faccani (2)


Research Interests

In my research, I look at disorientation caused by death, grief, trauma, displacement, and violence in ancient Greek tragedy. Just as Greek drama allowed its ancient audience to deal with traumatic experiences as staged, in a protected space, I believe that it can serve a similar function for modern audiences and allow us to experience uncertainty and change from an artistic and detached perspective. I'm also interested in public humanities and in questions of trauma and disorientation as they inform audiences and actors in live performances. For this reason, I maintain an active collaboration with The Odyssey Project, a theater program between incarcerated youth and undergraduate students.   

Mentoring Experiences

As part of my collaboration with The Odyssey Project, I mentor students - free and incarcerated - as they reconstruct ancient texts on stage in their own voices, and leverage storytelling to look at their lives through a heroic lens rather than a criminalized one. I try to empower students with tools to create meaningful connections between ancient myths and their present-day experiences, and to discuss issues of victimization, loss, or resistance. In my work with undergraduate and incarcerated students, I also became aware of the importance of connecting students with resources, such as the ONDAS center for first-generation students, the Transfer Student Center for students in need of support with writing, or the Educational Opportunity Program.

Meaning of the Award

I feel very honored to receive this award, especially because of the tremendous impact that mentors had on my academic life. My experience as an international graduate student at UCSB would not have been the same without the encouragement of mentors and colleagues, who found the time to chat with me over coffee about how to navigate culture shock, or gave me pep talks about how to balance late night calls with family and a busy study schedule. With these examples of support in mind, I'm very excited to continue being a mentor for students, and to help them overcome the struggles of academic life.