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Jill Scott

SSHRC Aurora Prize

In a world where tragedy is too quickly followed by retaliation and revenge, Jill Scott is looking for a little forgiveness.

The Queen’s University professor of German studies and winner of the 2005 SSHRC Aurora Prize is analyzing 20th and 21st century literature, film and photography to explore whether forgiveness still exists in a post-9/11 society obsessed with loss and wrongdoing.

“We hear a lot about memorials, monuments and mourning these days,” says Scott. “But, I want to know whether forgiveness has a place in all this. Looking at how forgiveness is dealt with in fiction and poetry gives us a unique insight into how we—as a society—may be able to move beyond the current cycle of suffering and revenge.”

While still just beginning her career, Scott’s research is at the cutting edge of the humanities. By combining fields such as comparative literature and German studies with feminist theory, history and psychology, she unearths original ideas and timely topics that are just as relevant to popular audiences as they are to the academic community.

Her latest book, Electra after Freud: Myth and Culture, published by Cornell University Press, investigates the psychological connection between the re-emergence of the violent Greek myth of Electra in modern poetry, drama and literature, and the appalling violence witnessed during the Holocaust and other atrocities of the past century.

Scott’s innovative research is quickly making her a sought-after speaker and guest lecturer, and her current work on forgiveness is sure to make an impact far beyond the halls of academia.