M.A. Candidate studying the historic use of Antisemitism in fantasy and children’s literature. Creative Writer. 

There is weight to the stories that we tell.

Cassia Finkelstein works with the intimacies of stories from her time in the office to her time in class. As a marketing specialist, Cassia tries to ensure that she is creating collateral that tells the story of how her firm can fulfill the needs of clients. 

When she gets home she will examine her larger passions: analyzing the intricacies of media. As a current MA candidate in Humanities, Cassia’s research interests are located around the historic and continued uses of antisemitic tropes and motifs that appear in fantasy and children’s literature. Her primary interest is in the ways that stories impact us. 

When she was young, Cassia would check out stacks of children’s mystery stories from her local library, something she attributes to helping her develop the skills to analyze the literature she reads, along with a lifelong love and appreciation for public libraries. 

Seeing the ways that the books we read and media we enjoy can make people define themselves into who they are, she became interested in how these forms of expression could be influencing people without full intention on either side. 

Cassia’s approach to understanding and handling the worldwide rise of violent and public antisemitism is to try and see if the resurgence of these horrific ideals in younger generations can be traced to coded characteristics and overall motifs that appear in various forms of media today. 

This past summer, Cassia spoke on this topic where she delved into links between various folklore motifs, medieval libel, and one of the most popular pieces of children’s literature we have experienced to date. 

While her studies are heavy, Cassia is optimistic and maintains that stories, and tracing folktales that transverse cultures, show us that people are in essence hopeful creatures. Cassia is working to complete her MA in the fall of 2020, and hopes to continue her studies and facilitate these kinds of conversations across disciplines and communities. 

1. Milk: 2% or skim? Coconut Milk
2. Night owl or early bird?
3. Fate or luck? Neither
4. Power or Influence? You don’t have one without the other!
5. Bad habit? Procrastinating

Cassia has experienced many different Jewish communities in the places she has lived prior to Toronto, and her interests in antisemitism stems from understanding what a difference it makes to have a real sense of community. She moved to Toronto in 2012 after gaining her BA in Creative Writing from Eckerd College.