Hometown: Hanover, NH
Project Title: The Voice of Iris: From literary action to social change in Chile
Description: Inés Echeverría Bello (1869-1949), who was best known by her pseudonym Iris, was one of the most influential and prolific Chilean female writers of the early 20th century. Iris’s story and work greatly contributed to the larger process of feminization and modernization of Chile, yet very few scholars have ever studied this part of Chilean history. As an aristocrat and academic, her writings and lifestyle greatly influenced the push for suffrage for women in Chile and redefined social meanings of femininity. Iris was one of the few women answering the questions of what a modern Chile would look like and what the role of women within it was. The answers to the questions that remain about her life, what made her so revolutionary for the time, and how she could excite so much social change in Chile lay within her unpublished memoirs and other extensive documentation. My project will contextualize the memoirs by historically reconstructing the period in which Iris was working, place her within the greater feminist work nationally and internationally, and position the many pieces of Iris’s thoughts within the themes of the time, her travels, and the content of the conferences and articles she was simultaneously giving. Using Iris’s private and public life to understand women’s history, this project touches upon themes of independence, social unrest and turmoil, religion and Spiritism, politics, femininity, empowerment, family values, Chilean feminist social change, development, and much more.
Extracurricular Interests: I care a lot about social justice and am an active member of the Aquinas House Catholic Community on campus, volunteer with ASPIRE for kids on the Autism spectrum, visit with patients at the DHMC through Ears, am involved with volunteer efforts and symposiums such as Physicians for Human Rights as part of the Nathan Smith Society, lead the Primary Care Progress initiative on campus, and have been part of SEAD and the Foundations for Social Impact Design Committee Program. I also enjoy getting to engage with different ideas as a part of Telling My Story, Link Up for women, the Committee on Standards through the Office of Judicial Affairs, as a tour guide, a First Year Undergraduate Advisor, and with the Global Health Fellows program. Finally, I am fascinated by the intersection between medicine and the humanities and have collaborated with Professors Craig and Lahey to put together a new course on Rites of Passages in the Anthropology Department. Finally, I really enjoy exploring the outdoors in the sun and spend a lot of time swimming, biking and running with my teammates on the Dartmouth Triathlon Team.
Future Plans: This project is an extensive case study that aims to reconstruct and contextualize Iris’s thinking and writing in order to understand who she was and how she evoked such a dimension of social change. The best practices of community health medicine today do the same thing for its patients; doctors must put together the pieces of information of narratives and physiological markers to best understand their patients and how to advise a treatment plan. What interests me in this Senior Fellowship project therefore similarly draws me to medicine. While applying to medical school, I will have the opportunity to work with my mother to combine my Senior Fellowship project with her editing, translating and processing of Iris’s memoirs to create the final contextualized and annotated version of the book publishing Iris’s memoirs. We will also work to preserve and organize Inés Echeverría Bello’s material left to my mother so that it can best be accessed by future scholars.