JHI Circle of Fellows Spotlight—Lucy Stark

May 3, 2023 by Sonja Johnston

Lucy Stark is a Lester B. Pearson Scholar and fourth-year student double majoring in History and Economics. Through independent research projects sponsored by the Laidlaw Scholars Program, Undergraduate Research Fund, and Dr. Pamela Klassen, Lucy has explored diverse topics including homelessness prevention, the history of gifted education and its intersection with the desegregation of Delaware’s schools, and Christian missionaries in Treaty 3 territory. Lucy joins the JHI in 2022-2023 as one of our JHI Undergraduate Fellows and received the James Fleck Undergraduate Award in the Humanities.

What are your main research interests?

I am interested in French colonial history, with a geographic and temporal focus on 18th-century Saint-Domingue (modern-day Haiti). I am particularly fascinated by the intersection of gender, race, and citizenship and how these elements affected colonial identity and social hierarchies.

What project are you working on at the JHI and why did you choose it?

I am currently working on my undergraduate senior thesis, “Morality and Mobility: Women of Colour as Bearers of Male Citizenship in Pre-Revolutionary Saint-Domingue.” This project highlights the discursive exploitation of women of colour in debates over the civil rights of free people of color in Saint-Domingue. From the end of the Seven Years' War to the outbreak of the Haitian Revolution, I find stereotypes around the sexuality, immorality, and fertility of free women of colour and a reliance on their reproductive labour.

What are/were you hoping to experience as a JHI Fellow?

Every week, I hope to learn from the Circle of Fellows and find new connections between my topic and their fascinating, multidisciplinary endeavors.

What have you enjoyed the most so far?

There’s nothing better than sitting at another Fellow’s presentation and seeing the enthusiasm in their words and movements as they delve into a niche intellectual passion. It’s inspiring. Once we step out of the presentation room, we are also all just goofballs who enjoy debating the merits and pitfalls of The Crown, Season 3.

Can you share something you read/watched/listened to recently that you enjoyed/were inspired by?

As someone who hopes to make documentary films in the future, I was inspired by the beautiful cinematography and powerful storytelling of Three Identical Strangers (2018).

What is a fun fact about you?

My Dad and I are some of the biggest Taylor Swift fans and we cannot wait to see her on the Eras Tour. If there’s anyone to thank for getting me to love writing, it’s Tswift.