Digital Humanities Today: Alumna Giulia Maggiori
Born and raised near Rome, alumna Giulia Maggiori graduated in Spring 2019 with a degree in English Literature. Giulia is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Publishing Media at Oxford Brookes University, while also working as Assistant Supplier Operations Specialist at Oxford University Press.
What brought you to JCU?
During my last year of high school, I decided I wanted to keep studying English language and literature. I considered studying ‘Lingue, Culture, Letterature e Traduzione’ in an Italian university, but I knew this path wasn’t really what I was looking for. Then, a friend told me about JCU: I attended an open day and I fell in love with the atmosphere, the academics, and the people. That’s when I decided to study English Literature at JCU.
Congratulations on being hired as Assistant Supplier Operations Specialist at Oxford University Press. What are your main tasks and responsibilities?
As Assistant Supplier Operations Specialist, I am part of Oxford University Press Academic Journal Production Team. My main tasks and responsibilities include liaising with OUP’s suppliers and assisting them by updating authors’ personal information in our internal system, setting embargo dates to the articles, and compiling issue lists once the editors have decided the line up so that the articles can be published both in print and online.
You are completing an M.A. in Publishing Media. What was the selection process like for choosing your graduate degree?
It was during my second year at JCU that I decided to do an M.A. in Publishing, so I started looking at graduate programs early on. The advice that I received from my professors, in particular, Shannon Russell and Alessandra Grego was fundamental in helping me choose the program. They suggested that I look into the program offered at Oxford Brookes, a university that I hadn’t considered at all. I reached out to some Oxford Brookes alumni to ask about their experience at the university and everyone told me they absolutely loved it. I traveled to Oxford in September 2019 to visit the city and the university, and decided that it was the right choice for me.
Can you talk about your experience as an English Literature major at JCU? How has JCU helped you with your graduate studies and career?
JCU helped me grow on so many different levels that is difficult to decide where to start. Not only have my English skills improved tremendously, but I was also able to develop my critical thinking. I learned that my opinion matters, which helped me become more confident in my capacity to undertake graduate studies as well as to embark on a career in publishing. One of the best things about JCU is the sense of community. It will always be my second home.
What was one class and/or professor that had an impact on you?
All my classes had an impact on me in different ways, but one that I truly loved was Around the World in Six Novels by Professor Alessandra Grego. This class allowed me to discover different cultures, challenge stereotypes, and learn more about the world. It also taught me the importance of interdisciplinary studies and introduced me to digital humanities.
Name three books that everyone should read and why.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie because it is a book that can help you realize how biased we are and the true faces of racism in contemporary society. Plus, I loved the plot and read it in a couple of days.
One, No One and One Hundred Thousand by Luigi Pirandello because it is a book that touches upon an extremely contemporary topic: how people perceive us and how we would like to be perceived. Today, more than ever, we are obsessed with how people perceive us, and we use social media to present a version of ourselves to impress others. Pirandello shows us that 100 years ago things weren’t so different.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley because it is a book that forces you to focus on what it really means to be happy, and on how people, in order to be happy, should be ignorant. In addition to being an easy and pleasant read, it is a book that highlights the importance of literature in modern society.
In a world growing increasingly digital, is there still a place for literature?
In a world where digital and analytical skills are considered the most important, studying literature is more fundamental than ever. Learning to think critically, make interdisciplinary connections, and express yourself are skills that will prove to be useful on a daily basis, regardless of the job you are doing.
What are your plans for the future?
In the foreseeable future, I plan to stay in the U.K. and try to learn as much as possible from my current position. I certainly want to continue growing, training, and studying. This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a successful career in publishing.