Studying world literature fostered Elda Hajdarovac's understanding of cultures from around the globe and opened her mind academically, professionally and personally.

Convocation, World Literature, Students

Graduate Elda Hajdarovac nurtured her interdisciplinary interests through studying world literature

June 08, 2020

Studying world literature and volunteering with fellow students helped foster Elda Hajdarovac’s understanding of cultures from around the globe, and opened her mind academically, professionally and personally. Hajdarovac volunteered throughout her SFU career, taking advantage of everything that the university has to offer and to enrich her learning experience.

In addition to the World Literature Student Union, she helped organize the inaugural World Literature Undergraduate Conference and served as co-editor in chief of The Lyre, the undergraduate literary journal.

“I think the key to my success at SFU has been keeping an open mind,” says Hajdarovac. “Your time at SFU isn't just about academics. Enjoy your degree and all the things that come with it.”

Read more about Elda’s experiences studying world literature at SFU.

Why did you choose to major in World Literature at SFU?

I chose to major in world literature because of the interdisciplinary nature of this field. World literature tackles and explores not just literary texts from across the globe, but seeks to understand cultures through the text we read. My favourite aspect about the program is how diverse and welcoming it is when it comes to exploring your passions. 

What were your favourite courses or instructors during your undergraduate degree? What assignments or projects were highlights?

I'd have to say that all the world literature professors are my favorite! To pick a favorite professor would be like asking a parent, who's your favorite child? All the professors in world literature are extremely supportive, welcoming and always want to see you rise to the top. One class that really stood out to me was Mark Deggan's WL 320: Interdisciplinary approaches to World Literature. This particular class explores other mediums for culture such as music, theatre, film, visual arts and more. My all time favourite assignment from that class was a comparative piece on the correlation of elitism between Psy's song Gangam Style and the discipline of dressage. While it was a dream of mine to somehow incorporate horses into my degree, I think it was just as entertaining to see Mark's desire to continue watching the "dancing" horses.

Any short- or long-term goals you care to talk about now that you are finished your degree?

As of right now I am taking things in stride. I have decided to take a couple years off before going back to SFU for my Master’s in Communication. During my break I plan to do all the things I didn't really have time to do during my degree, such as travelling. My goal is to land a job at SFU. I really do enjoy the university and what it has to offer. Over the years it's become home, so I want to stay here!

What has been the key to your success? What words of wisdom and encouragement would you offer to new undergraduate students in your field?

I think the key to my success at SFU has been keeping an open mind. Your time at SFU isn't just about academics. It's about learning who you are as a professional and on a personal level too. So, take the time to explore it and don't rush! You have the rest of your life to be an adult. Enjoy your degree and all the things that comes with it. Most of all, as one of my dearest professors (shout out to Dr. O) told me once: don't be afraid to speak up and make your voice heard. Those few words have led me to experience things that I never thought would come my way.