English Student Spotlight: Laine Houghton

May 25, 2020 by Eric Dean


Student Spotlight:
Laine Houghton
MA in Literature and Writing

Self-illustration of Laine Houghton
Self-Illustration by Laine Houghton

Laine Houghton is a graduate student in the Masters of Literature and Writing program.  Laine will graduate in June 2020.

What projects have you worked on that you would like to highlight?

In the realm of school work, I’m in the middle of my thesis: I’m looking at how Faulkner’s centering of the plantation house aesthetic in the gothic undermines his ideological critiques of white supremacy. 

I’m applying to WSU’s Doctoral program of American Studies and Culture this December. I’ve begun slowly accumulating research on the kinship rituals of white supremacists, most notably their ‘dog whistling’ culture. But I’ve recently become interested in the possible astroturfing going on in the quarantine protests.

Outside of school-however-I’m working on my comic series Olympys Weeping, an action adventure sci-fi comic. If sci-fi Indiana Jones had a love child with super punk Fast and the Furious, it would be Olympys Weeping; or most accurately it would be my main characters Lania’kea and Vulcan Sprig.

How have your EWU experiences shaped you?

I came to Eastern in the fall of 2013 right out of my senior year of high school, so EWU has been a site of monumental change for me — and that’s not just talking about degree swaps. As much as we shape our surroundings, they also shape us. I wouldn’t be the individual I was if it were not for the experiences I’ve had on campus: EWU women’s rugby team, the protests, and the professors alike.

What important lessons or tips do you have for future students?

Start connecting with your classmates early — most likely you’ll be in classes with them for a few years anyways and when you do finally talk to them, you’ll kick yourself for not doing so earlier. They are experiencing the same things you are — lean into it!

Other than that, just remember to play — remember that this is all a learning experience and part of that experience is growing pains. Play allows us to stretch, to laugh, to cry, so that we don’t become overwhelmed by the state that is our sovereign minds and the world right now. Reaching out to your classmates can help with this too — because I can guarantee they need a laugh as much as you do.

Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?

The moment we find ourselves in right now is not easy; no one should kid themselves that it is. The only way we pull through this difficult time stronger than we went into it, is if we support one another. I’ve been lucky enough to be a member of an amazing cohort that truly supports each other as a family. We are not islands unto our own — we are an ecosystem: dependent on one another for our continued growth and beauty.